What makes SDLC expensive?
In the competitive world of software development, it is more than just benevolence to implement early testing. Most of the successful organizations believe in developing and testing the product simultaneously. Testing early is one of the established facts in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to identify defects and errors in the earlier stages of production. In short, SDLC is a process that defines the stages involved in developing a software application or product. The most expensive phase in SDLC is testing and the obvious reason is that most of the production teams identify the defects only then. The delay in identifying these defects and rectifying them in the later stages of production results in spending a huge sum of money.
Cost of Quality (COQ)
Every product or software undergoes several stages of testing to ensure its quality, efficiency, and performance before delivery. COQ is the cost incurred by an organization to produce such quality products or software that is error-free. It is imperative for organizations to invest wisely in developing quality products. COQ consists of multiple parameters and branches into four components:
- Positive Quality Cost or Cost of Good Quality (COGQ) – It is the cost the organization spends to employ resources and check the quality of the product in order to prevent defects. There are two broad categories in COGQ such as the preventive cost and appraisal cost.
o Preventive Cost – It is the cost incurred by an organization during design, development, preparation and maintenance to prevent any kind of quality related issues and ensure reliability throughout SDLC.
o Appraisal Cost – It is the maximum cost incurred by an organization to evaluate and examine the testing solution to ensure the product is closer to maximum quality and fulfills all the required specifications.
- Negative Quality Cost or Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) – It is the cost the organization spends to rectify the failure or detected defects before and after the delivery of the product or software to the end user. There are two broad categories in COPQ such as the Internal and External Failure Cost.
o Internal Failure Cost – It is the cost incurred by organizations to fix the issues or errors right before the release or delivery of the result. The possible reason is that organizations start the entire testing process only in the later stages of SDLC.
o External Failure Cost – It is the cost incurred by organizations to fix the errors after the release or delivery of the product to the customer. This happens when the product is with the customers and they identify the errors. These are mostly expensive as the organization may end up paying penalties.
How to be frugal?
Now that we figured out the reason for the enormous amount of money spent to resolve the issues, it is wise to do what is necessary at the right time. Implementing agile methodology in Testing is one of the best ways to save a lot of time and money. This hybrid technology of agile testing helps organizations largely as it allows developing small segments of software, which makes it easy for the production teams to release the products frequently. Unlike traditional methods, agile does not wait for an entire phase to get over to move on to the next one.
Some of the advantages of implementing agile testing are:
- Faster execution of updates
- More flexibility for corrections
- Better interaction with users
- Higher customer satisfaction
Take a Diversion – Shift Left Testing
The impact of having the testing phase on the extreme right is that most of the bug identification happens only towards the final stages of production. The testers have no choice except to resolve the issues in no time and require great effort. Over a period, it becomes an enormous task to fix the bugs, resulting in delay in time to market, and huge loss in business. Only when realization hits hard, industries adopt the concept of Shift Left Testing – shift of testing phase from right to left.
Shift Left Testing also means continuous testing and automated testing, where the testers are involved throughout the development phase such as requirements gathering, software designing, architecture, coding and its functionality to get an overall understanding of the requirements. The involvement of testers paves way for modifying the product or software right from the beginning whenever needed, to avoid any kind of possible errors in the future. This makes it easy for both the developers and testers since there are very less possibility for occurrence of errors and the need for iterations are minimal.
When the iterations are less in number, the amount spent to make changes every time reduces. Implementing automated testing helps organizations in saving a huge sum of money by delivering error-free, better quality, and faster time to market products. Some of the other important benefits of embracing automated testing are:
- Detect defects earlier and cut down the cost
- Test continuously to avoid errors
- Automate the testing process
- Improve time to market
- Focus on customer requirement
- Enhance customer experience
Incremental Test Automation is What You Need!
Though Test automation is a silver bullet, embracing it may be challenging for small-scale businesses or organizations that want to test only certain components. This can be a possible reason for organizations to prefer manual testing as it is cheaper unlike the test scripts that are often expensive to maintain for test automation. An effective and unique solution to this challenge is Incremental Test Automation. It is crucial for any business that wants to stay ahead of the curve by implementing test automation to develop quality products. This approach is more applicable to highly complex projects where there are many dependencies such as hardware, software, middleware, etc.
In this approach, the product or application is broken into individual modules or components to make the testing process easier. Each individual module is tested and integrated incrementally followed by testing every integrated module to ensure smooth interface and interaction. Instead of testing the whole product at once, incremental testing makes life easier for the testers as they can test small components of the product. The integrated modules, before delivered to the end users, undergo several tests as a group for successful data flow between them. This results in identifying the defects earlier and helps the developers to figure out the reason for issues. Using the basics of structured testing makes this approach more accurate and effective.
It is the logical and incremental integration of each module or component of the product or application that helps in cutting down the cost. So how can this approach help in saving money is by testing in parts that results in a gradual reduction of money spent on test automation.
Thus, adopting test automation is essential and reduces cost, minimizes errors, and provides your business with competitive advantage. Since developing quality products using less cost is what everyone needs, it is smart to adopt incremental test automation to get such results. Eventually, it does not stop with that but earns customer loyalty and enhances one’s reputation in the market on the long run.
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