Quality Assurance Process Workflow

We invite you to benefit from the QA process flow that assures quality delivery for agile software development teams. The flow is a perfect match for typical Scrum-based two-week sprints but may also be easily adapted for Kanban and mixed process frameworks. The document breaks down the events to follow, making preparing and stabilizing release candidate builds easier.

Download the adapted QA process workflow in PDF format.
The template is ready for immediate use on your project.

What is the main idea behind the delivery flow?

Before

Prior to the feature freeze, the delivery flow has an active development phase and a stabilization period (generally, three days before the release). During these phases, the team focuses mainly on development or fixing issues to keep up with the planned delivery scope.

Before feature freexe
Feature Freeze

After

After the feature freeze, no new features are merged, and release candidate issues may be fixed and merged to that branch. The QA team works on test design and regression tests execution for the sprint's first part. Then the main focus is set on functional acceptance and acceptance testing.

After feature freeze

What is the main idea behind the delivery flow?

Before

Prior to the feature freeze, the delivery flow has an active development phase and a stabilization period (generally, three last days before the release). During these phases, the team focuses mainly on development or issues fixing for the planned delivery scope.

After

After the feature freeze, no new features are merged, and release candidate issues may be fixed and merged to that branch. The QA team works on test design and regression tests execution for the sprint's first part. Then the main focus is set on functional acceptance and build acceptance testing.

Who can use this template and when

Any team member willing to enhance teamwork may freely use the document. However, it's mostly targeted at people responsible for the product's quality, such as product owners, project managers, QA Lead engineers, etc. The flow may be introduced to the project from its very beginning.

Nevertheless, it's critical to have an established QA flow before product launch. The optimal time to start following it is 3-4 sprints before the release.

Quality Assurance Process Workflow

Agile QA Process Setup

To set up an effective flow, you will need to have these preconditions completed:

1

Established tasks estimation/sprint planning procedures and precise team capacity per sprint.

2

A dedicated staging environment that is different from the development one.

3

Documented test cases or checklists.

4

Dedicated QA team capacity to perform required tests during all sprint stages (may be speeded up by test automation).

QA Specifics in Agile

In order to perform an effective delivery process and align with continuous changes, we suggest following the PDCA model. Each part of the development cycle should be planned, measured, and analyzed. The QA team should drive continuous enhancements and be proactive in keeping the team focused on stabilization.

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The Quality Assurance Process Workflow FAQ

Is this the only flow that the development team has to follow?

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No, this one would work for typical 2-week Scrum-based iterations. Depending on team competency, quality criteria for the project, etc., the flow should be adapted to actual issues.

In which cases should my team use it?

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- If you have an enormous number of unpredictable issues during development.
- If your product goes live and not having issues in production is vital.
- If you try to cut stabilization efforts and budget for future sprints.
- If your team doesn’t have good QA expertise and you want to lean to some proven flow.

How should I sell it to my teammates, so they start using it?

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First, collect stats and check if product quality is good enough and didn’t worsen during the last sprints. Let the numbers show the whole picture. Second, ask your team to think about their feedback on the flow. You may have an even better flow, fitting exactly your project. Finally, agree with your team, who will be responsible for every stage and event.
Try to check the progress meanwhile and enhance your work after each sprint iteration.

What other development approaches can I introduce in addition to the flow to deliver better quality?

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From our experience, Definition of Ready, Requirements grooming, End-to-End automated test, Test-Driven development approaches may significantly improve the overall quality of the project.

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