Opposed to general opinion, working as a Software Tester is not just about clicking and it’s not just about checking something or reporting bugs. As we have already discussed, software testing is a set of many activities. In order to achieve good results in the end of the project, one of the key factors is establishing well defined testing processes.
Take your time, define a process to work, then follow your process.
One of the most important things in Software Testing is defining right processes to follow. If you fail to have well structured processes, your team and the work covered by your team will end up failing.
In order for you to have the right set of processes don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from colleagues, from managers, from team members. Feedback can vary: for some certain process can be awesome, for others some part of the same process can hurt the entire team and its work.
Here’s what you can do. Take a deep breath and take a look at the process from another side, trying to think like someone who doesn’t know anything about testing and who is still able to understand what’s written.
Make sure that you’re following business needs. Sometimes you might prefer having something that is not common for the business, something that is not suitable for the company. All processes should be suitable for the company, business needs and the team.
Evaluate your skills, evaluate your team, evaluate your time and include these all in your processes in a detailed manner. By having in mind the amount of time you have, the schedule your team is following, the tasks you need to complete, you can easily estimate time for each task.
Make sure to periodically review your processes and workflow. Revision will help you understand whether you are following the pre-designed steps or whether you have shifted from the original course of work. It will also illustrate if your estimation was done well or if you still need to update estimations. Finally, you will be able to understand whether your expectations are real or you need to update expected final result.
Having well defined processed will also help your upper management team to understand how employees are working, what they are occupied with, what guidelines they have and etc.
Make sure to define standards in processes for your team.
For software testers standards exist for reporting bugs, for reports, for test plans formats, for test case formats, for code styling, for comment style, for screenshot marks or screen recordings, for hardware or software information for bugs, for tools to be used, for new suggestions and annotations. It’ll be best to have set templates and guidelines for the team to follow. In this way management will receive well structured bug reports or testing reports which are also similar in their structure.
Define release criteria in processes and approve it with management team. Tell development team about release criteria so everyone will be on the same page about what is expected to be delivered.
Define automation checks standards and running frequency. Are you going to run automation checks after every commit? What will you check every time? How much time will it take from a developer to make a commit and wait for automation check’s result?
Define regression phase in processes and review regression plan after every iteration. During iteration development team can develop new feature that should be in regression plan for next iterations. Make sure that nothing is missing and that nothing is unnecessary/extra in your regression plan.
By following well defined and right processes you’ll achieve your goal, all the members in your team will be on the same page and deliver desired outcome.