Three Steps of QA Detox. Step #2

24 November 2017

It is not only about what you say, but how you deliver it. The meaning, methods and tools used to communicate the point are vital, especially in quick turnaround projects. This article covers communication flaws, consequences and prevention.

Step #2. Create a communication plan as carefully as you would a project

To continue the medical theme of our project, here is another diagnosis. As it turned out, communication can be toxic and negatively impact other project activities.

NIX Solutions Step 2 of the QA Detox Guide

Symptoms: Fragmented and ambiguous test cases, perfunctory and incomplete issue descriptions written by the previous QA team. As a result, the project suffered from miscommunication about roles and responsibilities, excessive time was spent discussing issues, numerous errors were found in the tasks delivered by the dev team.  Customer had a vague understanding of the status of the tasks, experienced several delays in deliveries, and had serious doubts about the system operating capabilities.

Diagnosis: Ineffective, inconsistent communication

Treatment: To set communication back on the right track, we introduced structure and schedule by adding regular reporting and status calls to keep the customer up-to-date. In addition, the customer regained confidence in system performance capacities, thanks to regular functional demonstrations.

We customized the approach to test documentation: reduced quantity by introducing guidelines and optimized phrasing used in test scenarios description to set  unified understanding. Naturally agreed to include reproduction steps and expected results in every issue description.

As result this significantly simplified the processing and approval of test suites. Number of reopened tasks slimmed down as well.


  • Aside from planning the development and testing activities, it is very important to have a formal communication schedule.
  • Hold frequent discussions to cover information gaps of any kind. The client will be apprised of the actual project progress, and the provider will have timely answers to questions/issues.
  • Get regular customer feedback in the course of the work to confirm that the project is moving in the right direction.
  • Use standard guidelines for test cases in order to keep the documentation clear and consistent.

For the Record:

Communication, as well as project itself, should have an outlined timeframe, defined tasks, and assigned individuals. After all, it is both time- and cost-effective to prevent potential inconsistencies and conflicting behaviors, rather than trying to fix them later. A well-defined communication plan works wonders- synergetic collaboration brings deeper project involvement, leading to greater results rather than just working as client & contractor.

The final chapter of our QA Detox Guide is coming out next week.