QA as an escalation for production issues

Hi testers! I brought this up in testersio slack, but we thought it’d make for some interesting conversation here.

Does anybody in their QA department serve as a point of escalation for production issues? I am wondering how common this is. It’s been happening here and so we are developing some processes to deal with it. Is this unheard of/weird/unacceptable to you? How do you or your team handle it?

-Dave K


Heya Dave,

I’ve seen this in 3 of the 4 companies i’ve worked with, seems pretty common to me as a role where support teams escalate to, particularly in smaller companies. I look to coach the support teams to up-skill their debugging abilities, this reduces the workload of support on QA whilst also improving the customer experience in finding resolution faster.

the forth company had a dedicated team of 3 devs and 1 QA for support escalation. here again that QA would often be the first touch point for the issues to assist in information gathering for the developers.

Hope this helps? let me know if you have more questions i’m happy to help :slight_smile:

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The organization model can work depending on skills and workloads. Testers may have a broader view of the whole product and how customers configure and use it, compared with more specialized developers. But when a code change is needed, the problem needs to be handed off promptly.
Quick resolutions are important here.


Yeah there is an On Call system where I work, so 8 of the more senior testers do this and overnight we are the first point of call for production issues and we can then move them on to the most appropriate dev team. Works well as we have a better view and understanding of the whole system compared to a lot of the devs and then we are also there to be involved in the testing of any fixes that need to be released.
With 8 of us it works quite well so you end up doing 4/5 nights a month, not sure how i would feel about it if it was only 1/2/3 people essentially always expected to be available.

During the day there is a separate team that are the point of call for production issues but they sit right with the testers so we continue to be involved there as well.

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We have separate teams of people (mostly developers) who support products in production. They investigate production issues and collaborate with others as needed. If a change is needed, developers and testers in that group work to update and validate the change.


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I already mentioned this on the Slack channel when the topic came up, but it interests me greatly since I previously was a SME/Tier 1/handbook/process/requirements/QA at a large corporate call center for 15 years.

In my current role as QA, my employer is a 30-person company, and the internal users of our systems often come directly to me (there is no system support); I strongly prefer it this way, since I like to take end-to-end ownership of any bugs or defects that arise–especially if I missed them before Production. Also, due to the smaller size of the company, I’ve taken on managing a couple system-interfacing vendors (SMS notifications, advanced voice, etc), which has been rewarding.

YMMV, of course.

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