Home Tech How Do You Balance Time, Cost, And Quality In QA Planning?

How Do You Balance Time, Cost, And Quality In QA Planning?

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It is prudent that the QA team, in collaboration with planning managers and other stakeholders involved, take steps to define a sure way to plan on clear objectives. These objectives must be adjusted with the primary goals by aligning them with the expectations of end users or clients.  Now, quality objectives can circle functionality, performance, security, usability, and reliability.

To make them effective, they have to be explicit and quantifiable. For example, instead of addressing a goal like good secure performance, you should target a specific aim, like reducing application response time to 2 seconds on a concurrent user load of 1000. Such a plan to address clarity helps everyone involved to understand the actual quality standards that have to be achieved by defining an actual set of objectives.

Documentation is an integral part of the clear objectives process. The quality objectives must be documented in a formal QA plan or as part of the project and accessible to all stakeholders. This documentation serves as a reference point during the lifecycle of the project. It should be crucial to avoid misunderstandings and assess the project to lead towards meeting the ultimate goal.

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Clear communication is also required, where the QA team must look to have feedback from all the stakeholders to share input on quality expectations and balance them.  This diverse approach gives scope to different perspectives and helps to know the priorities or concerns of all parties related to it.

During the progress of the project, it is vital to have regular reviews and updates on objectives. Changes in project scope, evolving user requirements, or unforeseen challenges can necessitate making certain adjustments in quality standards. In such cases, it is integral to have prompt updates in documentation with regular feeds, where it is also essential to inform stakeholders about modifications to the original one.

Quality assurance planning is an integral part of any software development and project. It is that crucial part where you decide what you will test, and how you will test there are multiple test cases, such as Browser testing, unit testing, Visual regression testing, and others,  and how it would lead to an outcome that can ensure it is done through high quality.

To have perfect QA planning, there are three things you need to figure out. How long it may take, how much it will cost, and how well it can be done. This article has a few tips to ensure your quality assurance planning becomes efficient. So, keep reading to learn more…

Assess Risks

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During QA planning, the teams conducting it must go through comprehensive ways to assess potential risks. Now, this may include various aspects that may influence the project’s success. Technical issues are one such risk-specific category. It may involve software bugs, hardware failure, or limitations in the chosen technology stack. Identifying these technical risks helps in proactively accomplishing quality assurance measures and testing.

Another critical aspect teams must assess is the potential possibility of change in scope. Projects may encounter evolving requirements or shifting priorities that can affect the core scope and impact time and cost. Identifying potential scope changes early helps teams plan strategies and manage documenting changes to reduce the adverse effects of quality, time, and cost.

External factors may also cause risks in a project. These factors may include regulatory requirements, economic conditions, market trends, or geopolitical events. Such factors may have far-reaching effects, such as project timeline, budget to allocate, and quality of deliverables. Understanding and tracking such factors is essential, which can help to make informed decisions and mitigate disruptions happening to the project.

Risk assessment has to be a collaborative effort that must involve all stakeholders, including project managers, QA teams, and subject matter experts. It is crucial to document essential risks, assess their potential impact, and assign responsibility for contingency plans so they won’t harm the progress. Prioritizing the severity of risks and the likelihood of their occurrence can minimize the impact and focus on efforts to solve the most critical issues.

Prioritise Requirements

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In the QA Planning phase, teams must identify requirements and features to assign priorities. This involves careful evaluation of each and every element’s significance in the project. Some features may prove critical for the project’s success, while others may be secondary or less crucial. The prioritization process helps identify and distinguish between these categories.

To prioritize effectively, the project stakeholders, including project owners, development teams, and QA teams, have to collaborate. Then, a priority matrix is often used to rank features based on criteria like business value, customer impact, regulatory compliance, or technical dependencies. It helps set a goal based on a hierarchy that can be productive for using resources, time, and effort involved in a project.

Critical aspects or features more vital to the project require more time and resources. Thorough testing of these high-priority features ensures they meet quality standards and actual functions as presumed. However, the low-priority features get limited extensive testing and also allocated only fewer resources.

Please don’t make the mistake of considering prioritization static because it should be revisited as the project evolves. Changes need to be made according to customer needs, market conditions, and technical challenges. Remember, by having a flexible plan to prioritize, teams can shift priorities and allocate resources where they may be required the most.

Create A Realistic Schedule

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Many testers try to cover the testing process as quickly as possible to make the application market-ready. But they often forget that proper time allocation is important not only from a quality point of view but also to avoid the mess of not meeting the created deadlines for tasks. Now, this is where a realistic schedule helps create balance.

A realistic schedule gives enough time for testing and other quality assurance phases. It helps to fix time problems to achieve desired quality standards. It may include unit testing, integration testing, system testing, user acceptance testing, and regression testing. Adequate time is also required for defect identification, reporting, and resolution.

Without an achievable and efficient schedule, your project will face severe issues that may lead to higher cost and delay in progress. A well-structured schedule details how processes occur on a step-by-step basis so testing and quality assurance can happen in a timely manner.

It is essential to monitor the working of the created schedule in the whole testing and development cycle so that if any problems occur, they can be resolved timely. Adjustments may also have to be taken if any scope changes kind of thing comes, for which communication between all parties is a must.

Lessons Learned

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A lesson-learned retrospective is a systematic and structured examination of the overall performance done by all members during the project. It occurs once the project is completed or in its final phases, so a complete assessment cycle can work to find its actual result. The main objective is to identify experiences with insights that can enhance QA planning and execution for the future and can be productive if they get any further similar projects.

During the retrospective, the project teams, main stakeholders, and other members collaborate to discuss the principal elements and try to figure out how far they are on target. They reflect on main aspects such as critical achievements, things that worked well, actual planning, and steps that contributed to the quality and success of the project.


Striking a perfect balance between time, cost, and quality in QA planning is a complex task. It requires an intelligent understanding of projects’ requirements, the priorities of the stakeholders, and the resources available to make it possible. While it may be tough to find a perfect equilibrium, the central fact is to stay flexible, adapt to changing circumstances, and make an open line of communication between all the team members involved in the task.

By actively managing these three critical elements, the QA team can ensure the delivery of projects on time and within budget, ensuring customer satisfaction in this competitive landscape of software development.