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Testing using the entire company - ideas and tips
We are a startup company (around 40 people) and as part of our QA process all of the company is participating. Of course we test it before releasing to the rest of the company so it will be as flawless as possible.
The idea behind it is for the rest of the company to be more familiar with the product, be updated with latest features and be connected to what we are doing.
From the QA perspective it let as test the system by more people, so we can find bugs that we didn't find before.
How the process is working today is by creating couples for testing and giving each couple a set of features to test on a specific browser.
Lately we are scaling up and adding more members to our sales team, which may be able to help QA the system in their spare time.
I'd love to get tips and ideas on how to make this process as effective as possible also by not giving the rest of the company the feeling that this is a heavy task which they won't like to do. I want them to feel they are contributing. Important thing is that we (the QA team) won't only working to separate the chaff and really have quality bugs as possible.
To give you my experience with the practice of dog fooding. Overall, IMO it seems to help with user experience, but doesn't work so well form the quality/bugs standpoint.
1. It's very helpful to have the company dog food the product. But not from a quality standpoint, but from the standpoint of it will help with the design of the product and help other departments like sales and help desk be more knowledgeable about the product.
2. It seems like no one will seem to have enough time. Everyone has more than enough to do in any corporate or SMB environment. Usually people don't get hired until the company desperately need their help, so in reality, everyone is already doing 110% at any given day. It's extremely difficult to get them to run formal test cases.
3. As a QA Lead or Manager. You are ultimately responsible for the quality, while other department are not. If there's a tight deadline, you cannot count on other department to run test cases. After all, they are 110% over taxed. They will not get into trouble if they don't run test cases and a bug ships, while you do.
4. Other departments are too far away from the formal specifications. They will approach it as, ehh...looks good. It's more trouble some for them to investigate small issues
5. I've seen QA departments where BI (business intelligence) or Help desk works as help. BI seems to be able to help in some way because they evaluate competitors products and work with potential customers and see their pain points. They can ferret out qualitative issues that impact the customer's pain points. For Help Desk, a good way to present quality is to promote the idea of lateral promotion. If you put a good program in place where a Help Desk staff can put X hours into QA, and take say 2 hours of training each week, they can work towards transitioning into becoming a full time QA at a higher pay scale.
6. IME it doesn't work too well with Sales. They generally are commission based with department goals, they probably will spend the least amount of time finding quality issues.
Thanks for your reply David.
I think you addressed more the issues why not to do it, which are very important.
But let say i want to do it anyway, we are very united company and the connection of all our employees to what we doing is very important for us.
Can you think of method or ways i can do it as best as possible?
If there is any place i can read about cases like that, it would be helpful!