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Why investing in quality software testers saves money in the long-term

Do you really get what you pay for?

When it comes to software testing, you may get lucky on occasion. We don’t deny that there is talent trying to make their bones in the industry, but that is not the norm on the spectrum of expectations. More times than not, however, your cut-rate prices are likely to yield cut-rate results. These poor results may lead to even higher costs in the long run.

What makes someone an expert?

What separates the experts from the novices is having the wisdom to know how to apply concepts and frameworks for problem solving into test planning, prioritization, and execution. To put it another way, it is a typical assumption that in order to find every single defect across a legacy-production application it would take a significant amount of time and dedicated effort. A novice may try to tackle this task with brute force, and while they may succeed eventually, it would be an incredibly wasteful exercise. Alternatively, an expert would probably prefer to take a more considerate and surgical approach to the same task. Opting instead for a risk-based testing methodology where they’d design the testing plan to prioritize the parts of the application that are the most used, most fragile, or were recently “touched” in an update or patch.

Lighthouse took this exact approach a few steps further and developed a metrics-based, predictive approach to test planning. This approach provides a baseline expectation of how many defects will be detected in any given system or sprint. Then the baseline enables the testing teams to measure the expected number of defects to their defect-discovery rate. With this, Lighthouse can go into a testing engagement or test cycle with a common understanding of the level of effort involved in finding all the bugs and managing the QA program overall, meaning their customer quotes are highly accurate. This methodology also visibility defines the endpoint clearly enough to optimize quality without overspending. Lighthouse practices this method as a core component of our True North Testing Methodology, and we credit these practices to our consistency in delivering high-quality results, on time, and on budget.

Because time is money

Let’s consider for a moment your project is in a time crunch, and you are pressured to shorten the time allotment for software testing by a significant amount. A novice testing group will automatically double the headcount of testers to meet the new deadline. On the one hand, the Triple Constraint Theory comes into effect in this case and the expectation that cost will be directly affected by the change in the time constraint comes true. Unsurprisingly.

On the other hand, an experienced testing team presented with a time crunch can provide some alternative strategies and improved efficiency ideas to meet the new deadline while also optimizing cost.

Because cost extends beyond the project

We can accept the reality that no project closes without the existence of a few defects left behind. It’s the nature of the beast and typically dubbed “technical debt”. Here, the business allows some flaws to go into production, with the tradeoff being that the team can then meet other client commitments, new feature requests, etc. In exchange, they request those remaining flaws to be fixed at a later time if a workaround is identified for the business overall to continue forward.

On the flip-side, defects that escape undetected into production have an unknown impact on the organization until they rear their ugly head. One example of this might be lost productivity from the end-users when the application they’re trying to use fails, slows, crashes, etc. Then suddenly and if by magic the build-up of unfinished work bottlenecks the team and the business hemorrhages money unexpectedly.

Hot Tip: Engaging Lighthouse Technologies early in your project will reduce the risks associated with this kind of “technical debt”, and it is the first step towards not having to face the day when a production outage causes a reputation or business issue.

Because management is minimal

A software tester early in their career has a lot of questions as they ramp up on to the project and those questions continue as they grow into an experienced QA professional. Understandably, there is much that they haven’t seen yet, and they look to a manager for guidance through those new experiences. This continued engagement amounts to additional management hours (likely at a higher rate) of effort that are unplanned but inevitable.

The same goes for an offshore testing team with limited expertise. Sometimes a cross-presence of ambassadors is required from each group to ensure proper communication, creating a high cost in addition to the hourly bargain rates initially advertised (plus the cost of travel and expenses). In other projects, the alternative would be a manager staying up late at night to be the communication resource during an overseas workday.

When working with an experienced, professional testing team, the first benefit is the shortened onboarding time requirement. Point your tester to their team, workspace, and resources. They will take it from there and hit the ground running, able to make quick adjustments as they come up along the way, and able to provide value sooner, more consistently, and will less oversight than their novice counterparts. Simply put, the level of management required is significantly reduced as they gain confidence with their team to work autonomously with increased productivity.

Lighthouse at your service

Bringing in a professional testing team to a project provides superior levels of effectiveness and efficiency with software testing. The value is an increased level of proficiency in accomplishing more with less, needing less onboarding and ongoing management, affecting time, resources, and cost efficiently.

Lighthouse is the resource you seek. With our True North Testing Methodology and through our leadership bringing a more effective approach to your organization, you’ll see we will positively impact your the current project or program. That’s how Lighthouse Technologies goes above and beyond for our clients.

How can we help you? Contact us to learn more and discuss how we can remedy your testing challenges.

 

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PMIASQIEEESoftware Engineering InstituteInternational Software Testing Qualifications Board