Knowledge Base

BQA Knowledge Base is a go-to repository of whitepapers, presentations, and articles intended to keep QA leadership and practitioners ahead of the game. Use the sorting tool in the right column to find the topic you seek.

December 19, 2013

In this brief YouTube video, Jeff Roth explains the trade offs between the effort required for test automation and the value provided.  View…

December 12, 2013

Companies often encounter obstacles delivering quality software products as they adopt and evolve Agile practices.  Unless you are part of a start-up organization, you will have to address Agile-related challenges that affect the organization as a whole and subsequently impact your team’s ability to deliver quality software.  For the organization to support Agile, and be successful with Agile, a mindset shift is required.  In this presentation, the author, Jeff Roth, demonstrates the Project Management context that most software development teams have been operating inside of for 30 years and introduces the somewhat elusive but critical shift in context to a Product Mindset  Jeff also demonstrates three important, tactical tools Agile teams should use to protect the “Agile Ship” within an enterprise.  Download…

September 17, 2013

As companies increasingly adopt the Agile delivery methodology, the question pops up again and again “What is the role of a tester in Agile delivery?”  By outlining the four stages of Agile maturity, the paper’s authors, Jeff Roth and Molly Decklever, demonstrate how the role of QA advances in concert with a maturing Agile team to deliver on the Agile promise for quality and speed.  Download…

July 26, 2013

Jeff Roth puts on his “Quality Activist” persona during this presentation to promote the considerations of test management tools in Agile. Beginning with an overview of the core principles of Agile, Jeff describes the necessity of communication, collaboration and responsibility in Agile and how these attributes carry through to using the tools that support Agile methodologies. Jeff also covers tool limitations, leveraging existing test suites ad Agile metrics.  Download…

July 24, 2013

A great reference document for anyone seeking to learn about the many options for Agile Test Management, BenchmarkQA’s Practice Lead of “Cool QA Stuff” put together this comprehensive summary of tools. This paper contains brief product descriptions, pros, cons, and author commentary on commercial, open source, and not-yet-released Agile test management tools.  Download…

May 1, 2013

We polled a wide audience of quality assurance and IT professionals to determine the most significant barriers they face in achieving quality within Agile. We used this information to formulate our first live webinar where we will address the top reported agile challenges and recommend solutions. Download…

April 18, 2013

Agile is a body of guiding principles – not rigid law.   In this presentation, we discuss the benefits and unique purposes of the many flavors of Agile. Gain new perspectives and valuable insights to help you remove barriers to adapting Agile to meet the needs of your project, environment, and team dynamics.  Download…


December 13, 2012

Is your organization adapting to the dynamic forces that are reshaping software quality?  A massive culmination of factors are forcing IT organizations to realign QA and radically evolve the skills of their software testing teams.  Mobile, SaaS, Cloud, ERP, 3rd Party Applications, Agile, Outsourcing.  This presentation provides an overview of the most significant changes facing our industry and those changes yet on the horizon.  Download…

October 1, 2012

“We automated 20 tests.” Is that enough for a solid ROI?    ”We ran 2000 test cases.” Is that good?    ”We completed 100% of the critical test cases and no critical errors remain.” Does this mean that the application is ready for release?    These numbers might sound impressive but these common QA metrics tell nothing about the quality of the application because they are without context and proportion.  Download…

July 2, 2012


In most commercial software buying scenarios, you unfortunately have little information about the vendor’s software processes, methods and tools used to develop, test, and manage the software. This makes for risky acquisition decision-making, especially if your organization doesn’t have tolerance for a lot of quality issues.  The best defense is a good offense.  Download…

June 11, 2012

“For the QA professional an Agile approach can cause discomfort. In the ideal world they would have a “finished” product to verify against a finished specification. To be asked to validate a moving target against a changing backdrop is counter intuitive.” QA teams need to know the real impact of an Agile methodology; there are boundless myths circulating the industry. Here are Original Software‘s responses to their favorite ten myths. Download…

May 1, 2012

There can be dozens of machines for a given mobile OS, each one slightly different in display, controls and usability. Fortunately, there are resources that let you test more easily and affordably. This excerpt from Daniel Derns blog on addresses many of the challenges of mobile technology testing including availability of devices, mobile platforms, simulators, emulators, diagnostics, third-party test labs and crowdsourcing. Testing Apps For Smartphones and Mobile Devices, Q1 2011

