Involve Quality Assurance Early
Often times, Quality Assurance is viewed as an afterthought that is simply a bureaucratic requirement to be completed in a project when development is complete.
It turns out that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy if QA is thought to not add much value. Quality cannot be an afterthought taped on at the end of the project. Instead, it must be ingrained within the DNA of the project in its beginning phases.
Involving the Quality Assurance team early in a project is essential to delivering a quality product in an efficient manner for several reasons:
More efficient use of time.
While initial development is complete, testing cannot start happening right away as QA analysts must study the requirements, create test plans/scripts/test cases and then, and only then, are they able to test. Rather than testing following the completion of the development phase, the foundations for testing can and should be laid down in parallel with development. This will result in a significant reduction of slack time for a project.
Better understanding of how/what to test.
It is best to involve testers early, because the initial discussions will help the QA team better understand what needs to be tested, how that testing should be conducted, what systems may be impacted and what exactly is testable.
Optimized resource allocation.
When the QA team understands earlier what testing will encompass, they will be better able to allocate and plan which personnel/tools will be needed towards the project.
More proactive thinking.
QA analysts thinking towards their testing often have some insight that developers do not have and therefore can give preemptive guidance to developers. This occurs often as QA teams may have worked on similar projects and are aware of the pitfalls that may come with it.
Catching issues early.
If the QA and development phase run concurrently, defects in code are caught early. Rather than defective code being deeply embedded in a complete code, time and effort will be saved by beginning to fix defects earlier in the development phase.
Involving QA early in the requirements will optimize project performance and is beneficial to all invested parties.