In our recent poll on the health of the QA industry, we found that over half of all QA teams surveyed are not very confident in their ability to ensure a high-quality product. Having a high degree of confidence in your QA process is important, as it helps you ensure that every deployment goes smoothly and that resources are being allocated efficiently.

So what do the best QA organizations do differently? We compared the responses of teams with a high degree of confidence in their test coverage to the overall responses of our recent QA Health Survey to get a better idea of what sets high-performing teams apart from the rest. As a result, we found that highly confident teams invest in three key areas: building a QA strategy, finding the right QA metrics, and giving their QA team agency.

Finding the Right QA Metrics

56% of highly confident teams regular measure QA metrics, compared to only 48% of other teams. Measuring both the input and output of your QA process helps you continually gauge code health, and spot areas where your process needs to be improved.

Our survey found that the two most common metrics teams use to measure code quality are bugs found and the status of test cases. While these are useful metrics for measuring the efficacy of your QA, they don’t always share the complete picture of quality. Thinking holistically about what quality means for your organization, and what insights you hope to gain will help you improve your QA process.

Give Your QA Team Agency

Another key difference in high-performing organizations is the role their QA team plays. 71% of high-confidence organizations allow their QA team to determine test coverage, compared to only 58% of other organizations. To maximize productivity, your QA team should be more than just test executors — their expertise can and should be leveraged to help develop more effective quality processes.

As Rainforest’s own Melissa Tondi says:

“Our guiding principle as Quality Engineers should be that we can provide so much value that we can influence the software before it’s built. We have that responsibility to provide value and skill sets that don’t exist on the team otherwise. 2019 should be the year of embracing our influence & owning it.”

Taking a Strategic Approach

It probably comes as no surprise that teams with high confidence in their QA are more likely to have a QA strategy in place. They also ensure that any QA goals are aligned with their overall business goals. Taking the time to step back from the day-to-day of testing can be challenging, especially for teams with aggressive deployment goals. However, a QA strategy will help keep testing focused on high-impact activities and minimize uncertainty around launches.

It’s worth noting that developer-owned QA teams are (according to our survey) less likely to take a strategic approach to testing. If your development team is responsible for testing and consistently finds it to be a painful time-sink, creating a QA strategy may help alleviate the pain.