When we first started out, we listed the thorough quality assurance review as an optional piece of our estimates. We had this incredibly naive idea that if we gave people the option to save a little money up front that they'd fully understand if there was anything that needed to be tuned up, post-launch. We learned our lesson...hard.
Quality Assurance is not an easy thing to do because no matter how much checking you do, if you miss ANYTHING, you failed. As a developer, doing Q.A. is extremely difficult because you know exactly how everything is supposed to work and not how somebody who's never seen the system will use it.
There are a lot of IT managers that think "just having the developer do Q.A." is a good idea without having that understanding. To many it's simply assignment of tasks to resources but in reality, different people will approach systems in completely separate ways.
Other approaches include simply adding a "report a problem" link with the idea that if somebody has an issue, they can tell you exactly what's wrong with the system. Unfortunately, you'll end up with reports full of detailed explanations like "it's broken" which doesn't really help anybody.
For this reason, we decided to look for an outside resource to provide our sites with a quality assurance review, eventually settling on Unmatched Quality right here in Greenville. After our first project with them we were floored by the experience. Those guys provided us with an extremely detailed and categorized report of issues on the site, including things that we would have never even thought to try. The report consisted of priority rankings for each issue, exactly where they happened, exactly how to reproduce them, and even suggestions for how to fix a few. A report with that much detail allowed us to repair all of the issues that we didn't know about in about 2 hours. Ever since, we include a mandatory Q.A. review from Unmatched Quality on every project that we take on.
If you've been affected by lack of Q.A. or you know somebody who has, call Unmatched Quality today. I personally can't say enough good things about those guys.
As a side note, it's important to remember that having a Q.A. process does not bypass the need for quality developer testing. We've found unit testing to be an exceptional tool in our internal development process, but that's another post.
My name is Barry Jones and Brightball, Inc was my contract development company from 2008-2012. Although I no longer do contract work this site has become my personal blog.
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