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20 June 2024 Blog Lasernet Autoform DM Formpipe Cloud ERP Solutions Customer Communication Management Document Management Private Sector

Reflecting on the Formation of the QA Team: One Year On

It’s been a year since Jacek Barud took charge of the newly established quality assurance (QA) team. In just one year, our QA team has progressed from a new team finding its feet to a fundamental pillar of Formpipe. We sat down with Jacek to discuss his role as Head of Quality Assurance and reflect on the work his team have been focusing on over the last year.

Without the skilled members of our QA team, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the high-quality products our customers depend on. That’s why, one year ago, instead of each of Formpipe’s core software products having their own testers, we created a unified QA team.

Jacek Barud has been in the Formpipe family for ten years. He initially joined the support team, where he learned a lot about Formpipe’s products. After three years, he joined the DM development team as a tester. It was in this role that Jacek gradually became the testing leader—in all but name. In 2023, that changed. The QA team came into being, with Jacek accepting the role of Head of Quality Assurance.

The decision to create a QA team came about because Formpipe has a wide variety of products, the main ones being Lasernet and Autoform DM. These products had separate testers following different processes and standards. “By merging the testers into one team, we can improve processes, learn from each other, apply best practices and share knowledge,” Jacek said.

Exploring the Role of the QA Team

The QA team started with five testers. Focusing on using automation tools where appropriate to improve the testing process, the team quickly became in sync with the developers. Today, the QA team works closely with the development team, with several testers working on each Formpipe product to eliminate bugs and make sure everything is working as it should be. “The QA team has a very close relationship with the development team. We contribute to the daily stand-ups and important meetings to learn about the changes developers are making to the products,” Jacek said. This gives him the information and context he needs to allocate testing tasks and provide feedback to the developers.

“We also contribute to code reviews, giving developers early feedback during the pull request stage, which means the new functionality is merged only when is approved by QA. This allows developers to reduce the time it takes to make changes to software and quickly apply fixes to improve quality,” Jacek said. “With the development team, we agree on what needs to be fixed in a given release, and once the green light is given, the software is released to our customers.”

Reflecting on Jacek’s First Year as Head of Quality Assurance

After spending time in Formpipe’s support and development teams, Jacek possessed all the skills required to manage a high-performing QA team. Talking about his first year as Head of Quality Assurance, Jacek said, “It’s been both interesting and challenging. I would say I’m more of a technical person, but I also have the people skills to get a sense of people’s personalities. It’s about connection and having a manager with a strong technical skill set is better so the team can understand things from the source. I’d say everything starts there, and then it’s about applying people in the right place, with the right processes.”

Anyone who has experience managing a new team knows that it isn’t without its challenges. Speaking about the process of bringing the newly created QA team together, Jacek said, “When we started working on the Lasernet project, we had people from different projects who are used to working to different standards and from different countries come together. We were also faced with a language barrier, so people needed time to understand each other and learn how to better communicate. That’s why we organised daily stand-ups to not only discuss projects but also engage in team-building.”

Jacek also values continuous skill development within the QA team. “We’ve invested a lot of time developing people, teaching them new skills so they can perform better and faster during the testing process,” he said. But his focus doesn’t stop at personal development. For a team as important as QA, effective communication was also business-critical. “The team needs to feel comfortable and cooperate really easily, so it’s important that we put a lot of focus on the personal aspects like team-building sessions,” he said.

It’s evident that Jacek takes great pride in the QA team’s accomplishments this year. He said, “I’m proud of my team. Comparing the skill set of the testers one year ago to now, they’ve gained a lot of confidence.”

What Does the Future Hold for the QA Team?

Just a couple of months after the QA team was established, Jacek sat down with Formpipe’s Head of Marketing, Joe Ferro, for the very first episode of Formpipe in Focus. When asked about what the future holds for the newly formed QA team, Jacek said, “At the moment, we’re doing a lot of manual testing as well as automated tests, and with a team of just five testers, we cannot currently expand to other areas like security  testing, load testing and stress testing. As a result, we’re focusing more on automation.” It’s clear that just a couple of months after its creation, he had ambitious plans for the QA team.

Fast-forward 10 months, and Jacek’s plans for the future of the QA team have moved on, but for good reason. The team has met the goals he discussed during the Formpipe in Focus episode, including increasing the size of the team and focusing more on automation. Automating elements of the testing processes has saved the QA team significant time, allowing them to expand their priorities. “Our main target is reducing manual work. In one case, what used to take two weeks can now be done in just 30 minutes,” Jacek said.

He remains focused on expanding the team’s skills. “We have implemented  monthly QA sprint reviews to make sure we’re constantly adapting and improving the skills of our testers. We have a solid group of people to conduct the testing required for products to be released, but it’d be great to expand the team to increase the different types of testing we do,” Jacek said.

 

The QA team ensures that our leading document composition, distribution and digital storage platforms meet the highest possible standards to empower the world’s leading banks, retail, manufacturing and life science businesses. Discover how our ERP and banking software solutions, including Lasernet, Autoform DM and Formpipe Cloud, are built to support your business.

Jacek Barud
Head of Quality Assurance