Tester is not a Quality Police


The perception from most of the management is that the Testers are the quality police for the products / projects that they develop. This is true for most of the companies where there is no Quality Assurance group.

What do i mean by a Quality Police ?

  1. Is the requirements freeze done for the product
  2. Did we write all the specs like SRS, Design Docs, Uses Cases
  3. Are the developers writing Unit Tests ?
  4. Are the developers testing the builds before pass on the same to Test
  5. This list goes on…

There are testers who are trying to do the above and i call them as Quality Police .

Where does this attitude come from ?

The attitude of acting like a Quality Police for testers is injected by the management from the beginning of their careers. So they expects the same as they go along with their career and this attitude spoils the relationships between developers and testers.

Acting like Quality Police and trying to get things done is more of process which need to be followed by all the teams and let’s not take that up. Let the management take care of the process management too.

What is Quality ?

Wikipedia describes quality assurance as follows

Quality Assurance is the activity of providing evidence needed to establish confidence among all concerned, that the quality-related activities are being performed effectively. All those planned or systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality. Quality Assurance is a part and consistent pair of quality management proving fact-based external confidence to customers and other stakeholders that product meets needs, expectations, and other requirements. QA (quality assurance) assures the existence and effectiveness of procedures that attempt to make sure – in advance – that the expected levels of quality will be reached.

Read more on Quality Assurance from wikipedia

It’s worth noting here that Good Quality doesn’t come from less bugs in the product. I have seen people whose assumption is that if a product contains bugs it’s of less quality and in case if it doesn’t it’s of more quality. I would say that we can’t measure the quality of the products just with Bugs. I have never seen any product which doesn’t have bugs in it.

Are the Testers responsible for the Product Quality ?

The Testers test the product and report bugs. Some of these bugs will get fixed for the release in case if they are import. You can’t build quality into systems just by reporting bugs and helping developers to fix them.

Assuring the quality into Products under development is the responsibility of all the teams associated with Product Development

So What should be the Role of Tester then

The role of the Tester to test software, find bugs, report them so that they can be fixed. The Bug Reports should be clear, easy to reproduce, reduce the time to debug the same for developers and the report should motivate the developers to fix the issue asap.

Tester should focuses on the software product itself and gathers important information regarding what it does and doesn’t do. The process of gathering should include all the teams associated with the product. Talks to management, sales, architects, development, support and gather their expectations over the release.

Don’t you think that this is a big job all by itself and need lot of time. As i keep saying the Role of the Tester is to provide qualitative information on the product to the management for the better decisions. So the big challenge here is to provide accurate, comprehensive, and timely information about the product under development.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bug Tracking, Project Management, Quality Assurance, Software Development, Software Testing, Test Management, Thinking like a Tester

5 Comments on “Tester is not a Quality Police”


  1. […] een post die sinds die tijd in mijn bookmarks staat om er hier nog even op door te gaan. Tester is not a Quality Police, zo luidt de titel van zijn betoog. De discussie over de raakvlakken van testen en […]

  2. jayesh Says:

    HI , very nice details about the testor role, still I want to know what is diff between QA, QC,
    what is the respobsibility of QA, QC
    thx in advance


  3. Jayesh,

    Software Testing neither controls nor assures quality into the systems, but it helps stake holders by provides context driven information to them to decide on informed decisions over the application under test.

  4. Elouise Says:

    Really enjoy the website. It’s wonderfully produced and nicely created. Appreciate you writing.


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