QA Off Cycle Duties
Manual Testing Off Cycle Tasks
Usually the QA team is busy testing. However, there are times during the sprint cycle where there is nothing to test.
This isn't a break for QA. Rather it's a shift in QA duties.
Eight Things QA Does in the Off Cycle
A Combination of tasks that QA can do when there's "nothing to do."
Test Case Repository - Always be contributing to the test case repository. It's critical for QA to keep the content fresh and accurate.
Documentation - Update Wiki pages on testing techniques and test plans. Make sure that the Wiki has the most up to date information. Some things to think about: Critical Path Testing, Local Functionality Smoke Testing, Production Account information, Release Schedule, Staffing and so much more.
Review Previous Releases Testing - Self evaluation of how testing could have been done better. Think of ways that bugs and issues could have been caught early in the test cycle.
Performance Testing - How are typical tasks being performed in Production? Are new releases helping the performance of the application or hurting it? Review the findings with the product team on a frequent bases.
Load Testing - Is the website working well when it's being hit 1,000 times? There are a lot of tools and techniques on how to do load testing without impacting customers.
Error Log Monitoring - Are there any errors that are being caught in various log tracking alerts?
Domain Knowledge - what's going on in the industry. Are there any testing trends that QA Bloggers are talking about?
Audit Testing Functionality - What testing techniques can be done more efficiently using a different set of tools. If you haven't changed your testing tools in a year - your running on an old version of the QA Operating System. (A play of words on why Apple updates their OS every year.)