Recently I've been struggling with inefficiencies in our process specifically at the handoff between development and quality assurance. As our product grows, so does the demand that the product puts on quality assurance. As the demands increase on quality assurance, the qa team demands more on the development team to make sure everything is communicated. What developers could just change before, now has to be documented and communicated so that QA can get their coverage.
What's frustrating to me, is the fact that with all of this documentation and communication comes serious inefficiencies and waste. Maybe it's just an issue with our process, or our state of mind, or our people. I'm just hoping that there's someone out there with some thoughts, or insight. I'll give an example.
For this latest release, we decided to stay on top of things, and upgrade to VS.NET 2008 and 3.5 framework. So, the framework upgrade needed to be communicated to QA. We needed to give them a spec on the work (which resulted in this post, trying to convince them that testing this wasn't all that important), and they had to dedicate resources to go through that document and deliver a test plan.
So, after the QA person went through the document, they started sending me emails about how to test this. First, the question, "How would the 3.5 framework upgrade be tested?". The answer to that is that it may or may not throw an error, we may not use any 3.5 framework only features at this point. Which was followed by a "Let’s just say, for the sake of argument that the framework was installed incorrectly. Would there be a way for end users to notice it?" This is where it starts to get frustrating to me. So much waste, I want to scream "Just come over to my freaking desk and I'll show you the freaking framework in add/remove programs!".
What I'm really conflicted about is the fact that telling the QA team "don't worry about testing that", is like speaking Japanese to them. They just don't understand those words. And that's fine. I think that's good in a way, but it's wasting my time.
Does anyone out there have any advice as to how to best communicate this. To convince a QA team, who isn't super-technical, that a technical feature/improvement/fix, is safe, doesn't need to be tested? Is there anything more I can do, or should I just grin and bear it? I'd love your words of wisdom. Thanks in advance.