Quality Assurance (QA) is an essential part of the product development process that helps ensure that products are of high quality, reliable, and meet the needs of end-users. Throughout the years, the QA process has sometimes been viewed as a hindrance to the development process rather than as helpful and essential. However, QA is about more than finding and reporting bugs. It is also about creating relationships with the rest of the team and fostering an environment where positive feedback loops can prosper, resulting in better practices, behaviors, and premium products. In this post, we will explore the power of positive feedback in QA and why it is crucial for improving product quality.
What is Positive Feedback?
Positive feedback highlights positive outcomes, practices, and behaviors. It is designed to encourage individuals to continue doing what they are doing well, improving their chances of achieving success. Positive feedback focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses and helps to build confidence and self-esteem.
What are the Outcomes of Positive Feedback in QA?
Think of when you received even the simplest kudos from a team member. Felt pretty great, right? You may wonder, “Sure, but how does this translate into better products?” There are four key outcomes that we expect when positive feedback is utilized:
1. Encourages Best Practices.
Positive feedback helps to reinforce good practices and behaviors. When QA provides positive feedback to developers, the developers are more likely to repeat the actions that led to the positive feedback. This results in adopting best practices across the team, improving the quality of the product being tested.
2. Boosts Morale.
Product development can be challenging, and developers can feel discouraged when encountering bugs or errors. Positive feedback can boost morale and encourage developers to continue their best work. When developers feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to feel engaged and produce high-quality work.
3. Builds Trust.
Positive feedback helps to build trust between the QA engineers and developers. In the olden days, QA and developers were often viewed as enemies, with a QA engineer’s role being the bearer of bad news. This relationship was often one of animosity and infighting about who was right in a ticket. When someone is positioned to find problems with your work continuously, it’s hard to feel trust. However, when QA provides positive feedback, developers are more likely to trust their judgment and rely on their expertise. This can lead to a more collaborative working environment and better communication between the QA team and developers.
4. Enhances Teamwork.
Positive feedback can also help to enhance teamwork. When QA provides positive feedback to developers, it encourages them to work together to achieve common goals. This can lead to a more collaborative and efficient working environment where the team communicates well and meets key milestones on time. We’re all in this together!
Positive feedback can produce the same outcomes when used toward QA Engineers as well. We love and appreciate positive feedback. We enjoy learning new skills from developers, designers, and project managers and understanding ways to improve our bug-searching abilities
What about When Constructive Feedback is Necessary?
So far in this post, we’ve talked about positive feedback, but it’s impossible to work on a team and not encounter a time when it is necessary to provide constructive feedback, which is sometimes seen as negative. However, even when delivering constructive feedback about a work product, neither the process, nor the outcome, needs to be negative. By focusing on specific behaviors, providing examples, and leading with empathy, it’s possible to provide constructive feedback without creating a negative experience. The most important thing to remember is that we’re all on the same team working together to achieve the outcome of the best product possible.
Positive feedback is a powerful tool for improving product quality. As previously mentioned, it encourages best practices, boosts morale, builds trust, and enhances teamwork. As QA professionals, it is our job to provide feedback that encourages positive outcomes, practices, and behaviors. By doing so, we can help the team do their best work, improving the quality of the product and, ultimately, the user experience.
Are you curious about how Presence approaches QA or incorporating positive feedback into your QA process? If so, let’s talk! Click here to connect with Sariah Sizemore, Head of Product Quality, to learn more about how positive feedback can transform QA and improve your product!