Microsoft 365 Copilot for Quality Assurance and Control Staff

Quality assurance and control staff play a crucial role in software development by ensuring products meet specified requirements and customer expectations. However, Quality Assurance work can be tedious and time-consuming, involving extensive manual testing, documentation, and code reviews. This is where an AI assistant like Copilot can help quality teams work more efficiently and productively.

GitHub Copilot is an AI pair programmer that suggests line completions and entire blocks of code inside development environments. It leverages cutting-edge machine learning techniques like neural networks to provide recommendations based on millions of open-source GitHub repositories.

What Are Some of the Quality Assurance Engineer Roles?

Quality Assurance engineers have multifaceted responsibilities surrounding product quality. Core duties include:

  • Planning Testing Strategies: Define the objectives, scope, methods, and criteria for product testing based on requirements. Choose techniques like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, user acceptance testing (UAT), etc.
  • Creating Test Plans/Cases: Outline the details for each test, including setup, data, and environments needed, test steps, and expected results.
  • Setting Up Test Environments: Prepare the software, hardware, network configurations, etc. needed to execute test plans.
  • Executing Tests: Run manual or automated tests by inputting data, examining outputs, and logging results.
  • Reporting Defects: Document and track identified defects and bugs in tracking systems to get fixed by developers.
  • Regression Testing: Retest previously tested functionalities after changes to ensure no new issues were introduced.
  • Maintaining Logs: Record all test execution details like tester name, date, testing type, results, etc.
  • Evaluating Quality: Assess test coverage, open defects, product maturity indicators, and other metrics to determine release readiness.

Generating Test Documentation with Microsoft 365 Copilot

One of the primary responsibilities of quality engineers is to generate comprehensive test documentation like test plans, test cases, and test procedures. This documentation forms the basis for defining quality objectives and testing strategies. However, manually creating these documents from scratch involves a lot of repetitive tasks like coming up with section headings, test case templates, standard boilerplate text, and test workflows.

With Copilot, quality engineers can have natural conversations to describe their testing needs and objectives. Based on the conversation, Copilot can automatically generate the initial draft of the required test documentation with properly structured sections, standardized templates, and placeholders for specific test scenarios and cases. This gives engineers a head start and frees up their time to focus on test design’s creative and analytical aspects rather than boilerplate documentation tasks. Engineers can then refine the generated documents as per their requirements.

Automated Code Review and Inspection

Conducting manual code reviews is a core but tedious part of quality control activities. It helps catch bugs, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues early. However, reviewing code at scale through manual inspections alone is infeasible given the volume of code changes every day. This is where automated code analysis with Copilot can help.

Copilot integrates with existing code review tools and processes. It runs analyses in the background to detect defects, comment on code quality, flag stylistic issues, and recommend improvements. Automating basic-level reviews prioritizes the highest risk changes for human reviewers to examine. This optimization helps engineers review code more efficiently while still catching most issues that traditional manual reviews may miss. Copilot also generates reports with analysis results for traceability.

Efficient Test Scripting

Test automation plays a key role in software quality by facilitating continuous testing at every stage. However, writing automated test scripts from scratch consumes a significant amount of testing time. Copilot can dramatically accelerate this process by generating boilerplate test code and frameworks using natural language.

Quality engineers simply need to describe the target system behavior and conditions to test in plain English. Based on this, Copilot automatically produces the initial test scripts in the preferred programming language with relevant frameworks and utilities already integrated. Engineers can then refine the generated test code as per their specific validation needs and environment. This expedites test case creation allowing engineers to focus their efforts on critical test design thinking rather than mundane code writing tasks.

AI-Driven Quality Assurance Assistance

One of the most powerful ways Copilot aids quality teams is through its AI-powered assistance and recommendations. It reads through requirements documents, test plans, bug reports, code reviews, etc. to understand the context. Based on this knowledge, can provide useful suggestions to engineers.

For example, if it identifies gaps or inconsistencies in requirements specifications, it will recommend improvements or additional test scenarios to validate them better. While reviewing bug reports, it may point out similar past issues or hint at root causes that escaped human detection. During code reviews, Copilot can recommend more performant or optimized implementations. Such assistance informed by its massive language understanding helps engineers strengthen quality processes with additional insight.

Enhanced Code Standards Enforcement

Ensuring code quality and adherence to coding standards and guidelines is essential for maintaining high-quality products. However, manually auditing large codebases is tedious and error-prone work. Copilot enhances standards enforcement by automatically analyzing code for convention violations during commits and flagging them accordingly.

It checks code against predefined rules and best practices around areas like formatting, naming, complexity, documentation, etc. Any deviations detected are commented on to notify developers. Copilot also integrates with existing linting tools to run analysis seamlessly as part of the coding workflow. This allows quality teams to consistently gain visibility into standards compliance without manual effort, preventing violations from impacting quality.

Streamlining Regression Testing

To validate that code or product changes have not unintentionally impacted existing functions, it is critical to rerun automated regression test suites. Unfortunately, test suites can easily grow unmanageable over time making regression testing very inefficient. Copilot optimizes this process in multiple ways.

It analyzes historic test results to recommend optimizations like pruning unused tests, prioritizing failure-prone cases, and optimizing test data. Copilot also assists in parallelizing runs to maximize throughput. By continuously learning, it ensures test suites focus on valuable cases, reducing waste from redundant passing tests. This streamlines regression workflows allowing engineers to optimize the quality impact from every code change.

Collaborative Quality Assurance Workflows

Quality teams often collaborate to solve issues, investigate bugs, review documentation, and report progress. However, collaboration and knowledge transfer through meetings and emails take time. Copilot facilitates more efficient teamwork through conversational interactions for common Quality Assurance workflows.

Engineers can have natural discussions with Copilot about changes, issues, investigations, etc. It syncs across teams in real time to serve as a centralized knowledge base. By automating routine tasks like logging notes, creating documents, or automating cross-team notifications, Copilot streamlines workflows. Its summarization abilities also help disseminate institutional knowledge more effectively over time, improving collaboration.

Error Prevention and Compliance

Ensuring software complies with regulations around privacy, security, and industry standards is now mandatory. However, keeping track of constantly evolving rules at scale remains challenging. Copilot aids compliance through various mechanisms leveraging its broad knowledge.

During development, it integrates with IDEs to flag non-compliant code patterns in real time, catch privacy leaks, recommend improvements, and harden code automatically against vulnerabilities. Copilot checks codebase adherence to policies continuously and generates compliance reports. It also suggests pragmatic remediation strategies by learning from best practices. Such preventive measures help quality teams shore up controls and minimize compliance risks proactively.


Microsoft 365 Copilot delivers tremendous value to software quality and control teams by augmenting their workflows at multiple stages – from planning to collaboration to enforcement. Automating repetitive documentation, analysis, testing, and collaboration tasks, frees up engineers to apply their expertise more meaningfully.

Its powerful language models and AI capabilities also enhance processes through improved recommendations, insights, optimized executions, and streamlined quality management. Copilot acts as a force multiplier for quality teams, improving efficiency, effectiveness, and ability to proactively enhance software quality at scale. This positions organizations well to consistently deliver safer, more reliable, and compliant products and experiences.

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