How to Identify What Best Practice for Testing Looks Like

07 Dec 2022

When it comes to testing best practices, there can be divided opinions on what constitutes a ‘good’ framework. That said, there are some common themes that all reliable Quality Assurance (QA) and delivery teams should be applying to ensure your organisation’s program of change is successful.

At Assured Thought, our testing and quality assurance is adaptable to your program of change. However, we never compromise on areas we know are essential for a smooth and seamless transition for your business. 

Companies often bring in our QA and delivery teams to resolve testing issues caused by ineffective teams before us — something we now want to help you avoid! What these cases usually have in common is their lack of consideration for the following 6 foundational principles during testing.

To find out exactly what these principles are and to identify when your testing team isn’t working effectively, we have all the answers right here in this blog.


Defect Prevention


Especially in fast-paced industries such as the financial sector, the use of new and more innovative technology is constantly being demanded by stakeholders. This is why getting ahead of potential risk factors associated with implementing new software or working methods is essential.

One of the most critical steps in best practice testing and quality assurance is defect prevention. The purpose of defect prevention is to address system defects as early as possible and address any issues before your changes go live. 

From the very beginning, your change model needs to include preparing for every eventuality. This is why when it comes to defect prevention, good practice often looks like:

  • BDD testing (designed to test an application’s behaviour)
  • TDD testing (designed to test areas of functionality in isolation)
  • Strategic and professional vendor collaboration
  • Development input from QA engineers




Automation is another key component of good testing practices. With society moving at the rate it is, automation offers a level of accuracy and efficiency you won’t get from manual methods. 

With a reduction in human error and the ability to instantly optimise systems, a testing team not offering automation wherever possible are less likely to be in control of their outcomes. 

Particularly across the financial services sector and industries where new products and services are constantly being released, automation also helps you stay ahead by allowing you to adapt and build on previous testing systems. This minimises the time spent on each testing stage and frees up valuable resources for your team.

For example, there can be anywhere from 5 to upwards of 12 phases of a System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). However, many of these phases can be condensed with the help of automation. 

For best results, your testing team should be:

  • Automating whenever possible
  • Leveraging virtual and cloud technologies
  • Incorporating environmental builds (running test cases specific to your needs and desired outcomes for the end user)
  • Utilising automated deployment (moving code fully or semi-automatically across several stages of the development process)




The quality of your testing framework can sometimes be embedded in culture and mindset. Without a sense of collaborative energy and clear, transparent communication, no program of change is likely to succeed. 

As well as this, the ability to evaluate what works and what doesn’t isn’t a skill that develops overnight. This is why a sign of a great QA and testing team is one that has learnt by experience, mastering their craft through trial, error, and continuous training. 

This often means that an effective QA and delivery team will be:

  • Quality evangelists (if there’s one thing your business should never tire of hearing about, it’s quality. Luckily, a good QA team will have a LOT to say on this topic!)
  • Will have developed their core skills through first-hand experience
  • Be committed to ongoing training

It’s also good for your testing team to have a process that’s guided by lean principles. In short, lean principles act as a management framework to encourage better efficiency and productivity. 

The five lean principles are:

  1. Value definition
  2. Mapping the value stream
  3. Creating a flow
  4. Establishing ‘pull’ (based on recognising current demand)
  5. Pursuing perfection


Testing as a service


Testing as a service can be difficult to evaluate if you’re not well-versed in the process yourself. However, there are some key signs to look out for when it comes to best practices. 

In general, a testing service should:

  • Test only when it’s needed and adds value*
  • Have a robust and scheduled delivery process
  • Be happy to provide clear updates on their progress
  • Outline outcomes in an accessible but still informative way

*This might still seem like a lot but a “good” and reliable testing service won’t test unnecessarily. This is why researching the reliability of your team beforehand is essential! 

Additionally, your testing team must recognise that non-functional testing is just as important as functional testing. Non-functional testing (the type of testing carried out in areas such as performance, usability, reliability, and more) is just as important as functional testing (testing software specifications).  

Especially in financial services, even the best digital solutions can fail if their user-friendliness and performance isn’t evaluated on a wider scale. This is why a reputable testing service will be able to:

  • Report on the outcomes of off-site/cloud testing 
  • Report on performance and security issues
  • Report on usability across all relevant devices
  • Report on how your systems present to the end user 


Run the bank


One of the most important parts of a good testing framework is to ensure that systems work in practice long-term. Testing new technology and ways of working will need to cover all eventualities… and a good delivery team will know this!

For a testing framework to be effective, it will need to:

  • Ensure business processes are validated end-to-end
  • Include batch, manual hand-offs, and interfaces
  • Allow for a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, with minimal disruption to everyday activities

It’s also good practice for testing and delivery teams to utilise User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This is when the target end users of new systems or technology become part of the testing process. 

This not only helps ensure that new implementations are functional, it also helps testers identify untapped opportunities. What better way to identify improvements than to observe how end users interact with your new software or processes?


Governance and monitoring


Best testing practices are not just about getting your new processes up and running. They’re also about continuously monitoring and updating systems to fit a changing landscape. 

For example, if you work in financial services, you’ll know that the goal posts for digital solutions are moving by the day. This is why your testing and delivery teams must be able to adapt and update your systems fast, as needed.

For best practice:

  • Ensure your QA testing and delivery team is focused on continuous improvement
  • Establish a permanent system for defect management
  • Utilise QA dashboards and monitoring systems
  • Ensure your team have direct knowledge of your industry

In terms of a good order to follow when monitoring programs of change, the following sequence tends to work best:

  1. Live monitoring
  2. Testing
  3. Alerting
  4. Fixing


How Assured Thought can help:


At Assured Thought, our QA testing and delivery teams provide peace of mind to companies across several competitive industries, all wanting to manage the risks associated with implementing new software or digital processes. 

With a focus on the continuous improvement and monitoring of implemented software, we also take care of any necessary changes and updates. 

As well as being well-versed in all of the principles outlined in this blog, our QA testing team have developed their own proven 5-step quality assurance model — further enhancing the practices we already know work.

To understand more about how we can tailor our services to meet the needs of your business, you can book in for free consultation with a member of our expert team. 

Your program of change doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to be handled by the right people.

Providing exceptional quality assurance and testing products and services to financial services businesses in order to manage risk, maximise opportunity, and deliver certainty.

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