The Devil You Know: Why Software Quality is the Best Insurance Money Can Buy

Few things are riskier than a large-scale software project.  While they offer significant returns if successful, they also pose considerable risk if and when they go off the rails.  But uncertainty doesn’t have to rule the day; an investment in software quality is the best insurance you can buy.

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Taking proactive steps to combat the 3 Perils of Software Development is a step towards a more consistent, more repeatable future—
one that sees your projects unencumbered by lengthy delays and costly overruns.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we never had to take risks?  If every time we undertook a task, it was 100% guaranteed to succeed?

Sounds like a great fantasy, right?  Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world.  While every opportunity glistens with the promise of potential glory, the long, ominous specter of failure lurks closely behind—tempering expectations with the threat of dire consequences.

Few people understand this better than the CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, VPs, and directors who bear the responsibility of green-lighting large-scale software initiatives.  While these projects may promise lucrative business value and an ironclad ROI, the cold, hard fact remains that 94% of major software projects will go over budget, off schedule, or get cancelled entirely. 

Against those odds, decision makers can be understandably gun shy—choosing to stick with the devil they know (a less-than-savory status quo) versus the one they don’t (a risky initiative that might solve a critical problem or cause a litany of its own instead).  It all comes to down to a simple question: how much risk is acceptable?  

But here’s the thing: risk is everywhere—and as software project budgets continue to grow, the stakes are only going to get higher.  Whether your next project is kicking off five days or five years from now, the 3 Perils of Software Development—Defects, Delays, and Dollars—pose a considerable threat to releasing a high-quality product on time and on budget.

With costly threats seemingly lurking everywhere, what decision makers really need is a way to ease their concerns—a form of insurance, if you will.  And when it comes to software projects, there’s no better insurance than taking a proactive approach to quality.

Whether you’re starting to Shift Leftimplementing a metrics-based software testing methodology, or hiring a professional to assess your organization, taking proactive action can drastically limit unplanned rework and keep the 3 Perils in check.  Think of it as a step towards a more consistent, more repeatable future—one that sees your projects rarely encumbered by lengthy delays and costly overruns.  Once you get there, you’ll likely notice a different tune from decision makers regarding your proposed projects—a decidedly more confident one.

It’s not magic or anything; they’re just reacting to what they know.  And after taking some proactive steps to shore up your software quality, trusting you will be the most risk-averse option they know.


Mike Hodge
Lighthouse Technologies, Inc.
Software Testing | Quality Assurance Consulting | Oracle EBS Consulting

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