Implementing a QA Department in Lean Development: A Comprehensive Guide

Implementing a QA Department in Lean Development: A Comprehensive Guide

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

In many companies, the concept of a Quality Assurance (QA) department can be challenging to introduce, especially in environments that prioritize lean development methodologies. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to effectively advocate for a formal QA department, highlighting its benefits and addressing common misconceptions.

Understanding the Need for QA

1. Cost Efficiency

Bugs are always easier and cheaper to fix when identified early in the development cycle. A defect found during the design phase can be corrected more efficiently than one discovered in production. Investing in QA can save significant resources by reducing the time and effort required to fix issues post-release.

2. Productivity Enhancement

While QA productivity is difficult to measure, the return on investment can be substantial. QA professionals can identify up to 80% of bugs, significantly reducing the cost and impact of software failures. This allows developers to focus on creating new features rather than fixing existing issues, thereby enhancing overall productivity.

3. Risk Mitigation

QA is crucial for mitigating risks associated with software failures. In industries where software reliability is critical, such as healthcare or finance, the absence of a dedicated QA team can lead to severe consequences. Implementing QA ensures that software meets the required standards and reduces the risk of costly failures.

Making the Case for QA

1. Using Data and Metrics

Track the number of defects per release and the frequency of hotfixes required post-deployment. Presenting factual data on how QA can lead to faster development cycles and higher quality can make a compelling case for its implementation.

2. Industry Comparisons

Highlight how leading tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon invest heavily in QA. These companies recognize the value of QA in maintaining high-quality software and customer satisfaction. Drawing parallels with these industry giants can help persuade management.

3. Real-World Analogies

Use relatable analogies to explain the importance of QA. For instance, compare software QA to quality control in manufacturing. Just as manufacturing QA ensures product reliability and compliance with regulations, software QA ensures the software meets user expectations and functions correctly.

Strategies for Implementation

1. Rotational QA Roles

If a dedicated QA team is not feasible initially, consider rotating developers into QA roles for a few months. This approach can help build a culture of quality and demonstrate the benefits of having a focused QA effort.

2. Combining Roles

Integrate QA responsibilities with other roles, such as Business Analysts (BAs). BAs can provide a user-centric perspective, ensuring that the software meets user requirements and expectations. This can be a transitional step towards establishing a dedicated QA team.

3. Preventative Measures

Focus on preventative measures rather than curative actions. Emphasize how early detection and resolution of issues can save time and resources in the long run. Collaborate with BAs to highlight the cost and effort involved in reworking requirements post-production.


Implementing a QA department in a lean development environment can be challenging but is ultimately beneficial. By presenting data, using real-world analogies, and adopting strategic approaches, you can effectively advocate for QA and enhance software quality within your organization.

For those seeking a fast and efficient way to implement QA, consider using automated testing tools like Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that leverages computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests. It is particularly advantageous for teams looking to quickly set up and run tests without extensive coding knowledge. Learn more about how Repeato can streamline your QA process here.

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