QA Tips for Surviving in a Fast-Paced Environment


Diana F.

QA Engineer

Posted on February 23, 2021


Software projects are in a boom moment; any person working in a tech role has experienced this feeling of having selected the correct path.

Not just because there is a high demand in this kind of job openings but because of the diversity of projects you can get involved in and the emerging wave of tools that you can take advantage of to keep improving and learning.

More than ever, we are involved in a changing world, which is reflected in software projects. Then, we as team members need to be agile and keep shifting/evolving faster. But how to keep up in a fast-paced environment and survive to tell the story?

From a Quality Assurance Analyst and Project Manager perspective, here are some tips that have worked for me so far:

1. Take advantage of the existing frameworks

We all have heard about SCRUM, LEAN, Kanban. Even if you are working specifically on one of these frameworks, always keep using the best of each one: the visibility and transparency that provides a Kanban board, the ability to identify and minimize the waste of time from LEAN, and the flexibility and continuous feedback of SCRUM, you could also use a Fishbone diagram to identify issues causes. The list goes on!

2. Transparency

Transparency is one of the SCRUM pillars that I consider incredibly relevant. It helps us to avoid suffering from micromanagement and misunderstandings. Make visible what you are working on and the status (use tasks, for instance, most of the boards allow you to create tasks under a User History/Card). So, any team member will be aware of the amount of work the team is carrying on and what each team member is doing. It helps to identify redundant and time-consuming activities as well. So, it looks like an opportunity for LEAN principles to identify the causes and improve/avoid wasting time.

3. Communication

In a fast-paced environment, it is easy to miscommunicate. Everything happening simultaneously, and many people trying to collaborate to make a better product could be overwhelming sometimes. Just breathe, get organized, do it quickly; find a way to iterate in the feedback, and make sure the whole team is 100% focused on what is happening with the product, events, deadlines, etc. That will make it easier to react smoothly to the constant changes.

4. Ask Questions and anticipate

Asking questions on a project has always been essential; I mean, someone has to ask the questions, right? Why don’t you?. It will lead to a better understanding for you and the whole team. When you anticipate the right questions, it clarifies the requirements, the insights needed, and the lacks.

Create a culture of clearing up doubts by asking questions. It is always better and time-saving to ask questions at the correct time, preferably at the beginning.

On a final note…

Everything in the tech world will keep changing, whether you are working on a huge product or in a bunch of small products. You are already involved, and this will not stop, so we better keep learning from the books and, more importantly, from experience. Always keep in mind the lessons learned, checklists, or any other helper that comes in handy for you and your team. It is a work in progress for me, and I guess for each one of us. So keep going! 💪🏽

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