Having a dedicated QA team is about as essential as having an editor for a newspaper or book publisher. QA will find things that developers will miss.
In these "trouble times" some companies may look to cut QA resources to save some money.
Joe Biden Parody
Four Reasons to Keep QA
- Second Set of Eyes on the changes - A QA Engineer can spot check the changes before it goes live, from checking to make sure that there's no risk to database locks to double-checking the critical path is working fine. QA can mitigate the impact of product changes.
- Domain Experience - A good QA team knows the product and can test changes based on how different customers may use the product. There might be different ways customers can interact with the feature and the best team to test it would be QA. In addition, during the off-time, QA should be doing research on industry changes and can use that knowledge to help better test product changes.
- Documentation Overview - Hard to believe but in QA, It's not always about bugs. QA can review help and tips to see if the terminology makes sense. Documentation may make sense in the design phase, but when going through a flow, QA can catch some ways it breaks the flow.
- Different Environment testing - QA can test the feature against different environments - such as different browsers or platforms. In addition, QA may want to test features against different locations to see if language or currency changes may break design or functionality.
A good manual QA team is just part of the winning team to delivering an awesome product.
I remember hearing at the Boston's Software Test Professionals Conference - "QA Testing is the little known Secret Ingredient to Start Ups."