Quality VS. Cost! What To Choose In Testing?

Choose in Testing

If you’re one of those people who think that testing is a waste of time and efforts. Think again. Software testing is absolutely necessary. What makes me say that?

Well, I can give you many reasons but I think that one misconception that needs to be addressed here is the thought that testing costs too much. Therefore, people who harbor this view spend as little as possible on testing. I, on the other hand believe that testing is an investment in quality that pays you off in the long run. This is not just a useful suggestion; it is the step in the right direction. History is replete with examples of software failures that have caused major financial upsets to many companies.

To name a few:

Last year’s Starbucks shutdown across North America is worth mentioning here. According to their sources the internal systems malfunctioned due to daily refresh of the cash registers. The software failure left thousands of stores across North America unable to proceed with their business as the cash registers were unable to process orders and take payment.

Another notable failure was a serious software glitch in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter air crafts which caused the aircraft to detect targets incorrectly. The planes when flying in formation were unable to detect potential targets from different angles.

Nissan Motors had been under investigation by US safety regulators for recalling over one million vehicles in the past two years. The vehicles were recalled due to a software failure in the airbag sensory system. The automakers have reasoned that a software glitch in the system rendered it incapable of detecting an adult sitting in the passenger seat. The issue surfaced when two accidents took place and the airbags did not inflate.

The above failures among many others could have been prevented had the software been passed through the simple filter called ‘proper testing’ before rolling it out in the market. While keeping one’s eyes on the sales the one term that goes hand in hand with quality is trust. This is the only thing that makes the customer’s confident that the software will meet all their critical and non-critical requirements.

Improper focus on quality can accumulate defects which in turn breakdowns software eventually costing the provider considerable amount of time and money which they were trying to save upon in the first place. Benjamin Franklin rightly said so:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

The costs are higher when a bug is detected by a customer rather than the tester. In these cases, not only does the same process described for tester-found bugs occur, but you are likely to incur the technical support overhead and the more expensive process of releasing a fix to the field rather than to the test lab.

While saving costs on testing, what you lose upon is even more precious. What could that possibly be?

  • Loss of faith by customer
  • Possible recall of product, and patch giving effort
  • Possible loss of present contract
  • Possible loss of future contracts
  • Possible loss of market share
  • Customer abandonment
  • Damage to the company image
  • Lost business, and even lawsuits

Quality is free so you should not hesitate in making full use of it. Proper software testing and quality assurance is extremely important and saving up on costs can end up being a very expensive mistake. Consistent check on the quality of the product ensures success in the long run. So choose wisely!