Quality assurance (QA) is a process or set of processes that help ensure that the products meet customer expectations and requirements. QA is typically associated with software testing but can be applied to any product. In this article, we will discuss how do KPIs work in QA and how to use them to improve your QA process.
Key performance indicators (KIPs) are metrics that are used to track progress and success. In QA, KPIs are used to track the performance of the QA team and the quality of the products they produce.
There are many different KPI s that can be used in QA, but some of the most common include defect density, cycle time, and customer satisfaction.
What is KPI?
KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a metric used to evaluate the performance of a process or team. In quality assurance, KPIs can be used to track progress and identify areas for improvement. By setting and tracking KPIs, you can make data-driven decisions to improve your QA process.
There is no hard and fast standard for measuring all of these KPIs, and you can also create KPIs that are not on the list. The following are the most commonly measured KPIs in the software testing industry:
This KPI compares the percentage of automated test cases to the overall number of test cases. A greater percentage usually indicates a better chance of getting any breaks throughout automation runs.
The percentage of automation threshold should be determined based on the kind of product and the price of automation.
This KPI can be used to track the number of tests created in a given period. This also aids in comparing test cases to necessities, and the constructed test cases can be analyzed for integration in the regression testing process or ad hoc test suite.
This KPI is used to assess the alignment of test cases and demands. A test manager is responsible for ensuring that all requirements have appropriate test cases and for taking action on any requirements that could not be plotted to any test case and vice versa.
The goal is to maintain a 100% mapping of requirements to test cases.
Active Defects are all defects that have not yet been ended. It may contain new, unresolved or untested defects. The testing manager must decide on a threshold value above which instant action should be taken to reduce the number of active defects.
The general rule is that the fewer active defects there are, the higher the quality of the product then.
Defects Fixed Per Day
This is employed to evaluate the efficiency of the development. It is open to interpretation because some bugs may be more difficult to fix than others. This could be used to forecast how much work the testing team will have to do.
This KPI compares the percentage of rejected defects to the overall number of defects identified. If the percentage exceeds the threshold value, the underlying problem must be identified and addressed. This could imply more software tester training or improved requirement documentation.
Defects Closure Rate
This KPI is used to assess tester performance in terms of confirming and closing fixed defects. It also aids in better estimating the release cycle.
This KPI ensures that any criterion that the testing and development team is operating on has been examined and approved by the subject matter expert. Unreviewed requirements may result in inefficient development and testing, which will be expensive in the long run.
This KPI is useful when determining the release of a product; if any requirements have not passed testing, the release should just be postponed.
The number of flaws reported via designed test cases is evaluated to determine the efficiency of the test case design methodology.
This KPI tracks the complete number of test cases done on a build, both manual and automated, at any particular time.
Test Instances Executed
This KPI is used to determine the velocity of test execution at any given time to ensure that the testing cycle is on the path to the release.
Time schedule and constraint
This KPI is employed to calculate the average amount of time required to run a test. This is useful when offering testing timelines during release planning.
How to use KPIs to improve your QA process
There are a few key ways to use to your advantage:
- Set specific, measurable goals for your KPIs: Without specific goals, it will be difficult to gauge whether or not your KPIs are improving your process.
- Use data to drive your KPIs: This means constantly collecting data on your process and using it to inform your decisions on which KPIs to focus on.
- Be sure to track both qualitative and quantitative data: While numbers are important, they don’t tell the whole story. Be sure to also collect data on things like customer satisfaction, error rates, and repeat incidents.
- Monitor your KPIs constantly: Set goals for each cycle or iteration of your product and constantly monitor your KPIs. If you don’t hit your goal, then your need to figure out why and make adjustments.
- Be cautious when selecting KPIs to measure quality assurance: Some of them can encourage bad behavior, like measuring the number of defects removed. Instead, focus on indicators that measure the quality assurance process itself, like cycle time or defect density.
Identifying what to measure
There are a few things to consider when trying to improve your QA process with KPIs.
First, you need to identify which aspects of your process need improvement. Once you know what needs to be improved, you can select KPIs that will help you measure progress in those areas.
For example, if you want to improve the speed of your QA process, you could track the time it takes to complete each stage of testing, If you want to improve the accuracy of your QA process, you could track the number of errors that are found during testing.
By tracking those KPIs, you can see how your QA process is improving over time and make adjustments as necessary to continue improving your process.
When are KPIs particularly useful?
- You have a large testing staff
Having a large testing team also implies that testing tasks will be distributed widely. Monitoring some testing KPIs will be advantageous in ensuring that tasks are dispersed effectively and efficiently.
- You’ve been working on the same testing procedure for quite some time.
When you have properly implemented a test plan and have executed it several times, it is time to measure the KPIs to determine which areas of your testing process require improvement.
- You are considering implementing new testing procedures.
If you are considering retooling your testing process, having some KPIs compared to the original procedure will be beneficial. It will assist you in determining what objectives to pursue with the new testing methods.
Creating a process for measuring
Creating a process for measuring KPIs can help improve your QA process in several ways,
First, it can help identify areas of improvement within the process. Second, it can help track progress and identify trends over time. Third, it can help benchmark your process against others.
Finally, it can help ensure that quality standards are being met. By taking the time to measure KPIs, you can improve your QA process and ensure that products are of the highest quality.
In conclusion, KPIs are an important tool for measuring progress and determining whether or not a QA team is meeting its goals. However, it’s important to remember that KPIs should e used as a guide, not as a strict metric. The team should always be striving to improve, regardless of the numbers.
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