By Rema Sreedharakurup, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
I have recently facilitated discussions with both peers and clients about the value that software quality assurance brings to a customer’s business.
Although it is clear that a QA engineer’s job is to accurately report product quality, there are opportunities to deliver value beyond what is expected and in the process nurture a long-term customer relationship.
During a client engagement, we select our testing approach based on factors ranging from budget, scope, team dynamics, release schedules, and in many cases alignment with customer demands.
Over time, the selected approach matures and becomes optimized to suit the nuances that exist within the customer’s business model. The time period in which the approach becomes more mature offers our QA team opportunities to engage with the client at a new level, where we help them with their business and with their software delivery process. Once this normalization period is complete, our QA engineers have learned the business and are capable of identifying additional opportunities to increase the value that the QA efforts can bring to the business.
The customer knows their business, the market segment they want to penetrate, and the unique value proposition of their product when compared to the competition. When it comes to an internal application that is going to be launched or an enhancement to an existing application, the release is intended to bridge a process gap or resolve an existing frustration affecting the company’s existing operations which directly or indirectly impact their business.
Knowing the end goals of a customer will enable the QA to determine the right areas of focus during test execution and expose risks with enough information for the business to make informed decisions. Of particular importance, such information can help a company to identify the right areas of investment, make changes to release schedules, allocate resources and, in many cases, prepare them to address customer enquires after the product or the application has launched.
For QA engineers, these are our opportunities to show how much we care about our customers, their business, and our desire to make them successful.
Ultimately, the success our company receives depends on the success of our customers.