At Cardinal Peak, we engineer QA and testing into every step of the product development process.
In part II of this two-part Q&A With QA blog series, we delve into our QA process, why QA is implemented at each step along the way, what sets us apart from the competition and more.
If you missed part I of this QA series, we touch on what QA means, why it’s important, how it varies between different types of projects and why our QA team is so robust.
Let’s dive in.
What steps are involved in the Cardinal Peak QA process?
What is considered the most important step?
The Cardinal Peak process has multiple steps. The first step is requirements gathering and defining, then we study and familiarize ourselves with new feature development. Then, we create a feedback loop of test planning, test case creation, test execution, results reporting and test improvement. That cycle then repeats until the product is completed.
While we don’t believe that one step is more important than any other, having solid and clear requirements is critical because those will be the backbone for testing, and the more defined the requirements, the more accurate the testing. The success of our testing ultimately depends on each step because missing just one could lead to a missed defect.
Even better, our testers generally sit right next to our developers when we’re in the office. As such, there’s a lot of collaboration between the developers and our team. It’s easier to talk about a bug and discuss it with a developer than it is to just write it on a ticket and ship it off.
And we don’t just look at our process and say, “this is how we do it,” we’re constantly looking at how to improve that process to solve difficult problems at every stage and bring innovations to market quickly.
Why does Cardinal Peak implement QA at every step?
QA is not just a one-time occurrence. It requires constant assessment to ensure every feature works and that when new elements are added, the addition doesn’t break the product. Testing early and often allows issues and potential improvements to be found, fixed and implemented as soon as possible. Plus, early testing helps reduce testing towards the end of the project when the release is imminent because many bugs have already been found and resolved.
When things do go wrong — because they inevitably will — you don’t want that to be at the end of the project. The quicker we can find any defects or requirements that are not met, the more time provided to the developers to rework the design before a product is released, which supports the release of a higher quality product.
How often does the QA team catch an issue?
At Cardinal Peak, we do an excellent job of discovering issues, no matter how minor or seemingly unimportant. Issues that may seem minor can often become bigger problems or are part of a larger issue, so finding these issues early and often is critical.
At each step along the way, we’re constantly finding bugs because we don’t just ignore a product that is behaving unusually. Part of the mindset is just because we don’t find a bug, that doesn’t mean there are no defects there. At the end of the day, it’s not our product — our client owns it. As such, we better find everything that might be wrong with it so they can make their own decision.
What differentiates Cardinal Peak’s QA process from that of your competitors?
What truly sets us apart is the depth to which QA is involved in the entire product lifecycle. Our team has an advantage because we have the ability to test a wide range of products, including those that have stringent requirements that must be verified and certified. Even better, our team excels at not just sharing knowledge but providing opportunities to invest in education and expand our skill sets, so that we can learn new things and apply them to the projects we’re working on. While a lot of companies like to say they do that, Cardinal Peak puts its money where its mouth is.
Another key differentiator is the collaboration between QA and the rest of the organization. From requirements definition to final approvals, the QA team collaborates closely with developers, managers, product owners and more, acting as the glue that holds the entire project together.
What is your favorite part of being a member of the QA team?
While before COVID-19 spread throughout the country and shut down our office, we joked that our weekly Friday lunches were the best part, but really, it’s the diverse and helpful group we’ve assembled and the wide array of projects on which we work. We all enjoy working with one another, as well as the companies that we get to work with.
On our team, there are a ton of different backgrounds, skills and specialties, and everyone is more than willing to pitch in wherever they are needed, sharing their ideas and knowledge. Plus, it’s fun diving into all of these different technologies. It makes things new and exciting, and we get to get our hands dirty on all these different levels of disparate projects. Because no two projects are exactly alike, it’s given us all experience across a number of different fields.
From Fortune 100 to innovative startups, the broad range of products we work on run the gamut of markets and specialties. Obviously, product development is inherently risky, but our diverse team of problem-solvers reduces uncertainty.
Connect with our team today to discover how we implement QA at every step to ensure your project has the right pieces in the right places, from end to end, empowering you to bring fully tested, market-ready products to life.