You’ve got a finicky toddler who won’t eat breakfast, a spouse or partner loudly watching Netflix in the living room, and a dog that’s begging for an extra play session. Oh, did we mention your conference call is scheduled to start in five minutes?
So many distractions abound as most of us work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are the above-mentioned family ones, social media, and what’s amounting to an endless stream of news.
You don’t want to stop pulling your weight as part of your company, but you’re admittedly having a hard time staying focused and productive. What can you do to change that? Here are the top 7 productivity tips for remote testing teams.
1. Real-Time Collaboration With Instant Messaging Tools
We’re all cooped up at home right now, which makes it easy to feel like our world is so small. For your mental health as well as your productivity, you need to be in regular communication with your colleagues and your boss/manager.
Instead of sending emails back and forth, you can leverage an instant messaging tool like Slack, Microsoft Teams. Google Hangouts has communications through video or text while Chanty is a team chat that uses AI. You don’t even have to pay for unlimited, secure messaging with Chanty, which is nice for companies trying to save a few bucks.
Sure, your living room or bedroom might be your office right now, but you’ll feel like you’re getting more done when you can collaborate with your colleagues in real-time and work together as a unit with your remote testing team.
2. Video Conferencing & Online Meetings Can Help You Go A Long Way
Do you remember the days when you and another colleague or two would sit in a conference room for the afternoon and get down to business on a project? You can’t do that anymore, well, at least not physically.
Fortunately, there is a whole slew of video conferencing & online meeting web-apps that lets you and your remote testing team engage in video conferences & online meetings. I am referring to tools like Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype. You and your team can host virtual meetings, share your screen, and even record the meeting to go back and review it later.
Having a reason to wear something besides pajamas or sweats is always nice, as is being in closer touch with your coworkers. Plus, dressing for success may change your mindset and get you more in the mood to work.
3. Project Management Keeps Everyone On-Task
Probably one of the biggest obstacles for IT companies is around individual effort tracking. Who is doing what? And how fast are they doing it? The QA managers and project leaders don’t have the flexibility to sit around the team for getting things done and they can’t possibly keep a track on their employees for the majority of the time while working from home.
Thankfully, we’ve got project management tools like monday.com, asana, Trello that helps you keep a track on your entire team through a single dashboard. The tools are designed to help you become agile and deliver products faster. You can plan your sprint fasters, create tasks for your team, declare deadlines, set alerts, and get an idea of the bigger picture that your team is working on.
Project management tools can really help your team adhere to your daily stand-ups.
Also, while testing remotely you are probably going to have a hard time collecting & reporting bugs to your team. Unless you are leveraging tools like Jira and Mantis who are designed to work as a bug-tracker for collecting and prioritizing your reported bugs.
4. Streamlined Customer Support Is The Key To Success
Customer feedback is a pivotal part of every modern-day release cycle. If a new feature is shipped after getting the sign-off from you & your testing, you are going to be intrigued about the satisfaction of the end-user, right? After all, you worked hard to test that feature so it could work well for them.
The first step of communication that takes place in customer feedback starts off with customer support. So you need to ensure that customer support is always available for your end-users. And not just for feedback but also for troubleshooting and queries.
Your company is still doing business, which may mean you’re selling products or services. While your sales numbers may be down, for those customers who are still buying, if they need to be in touch, someone must be available to answer them.
This becomes more troublesome for businesses that are running a 24/7 service or who are catering throughout the globe. If you are involved in one such business then you are going to have to ensure that your customers showing up from different time zones are well attended. However, ensuring seamless customer support while working from home could be much harder. And if the lady luck isn’t smiling upon your team then you could have an outage coming up in the middle of the night. Simply speaking, you can’t afford to be temporarily unavailable!
One tool that can make customer support simpler to manage is EngageBay. This sales and marketing tool includes a free CRM as well.
Use automation to take care of time-consuming marketing tasks, drive customer engagement through sequences and email newsletters, and keep your customers satisfied until you’re back in the office.
An all-in-one sales and marketing solution like EngageBay’s ensures that no area of your company operations is neglected during these challenging times. This will build up and maintain customer goodwill, which is especially important right now.
5. Use A Cloud Selenium Grid To Help You Save Resources and Time
Deliver seamless user experience to your users through our online Selenium Grid of 2,000+ real browsers. We at LambdaTest, are continuously working towards delivering a complete testing ecosystem to all testers around the globe and we know firsthand how challenging it can be for you to validate your websites or web-app from home. Especially, for enterprises which are restricted to cross browser testing using in-house device labs or Selenium infrastructure.
Which is why we are fully operational in these tough times to help you perform automated browser testing with ease. You can leverage our Selenium Grid on-cloud, without worrying about maintaining the testing infrastructure. We also offer integrations to project management tools, CI/CD tools, bug tracking tools, instant-messaging applications, and more to help you collaborate better with your remote testing teams. Do check all of the LambdaTest integrations.
6. Incorporate Test Automation In Your CI/CD Pipeline For Continuous Testing
I can’t emphasize this enough. You may have a CI/CD pipeline responsible for migrating multiple changes of a release from one staging to another. However, is that CI/CD pipeline integrated with an automation testing tool such as Selenium? If not, you are slowing the product delivery and increasing the chances of human error.
Every release is a different story, some are not as exhaustive as others. Some releases might have dozens of features passing to Production. Such releases may consume a considerable amount of time from your testing team to perform regression testing. Not to forget, it is best recommended to push releases over non-business hours. That means you would either be pushing them late at night if you are a local business or over the weekends if you are an international one. Either way, the time frame provided for you to perform end-to-end testing would be limited. Plus, the probability of human error would increase with the size of the test suites.
Integrating your CI/CD pipelines with Selenium can help you trigger a job which would automatically run Selenium test automation, every time a change is pushed through the pipeline. That way, you can come up with more critical test case scenarios by reducing your regression testing efforts. Plus, your remote testing team will be able to deliver test cycles on time.
7. Remote Desktop Access Tools Are Much Needed For Troubleshooting
The final productivity tip I have for remote testing teams is to leverage remote desktop access. Now that we’re forced to work from home, you need to ensure cross-functional support across your company. As a tester, you may have to explain how to reproduce a test scenario to a developer in your team or maybe to some other tester. If a test scenario is too complex, and for some reason, they aren’t able to reproduce it on their system then you may want to rely on remote desktop access tools such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer, etc. Not just with your team, sometimes you may want remote access to your customer’s system for understanding their issue.
Even for troubleshooting your own system’s hardware or software issue, you might want to rely on these tools to get you the right help from your IT department.
There you have it, 7 productivity tips for remote testing teams that can help them get more done while working from home. The apps, tools, and programs we shared in this article will streamline your processes, automate when necessary, and connect you with your staff so you feel a little less alone.
It can be hard to get into the working mindset right now, but with all the great suggestions in this article, you’ll be ready to tackle more items on your to-do list and closeout each workday feeling productive and satisfied. Cheers and happy testing! 🙂
Originally published at LambdaTest
Author Rahul Rana