According to a management principle, ‘You cannot manage, what you cannot measure’. Well, some may agree with the statement while others might not. But when it comes to software testing, this may be true. Software testing is a rich activity that is performed to identify risks in a software application. A risk is a problem that may occur and can also harm the quality of our app. Thus, a problem in software application can cause a deviation from what is perceived and what is expected from an application. So the main purpose of testing is to learn about the risks in an application. Testing is performed to enable stakeholders to make business decisions based on the information provided.
Measuring Software Quality
One of the most important aspects of measuring software quality is the use of the right metrics. Metrics are quantifiable measures required to gauge the performance of testing. They aid QA teams in evaluating the success of an activity. Success is defined as achieving operational goals that help organizations to achieve their strategic goals. Quantitative methods of measuring quality have a proven track record in the software development sphere.
How Software Quality helps Organizations Achieve Strategic Goals
It is obvious that the most strategic goal of an organization is to increase its revenue. A simple way to generate revenue being the most strategic goal is high customer satisfaction. There are various factors that can contribute to achieving customer satisfaction i.e. software quality. This is where the software quality assurance becomes tricky, so let’s have a quick look at what quality means? Quality is a value to some person at a point in time. A user may be affected by the new features introduced into an existing app. The app is built to reflect an end-user’s needs. Thus, quality is value to stakeholders and it is achieved by resolving problems appearing in the application. When it comes to software testing, test case management tools play an important role that allows QA teams to focus on quality assurance.
How Testing Affects Software Quality
It is the job of product managers to identify the needs, problems, pain points, and anything that potentially creates value for stakeholders. These factors are communicated to the development teams, that are implemented and tested simultaneously. QA testers contribute to improving software quality through testing. There is no ideal world with zero bugs and flawless development so testers identify issues in the application that prevent stakeholders from achieving their goals. If testers do not identify problems, how would it be possible to solve them? Hence, when problems are resolved, it increases software quality. Thus, testing aids in software quality by revealing problems. The process of testing is not limited to testers, but anyone who identifies an issue eventually contributes to enhancing software quality. It is a continuous team effort that product owner/manager, tester, developer, designer, test engineer, etc. make for software quality assurance.
Software Testing Metrics
Testing metrics do not measure software quality directly. It is the job of the product owner/manager to identify and measure software quality and see how it creates value for the stakeholders. It is necessary to align testing metrics with business goals. All testing metrics allow testers to start an informed discussion, which should be aligned with the testing approach to optimize it. Here, optimizing means identifying potential risks related to software quality attributes faster and frequently. Let’s have a look at different types of metrics that aid the process of measuring quality:
The most basic QA metrics include test cases executed and test cases written. QA leads to execute calculated metrics that are used to measure the progress of a project. Report from calculated metrics can help in improving the entire software development process. In order to ensure how QA metrics work, following are a few testing steps:
- Determine the major issues that need to be tested.
- Specify metrics that QA teams will use and write down the number of test cases to be written daily.
- Assign testing to a responsible QA expert.
- Calculate the efficiency of the metrics used.
- Define where the results of the metrics would be used in the development process.
There are different agile metrics used to find ways to enhance the software development process. Factors like lead time, cycle time, team velocity, open and close rates, etc. are considered.
The production metrics assess the scope of assignments completed and also measures the productivity of the development teams. It estimates the operational speed and measures factors like task scope, productivity, code churn, active days, etc.
Security Response Metrics
Nowadays, app security is the main concern for businesses. This metric translates how security responsive an application is. Each application may face different security issues on their devices, that is why metrics are used to identify how much time is required to find out an issue.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
It is a metric used to estimate the level of customer satisfaction. Customer surveys are carried out where customers can mark the reviews about their experience, whether it was satisfactory or not.
Certainly, it is possible to obtain accurate results from measuring software quality when the first version of a product is released. Once QA teams have released an app successfully, it is easier to claim the quality level. A team can state a number of defect rates, what features can be added, and what improvements can be made for the upcoming versions. QA teams use different test case management tools and software quality metrics to find the most effective changes to be implemented in the software development process. It is true that quality metrics give QA teams control over its quality.