COVID-19 has altered the workforce in different ways, with one of them being teams operating from home to continue their daily work routines. All employees are operating remotely with computers and the internet as the only tools for collaboration, perhaps for the first time in human history.
Certainly, this radical transition in the philosophy of work comes with several major obstacles. It can pose numerous problems for people not used to this setup. The list is lengthy and important: juggling deadlines without access to office services, combining housework with late nights, unreliable internet connectivity, and so on.
This refers to remote software testing, even more emphatically. Comprehensive testing, logging various glitches, producing enough comprehensive documentation, working with multiple teams are all complex enough in regular times. When operating from home, it can feel much more difficult to meet remote testing targets.
Although we can’t forecast the future, we can provide a few valuable guidelines for managing a remote testing team efficiently, based on studied best practices. Here are some of the practical ones:
Using Better tools for project management
The commitment and performance of individual remote QA testers can be hard to track. It is common for individuals operating from home to bring in unequal amounts of effort due to environmental conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, it is not possible to expect QA managers and project managers to keep up with every person on the team daily – especially in big teams.
Project management software like Trello, Asana, and JIRA test management tool comes to the rescue by helping administrators from a single dashboard to keep track of the actions of the whole team. These tools are designed to assist teamwork and achieve quicker results in an Agile format. They encourage executives to schedule sprints, build team assignments, set targets, notifications, and keep track of how well the team is on the way to meeting standards and deadlines. One such tool is Kualitee which has helped our very own QA team to manage their daily tasks, complete deadlines, and coordinate efficiently in an Agile environment.
Work collaboratively with Instant Message Software
It can make someone feel incredibly lonely by being restricted to one place, even if it is their own home. Keeping in constant touch with teammates, supervisors, and other peers makes testers informed of project progress and improvements with limited interruption. It also serves to make testers more alert and attentive to their job because they can be kept responsible through constant communication.
It is better to use instant messaging platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teamwork, Skype, and many others to stay in close touch with each other. If a huge volume of information needs to be exchanged, do not bother sending emails back and forth.
All through the day, it is easier to talk in-depth so it will guide testers about their workflow. Even while the team is not geographically in the same place, it fosters a sense of cohesion, enabling them to function as a unit.
Furthermore, the number of stakeholders, the importance of the issue, the urgency, and the need for a decision all relate to the form of contact and the appropriate medium. A basic one-on-one interaction can also be conducted over email or texting asynchronously, while a video call is needed for an all-hands Q&A.
In form and medium, as well as planned response times, each team needs to define contact norms. Slack channel answers twice a day, and Slack direct messages once an hour, for example, allow emails to be answered once a day, set standards that help minimize context juggling so that developers can retain flow and concentration.
Boost Test Automation
Remote testers may feel frustrated by the volume of effort they have to do while they work by themselves. They may not have accessibility to on-site services, as described earlier, which can bog their activities down. This is why, for remote monitoring, test automation using systems such as Cypress or Selenium must be stressed.
It is crucial for the effectiveness of remote testing to use a cloud Selenium grid. As long as a business is running, it has to strive to offer the best available product to its clients. This suggests that software testing has to be as rigorous as possible (in this case, automatically) in human terms. Needless to mention, on individual browsers, computers, and operating systems, all testing must still continue to be run.
Ramping up automation ensures that product consistency and consequently consumer loyalty do not fall, particularly in today’s hyper-competitive business conditions. This is where JIRA test management tools integrated with Kualitee come in handy.
A decent test management tool helps software testers plan, track, and review, personal and team performances on a daily basis. It provides a one-stop solution for communication as all the test cases are mentioned right in front of all software testers. In a remote environment, it is crucial that a test management tool sends a notification whenever a new test case is opened, resolved, or needs to be reviewed again.
Using Troubleshooting Remote Desktop Software
Without cross-functional assistance for workers around the business, a home landscape job would not work. The center of this is remote desktop control. Let’s assume, a remote QA tester needs a developer or another tester to replicate a test scenario. Perhaps since the test situation is too complex for any reason, the latter is unable to replicate the test on their device. In this scenario, they must obtain support for troubleshooting through remote desktop access software such as TeamViewer or AnyDesk.
By encouraging business employees to enter their system to examine the problem causing trouble, these programs will also help to resolve client concerns.
If possible, use remote presentations, with video
For participants to collaborate in meeting rooms and discuss finer information at length is a normal occurrence in teams. Such team meetings are an important aspect of the creativity that keeps developing and improving a software testing team.
In remote testing environments, it is possible to replicate this activity. It is easy to hold prolonged meetings with the entire team without leaving one’s living room, thanks to numerous video conferencing and online conference apps (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype). Meetings should also be properly documented and recorded so that no information is lost.
In addition to growing human engagement and more casual communication, online meetings often provide individual testers with a purpose to get out of pajamas and maintain the feeling of belonging that every team naturally provides its participants.
Remote testing is becoming the norm and is intended to be the norm for the next couple of years. Remote testers have to be supplied with the proper equipment, facilities, and administrative procedures to transition to this modern style of everyday work.