QA Off Cycle Duties
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.)