May 1, 2012

A Powerpoint presentation packed full of links related to solving the challenges of testing mobile devices and applications. Find out about identifying your expected users, simulators and emulators vs. real devices, mobile testing specialists and testing your website’s mobile effectiveness. Going Mobile – Testing Considerations for Mobile Technology, Q4 2011

May 1, 2012

Crowdsourced testing is an option that can supplement—but shouldn’t replace—a properly planned and managed structured software testing process. This Powerpoint presentation was delivered by BenchmarkQA’s December 2011 Software Quality Forum. Betty Schaar shared her first-hand experience with crowdsourced testing by signing up as a tester for uTest. The presentation shares information about this industry and provides links to various third party test labs. Whether you’re interested in supplementing your testing strategy with crowdsourced testing, or you want to make a few extra dollars by doing some testing yourself, the slide deck contains links to some great resources. Crowdsourced Testing, Q4 2011

May 1, 2012

This table shares data on six companies that offer crowdsourced testing services and employment. Betty Schaar has gathered and organized data on these companies’ size, testing services, employment services, costs and payment. Crowdsourced Testing Companies

March 2, 2012

Performance testing is expensive.  Failure is even more so.  The resources and tools required for effective performance testing can be very expensive, and the timing to conduct tests is never convenient. Your investment can be wasted without the right approach and planning.  Understanding the fundamentals of performance and load testing will help you budget, plan, and manage performance testing to effectively find and resolve performance issues before they become a problem for your users and your company.  Download…

February 1, 2011

A Powerpoint presentation packed full of links related to solving the challenges of testing mobile devices and applications. Find out about identifying your expected users, simulators and emulators vs. real devices, mobile testing specialists and testing your website’s mobile effectiveness. BenchmarkQA Software Quality Forum on Retrospectives, Q1 2011

October 1, 2009

This white paper will provide key concepts to help you create tool and technology related efficiencies for your team: Automation, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Combinatorial Test Tools, Metrics and Licensing. Decisions about which tools and technology to use to support your testing program have a strategic impact. BenchmarkQA White Paper Makin’ Lemonade Part Three – Creating Efficiencies with Tools and Technology, Q4 2009

September 1, 2009

This white paper will provide key concepts to help you create process-related efficiencies for your team: Plan for Static Testing, Conduct Daily Scrums, Apply Lean Six Sigma Principles, Invest in Reusable Requirements, Develop Reusable Tests, Conduct Retrospectives and Root Cause Analysis and Conduct a Formal Process Evaluation. Most of the ideas we present require no new dollars—only a re-allocation of your existing resources toward areas we have most often found to be inefficient and therefore ripe with opportunities to reduce costs by improving efficiency. BenchmarkQA White Paper Makin’ Lemonade Part Two – Creating Process Efficiencies, Q3 2009

August 1, 2009

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” The sour economy is forcing us all to find creative ways to do more with less. Creating high quality software with limited and shrinking resources caused by hiring freezes and down-sizing is a difficult challenge, especially when deadlines aren’t typically adjusted to reflect capacity. This white paper contains creative ideas and tools used by our top consultants to help companies do a better job of managing their people and maximizing productivity, without damaging quality. BenchmarkQA White Paper Makin’ Lemonade Part One – Creating People Efficiencies, Q3 2009

March 1, 2009

This white paper describes a 2009 survey conducted by BenchmarkQA of Twin Cities-based companies that engage in the outsourcing of either software development, software testing, or both. The purpose of the survey was to augment limited industry data about why outsourcing is not more effective, gathering the perspective of the manager or leader who is closest to the work, and balancing this input against the executives’ perspective most often found in industry data on outsourcing. BenchmarkQA Software Test Outsourcing White Paper, Q2 2009

April 1, 2008

Betty Schaar shares how important it is to ensure that quality isn’t focused only on the testing phase of the SDLC. This presentation touches on just about every aspect of QA. True Quality Begins Long Before Testing, Q2 2008

December 1, 2007

“Ten Ways to Ensure Automation Failure” provides a humorous look at why automation so often fails. By giving us reasons for failure, Gary Hansberger also provides valuable insight on how to increase the odds of being successful with automation. 10 Ways to Ensure Automation Failure, Q4 2007

March 1, 2007

Betty Schaar takes you through a detailed view of requirements: what they are, why they are necessary, how to plan, develop and manage changes in requirements. This presentation also shares how to right-size requirements, how to build a case for improving requirements management and practical steps for improving requirements in your organization. Requirements Management, Q2 2007