There’s a strong argument to be made encouraging testing throughout the planning and development of a software sprint.
Many managers and engineers leave the testing to naturally bottleneck towards the end of the process. This generally leads to inflated costs and reduces the overall quality of the product. Thorough and consistent testing is advised for better quality, preventing overspending and time planning.
Testing Reduces Costs
The biggest argument for early software development testing is cost.
Studies show that when a bug is identified in early development stages, the cost of altering and removing it rounds to an average cost of zero. However, if multi-stage testing does not occur then the average cost of deconstruction and reconstruction is somewhere between 100 and 1000 times more than if fixed earlier. This is because when the testing is left until later, there is far more work to unravel in the software.
The bug could easily affect multiple systems and this would bring a heavier workload, higher cost and increased stress on the testers and developers.
In the Software Testing book, Ron Patton explained that the financial weight of reprogramming to fix bugs could be shown with a mathematical logarithmic function. That is to say “the cost can increase by more than 10 times as the project progresses through the phases of the SDLC.”
One of the challenges in software, particularly in the service industry, is financial planning and just-in-time resource allocation. The fact is, there are so many contingencies with software that proper pricing is a challenge.
Indeed, one of the cursory benefits of testing is that you reduce the variability of cost. Software testing enables you not only to catch bugs and tech debt you’d otherwise have to solve later, but it also enables you to take a step back and look at your project from a holistic perspective.
Testing, in many ways, tests the foundations and principles of your software as much as it does the individual functionality.
As such, a proper testing structure enables you to break up your software cycle into batches - it inherently forces your organization to improve. A lot of companies dedicate entire sprints purely to testing/refactoring, which can be very helpful in longer-scale engagements.
Again - even outside of the actual cost savings, the opportunity to take a step back and think through what you’re doing is essential.
Secondly, it is imperative that the software is valid. Meaning that it does what it says it will do.
To reach this quality outcome managers, engineers and developers need to ensure that the software hits its operating targets through each stage of development. By carrying out diligent practices, testers will be involved with the evolution of the project from its beginnings until the end. Smaller defects will be rectified before the release date and overall quality of the software will be improved. This decreases the labor during the final stages of quality assurance testing.
Moreover, it can dramatically build confidence in the team of developers that can mean better quality products, innovations, and forward thinking.
By scheduling a competent testing plan during the early stages of productions and identifying test requirements, the process can become easily manageable throughout each stage of development. Since testing generally takes longer than planned, try testing in smaller segments like UI testing, function testing, security testing, UX testing and other tests related to the product.
It will take a cultural shift from bottleneck testing to multistage testing.
It is beneficial to start discussing testing methods during planning to create this change. Getting new and different perspectives on a project can be the difference in average to high-quality software. This is because different perspectives during testing may discover defects that would otherwise be missed.
So, engage all staff roles during testing. This will decrease defects immediately and overtime as all staff becomes more aware of programming patterns of quality software.
Remember; “Quality is built in, not added on.”
Of course, deadlines are already a significant part of planning as it is, so creating a testing environment to quicken production is ideal. Many developers cut short their time spent reviewing specifications and clarifying documents in the hopes of keeping up with deadlines.
It is easy to deduce how this benevolence can end up creating more defects later on.
By instilling defect detection routines, development teams can easily reduce time spent fixing major bug issues later down the track by fixing them while they are isolated and small. Sharing test cases that are written during the requirements stage can provide the development team with a unique platform to evaluate possible coding faults that could arise.
Carrying out small specific tests during Planning, Design, Development, Testing and Release phases will ultimately save time and money while increasing the quality of work from each employee.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the fundamentals. That’s it.