QA Metrics: Beyond Discovering Defects

By: Nilesh Jain


Published on: November 16, 2023

The technology industry is changing with each passing day. Organizations around the world struggle to adapt to changes in market trends. They use different strategies to improve the quality of their product and services. They try to automate repetitive tasks so that they can deliver in faster release cycles. However, they do not actively track the progress when it comes to quality improvements, which impacts their growth proposition and business goals. This is where QA metrics play a crucial role. It is important to understand different QA metrics and know which ones to adopt.

Most importantly, QA metrics help you to estimate the progress and outcome of test results. This means that you can track your QA-related activities, measure team, and your existing processes.QA metrics are critical for testing teams working in agile and QA managers who want to improvise their existing testing practices.

But which metrics should you choose? There are many of them.

This blog will help you understand some of the key QA metrics that can help you make more informed testing decisions and measure the success of your teams.

What are the different types of QA Metrics?

There are two types of QA metrics that we can track:

  • Absolute
  • Derivative

The absolute QA metrics are based on the data obtained during the development and execution of test cases. These metrics are tracked during the entire software testing life cycle. These metrics are an indicator of how well the testing process is going along.

Some of the absolute metrics are:

  • Total number of test cases
  • Number of test cases that are passed/failed/blocked
  • Number of actual testing hours

The derivative QA metrics can help to assess the effort that the testing team puts in day in and day out to achieve the desired outcome or results. This information is helpful for testing leads, and QA managers who are carefully monitoring the performance of different resources.

Some of the derivative metrics are:

  • Test Tracking
  • Test Effort
  • Test Coverage

Importance of QA Metrics

With QA metrics, your customers are regularly updated about the status of the project and can easily find information if needed.

QA metrics help to:

  • Make Decision-Making Easier: Teams looking to make critical decisions can use data related to QA metrics to handle project requirements in a better way.

  • Evaluate the existing processes and methods: The team working in agile works on iterative and constructive feedback from relevant stakeholders. This means that you can see how well the processes and even agile methods are performing because of the QA metrics that are being tracked.

  • Provide Exceptional Product Delivery: When you are tracking and monitoring your key QA metrics, you provide exceptional outcomes leading to great product delivery in the best possible manner.

  • Code Optimizations: All the defects that are raised are fixed during the entire course of the development release. This helps to ensure code quality in terms of optimization and delivery so that you do not have to spend additional efforts to maintain code quality at a later point in time.

QA metrics should not just focus on tracking and discovering bugs.QA metrics evaluate the various data trends to control the quality of software systems. You can also rely on past data trends and experiences to bring improvements. This can be a helpful guide in estimating future testing efforts.

What are the key QA Metrics to be tracked?

Let us try and understand some of the key metrics used by QA companies at the software project level, department level, and company level respectively:

  1. Burn Down Chart: This is a pictorial representation of the amount of work completed by the development teams. If you consider testing a separate activity, a burn-down chart can also help visualize the real performance of the in-house and offshore QA testing teams for a complete release.

  2. Defect Distribution: The distribution of defects that are discovered in the different parts of the software. This helps to improve specific modules of software that have more defects than expected.

  3. Defect Removal Efficiency: This helps to identify the total number of defects identified during the development cycle, and how many of them are being fixed during that release.

  4. Cost of bug fixes during the pre-or post-release cycle: This metric helps to evaluate the total effort that was spent to fix issues discovered before the release of a software version versus the afterward release of that version. QA companies can understand how costly it is to fix a bug before or after production.

  5. Issues Reported by Customers: The total number of quality-related issues that are reported by external customers. It indicates the software quality and how it impacts the customers that are using it.

  6. Defect Severity: This metric is all about detecting how severe a defect can be. The defect can have an overall impact on the business value or system functionality as well. For example, a QA company can use this metric to discover that certain modules need extensive testing because it directly impacts the business value and customer engagement aspects.

  7. Defect Cycle Time: The metric allows you to measure the length of time it took when the bug was discovered until the time it was fully resolved.

  8. Defect Spillover: Used to measure how effective the teams were when it comes to handling defects. The total number of defects that cannot be resolved in each sprint or iteration cycle.

  9. Defect Categories: You can categorize software defects into:
    1. Functional Defects
    2. Performance Defects
    3. Usability Defects
    4. Security Defects
    5. Compatibility Defects

QA Metrics: Need of the Hour for Software Companies

Testing companies use QA metrics to improve the existing software testing process. These metrics are crucial for ensuring product quality and team performance in the long run. As a result, it is important to adopt and implement QA metrics to get exceptional high-quality testing results.

It is important to decide which QA metrics can be an important differentiator when it comes to improving your existing testing practices. Vervali is the company that can help you decide what is great for your business and testing needs.

Contact our team at for specialized expertise and knowledge.

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