Quality is not optional

A successful cyberattack can make the front page of any media. However, most random events do not reach the public domain, but they do have a strong business impact.

Systems make the news when they fail. A successful cyberattack can make the front page of any media. In fact, year after year, there is a notable increase in the number of ransomware attacks, a mechanism by which cybercriminals hijack an organization’s data and then launch a double extortion attack. They not only ask for money to release the data held at ransom, but they also threaten to leak the stolen data if they do not get what they want.

The cybercrime and geopolitics specialist firm, Quote Intelligence, disclosed in its most recent report that ransomware events have increased in number and amount: the ransom demands amounted to USD 50 million last year.

But let’s leave aside the more visible aspect of building failed digital products. Most random events do not reach the public domain, but they do have a strong business impact, expressed as low adoption of an application, performance issues, poor user engagement, and loss of reputation as a result of defective tools or tools that do not meet expectations.

The mistake of “saving” on QA

When something goes wrong, we look back for the root cause. And it is often that at some point in the development project, it was decided to “save” by cutting down on costs in quality assurance (QA) or functional analysis. Sometimes, misunderstanding “agility” leads to downsizing the team to “do things faster.” In this case, without quality and precision, speed has no other reason to exist than to accelerate business failure.

Therefore, an agile team should be measured through an algorithm that simultaneously considers three variables: speed, quality, and autonomy.

From reactive to proactive: a change of mindset

In an era in which business is essentially digital, it is necessary to shift the focus to a proactive and preventive mindset. How can I minimize future problems from day one? We should not consider how much it costs to incorporate quality or functional analysis roles in the project, but what is the potential cost of not doing so.

The QA team ensures software quality at all stages of the development process: from product ideation to maintenance, through requirements gathering, the different deliverables, and the final product.

However, the functional analyst operates as an intermediary between the development team and the end user to facilitate a positive user experience. Their role is key to ensuring broad adoption of the product.

Higher cost or improved investment?

Development budgets do not include a line for these activities. Therefore, many leaders consider adding a testing team tantamount to “increasing costs”. But, the same programmer cannot be asked to write the use history, test, code, validate and launch the production project. This mechanism increases the probability of an error slipping into the final product and leading to a significant problem.

Sometimes up to 30% of the budgeted coding hours can be used in testing and quality assurance-related functions. But it is enough to analyze the causes of serious failures (those that do appear in the media because they are the ones that did not even comply with the minimum and basic security processes) to understand that this is an investment with a solid return.

In addition, incorporating frameworks and an automated testing process in the production pipeline minimizes errors and streamlines the development of digital products. Making Sense has frameworks built in-house with different languages that can be tailored to meet any project need, with standardized features and the ability to undertake comprehensive tests that combine front-end, back-end and load and performance automation.

Even in the simplest and least risky case for external customers. Suppose a critical code error is discovered when a software product has just gone into production. Even if few people are aware of it and even if it has not caused any crisis in terms of cybersecurity or brand reputation, correcting the problem entails a significant additional expense, in addition to the marginal costs derived from keeping the business is put on hold until the solution is found.

A maxim is often used in advertising: “cheap is expensive.” The concept applies perfectly to the development of digital products as well.