Quality over Quantity

As is a well-known fact, Testing is a never-ending activity and is never 100% complete. No software can be called totally defect-free and hence there is always the scope for more testing.

The problem with today’s competitive software industry is the over-whelming demand for highest quality at lowest possible prices and time. The pressure of quick delivery leads to time and resource crunch and the testing phase being the last of the development cycle bears the brunt. At this stage, practicality demands to make use of Risk-based analysis to find the most important and impacted areas to be tested thoroughly, while smoke-level focus on the rest.

Though this approach is accepted by all in the team as well as the management, but still the risk of running into issues later with other parts of software is never acceptable. So, the onus is still set on the testing team, who are left with no time but with full responsibility in case anything breaks down!

Also, when each hour counts to the maximum in such critical times, there is increasing pressure within the testing team to perform the best. Managers find ways to quantify each hour and minute by ways of matrices and charts counting the number of issues found, hours logged and number of builds failed by each team member.

Solution: Weigh Quality over Quantity

It is important for an organization to understand the testing activities and the bent of mind that it requires. It is suggested to always weigh Quality of work delivered over the Quantity of issues / hours or tasks. Specially with manual testing, it is not possible to ever quantify the efforts.

Automated testing offers some scope of quantification in terms of Coverage of code, no. of environments and locales etc. But overall testing remains a creative profile.

So instead of pitching team members against each other by comparing their statistics, they should be encouraged to sit together and brainstorm their ideas, share their knowledge, review each other’s test scenarios and buddy test different stories.

Have you faced the pressure of quantification at your work?

Please share your views!

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