Despite their best efforts and hard work ethic, a lot of testers lack a formal testing methodology—leading to late-stage defect detection and higher testing costs overall. With software budgets already bursting at the seams, can CIOs really afford for their testing to be so reactive nowadays?
The quicker you find a software defect, the easier and cheaper it’ll be to deal with. And The longer you let them lie hidden, the harder they are to fix.
Have you ever heard of the snowball effect? My money says you have.
While it may be overplayed, the visual of a snowball rolling down a hill—getting larger and larger as it consumes everything along its path—is a powerful one. And in an industry like software testing, where so much business value lies in preventative maintenance, it’s as apt a metaphor as any.
It’s pretty simple, really. The quicker you find a software defect, the easier and cheaper it’ll be to deal with. Unfortunately though, the corollary of this is also true: the longer you let them lie hidden, the harder they are to fix—and for a far more costly price, to boot.
But therein lies the rub: most software testing departments aren’t discovering their defects near the top of that metaphorical hill. They’re finding them far closer towards the bottom, and they’re paying through the nose for it. That’s not a knock on them, either. There are a lot of great testers out there who simply aren’t armed with the right tools or methodologies—or just don’t have the bandwidth to dig deep enough to find defects earlier. After all, those snowballs are a lot smaller at the top of the hill—which means they’re far harder to see.
That’s why proactive software testing matters so much. Rather than waiting for the defects to become big enough to reveal themselves, you give yourself the tools to catch them far earlier on. It’s not only better for your testers, but far more cost-effective for your development team as a whole. After all, defects cost five times more to remediate over each phase they remains undetected. That means a production-level defect will cost you 12,000 times more to fix than it would if it were caught in the requirements phase!
So how do you pass these kinds of savings onto your own team? The trick is making sure you are as predictive as you are productive. For example, at Lighthouse we accomplish that through our proprietary True North Testing Methodology. Our defect prediction drivers and code analysis algorithms give us unparalleled insight into our clients’ code, and our people-focused training and process-oriented approach ensure that our testers to find early-stage defects swiftly and efficiently.
In the end, it’s not just about how hard your testers work; it also matters how smart they’re doing it. And if you’ve got a testing team that you think could benefit from working a little smarter, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We’re pretty enthusiastic about software testing (as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now), and we love helping people get better at it—even if it just means providing a little bit of free advice.
I mean, just think about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if your critical production-level defects cost you 12,000 times less to fix? You don’t need to respond. Just like the first question I asked, I already know the answer.