Quality Assurance for Startups

Quality Assurance for Startups sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. Startup companies and leaders have enough on their mind without adding that ‘horribly slow and stodgy Quality Assurance Process’ to the mix.

This concept is wrong for a number of reasons:

  1. Quality Assurance is never about being slow or bringing the process to a halt. It’s all about speeding up delivery of whatever you are supplying.
  2. Set up good processes at the start of your business and make improvements that have the biggest return, before bad or wasteful habits become entrenched.
  3. A startup needs to provide a product or service that ‘delights the final customer’. A product or service that falls short in some makes for a short-lived company.

What does a startup need from Quality Assurance? Just enough to make the final deliverable delight the customer!

So what should you have?:

  1. Processes that ensure feedback from the customers is received.
  2. Sufficient information about the way the deliverable was constructed so that feedback can be actioned.
  3. Assurance that the changes made will not impact existing functionality adversely.
  4. Consideration of how to implement future growth opportunities.

Of the above list, the last two are the more important.

We generally would consider the third point to be a form of regression testing and the earlier that is planned and implemented, the cheaper it is. However, it is often left (as we can personally testify) to a later release and the startup spends thousands of hours and a lot of funding retroactively forcing in regression testing. Minimal consideration of the possibility of needing this will SAVE A LOT later on.

The fourth point above is slightly more difficult to apply since it requires some anticipation of future needs based on limited information. We will leave that one for next week.

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