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Shift Left or Shift Right? Which Q/A Strategy should you adopt?

by Prashanti Ramesh on September 16, 2022 in Blogs

 

Are you looking for cost-effective solutions to reduce your software development cycle, increase the quality of your software, and reduce the number of bugs in your code? If yes, then you should consider adopting the ‘shift left’ or ‘shift right’ Q/A strategy. Both these strategies are used to optimize software testing processes by shifting different types of testing from one phase to another. In this blog, we will explain what shift left and shift right Q/A strategies are and how they can benefit your organization. Keep reading to know more.

What is the Shift Left QA Strategy?

Shift left QA strategy refers to a process where quality assurance activities are shifted from post-development to pre-development activities. This is a strategic decision to identify and resolve defects at the earliest stage of a software project. Shift left QA strategy is also referred to as ‘Test First Development’. It is a practice where test cases are written first before writing the code. This ensures that the system behaves as per the business requirements.

Shift left QA strategy is followed in organizations where large-scale defect repair is expensive. In such scenarios, shifting QA activities to the beginning of a project helps to reduce the overall project costs. The decision to shift left QA strategy depends on the maturity of your organization. It requires having skilled testers who can write automated tests.

What is the Shift Right QA Strategy?

Shift right QA strategy refers to a process where quality assurance activities are shifted from pre-development to post-development activities. QA activities are shifted right to the end of a project to ensure that the software meets the user requirements. In this strategy, all the features of the software are verified only when the functionality is 80% complete.

When all the specified functionality is implemented, the development team hands over the software to the QA team to test it against business requirements and user stories. If there are any defects, the team modifies it and reviews again. Shift right QA strategy is suitable in organizations where the majority of the defects are because of requirements change.

Let’s understand how these strategies are useful for your organization by exploring the following benefits.

 

Shifting left: Automated Testing

Automated testing is a shift left QA strategy where the tests are written in a programming language. These tests are executed using a software tool to verify if the software behaves as per the business requirements. This helps your organization to maintain the quality of the software even in the absence of a QA tester. Automated testing is suitable for areas that are prone to frequent change.

 

Shifting right: Manual Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a shift right QA strategy where the QA team reviews the software functionality to verify if the software meets the prescribed requirements. This strategy is helpful in finding defects that are not visible in automated tests. The manual QA team verifies the software functionality against user stories and scenarios. This helps in validating

if the user stories and scenarios are implemented. Manual QA is particularly helpful for finding defects in user interface, business rules, and user experience.

 

In short, both the strategies are helpful in reducing the project costs, improving the quality of software, and reducing the number of defects in code. Now it totally depends on your requirements what type of strategy you should adopt. So once you analyze the course of your work you should be able to identity which strategy is best for you.