End of the Year Reflection 2022
How to Evaluate your QA Success
When we approach the final days of every year, there is always enthusiasm in the air. It is understandable since we are in the final stretch before opening a new blank page, and we all wish it will be better than its prior. Hence, after 12 months of software testing, now it’s time to test ourselves, evaluate processes, find weak spots, and improve for next year. The reflection process can significantly impact your QA goal plan for the upcoming year. Below are the guidelines to make this process as simple and effective as possible, as you lay solid foundations for 2023.
Look Back and Evaluate
The first thing we will need to do in our reflection process is to take a deep dive into the past months and start measuring our QA and software testing efforts. QA measurement should be an integral part of your work throughout the year, but now it’s time to look at it in a larger scope and measure progression, team members, tools, etc. Start with understanding where you are currently standing and measure what you have planned to do compared to what you have managed to do. Look for major milestones along the way, showstoppers you detected, and automation tools that assist in releasing and deploying faster.
Moreover, you should find places where you and your team fall short and were unable to complete. Seek for tests you planned and didn’t execute, escaped bugs, and blocked tests. Additionally, since businesses have dynamic needs, try to figure out what has been executed but not originally planned. This will give you a broader perspective of what you have accomplished this year. PractiTest test management platform would help you track and gain better visibility on your software testing efforts using customized dashboards. Once you have collected the relevant information and created a well-structured document, you can move on to the next stage.
After putting in some hard work in gathering critical data according to your software testing measurement, it won’t be worth much unless you effectively analyze it. Try to identify the reasons for gaps between what you wanted to do and what was really done. Also, search for unexpected “surprises’’ that caught you off guard and think about how you adapted and handled them (or didn’t handle them). Look for things that you believe can be improved in the upcoming year, and think of actionable steps you can take to make a significant change. For example, to better manage your testing efforts and ensure testing coverage, you may consider using a test management platform.
However, don’t focus only on the negative aspects. Include focusing on achievements and goals your team accomplished, individually and collectively. For example, at PractiTest, we created a recap of improvements and new features we’ve added in 2022. Those success stories are key points in your progression, and allow you to understand what went well and should be preserved in the future. Success can relate to various factors like development methodology, automation framework, or team members.
The final phase before heading straight to 2023 is to plan and build your action plan. First, design goals you want to achieve in the new year. QA goals should be in alignment with your company’s business priorities and measured regularly using the right metrics to track progression. Your goals need to be ambitious enough to enhance motivation, but at the same time realistic and achievable. Take into consideration all types of resources you’ll need in order to achieve your goals and outline them in your action plan. You may figure you’ll need to adopt more automation which requires research for the right tool and available budget.
However, there are always unpredictable elements that force you to change your original plans and adapt to new situations, fast. You need to keep an open mind and be as attentive as possible to external factors such as software testing trends and market situation. You may be able to react better when changes will occur, or alternatively, implement the latest QA principles and innovations into your working routine. After you have detailed all of the above in your action plan, you are ready to hit the road and welcome 2023!
To sum up, the final days of 2022 are a great time to review what you have done in the past year, draw conclusions, and prepare yourself for next year. Start with measuring from a wider perspective processes and factors that were part of your software testing efforts. Then move on to analyze the data, ask the right questions, and come up with valuable actions to improve where there are gaps between planned vs. executed. Lastly, define your forthcoming goals for next year, and create a detailed plan on how to achieve them. It is highly recommended to keep all of this process documented, it can come in handy in future years. Good luck in 2023!