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Go from defect detection to defect prevention with Lighthouse’s Quality Assurance services

There’s a lot riding on the quality of your software systems.  Whether you’re working on a mobile app, an ERP system, or a business app, it only takes one bad release to cripple productivity across your entire company or cause irreparable damage to your brand.  As businesses and users alike grow more dependent on the digital experience, you’re not just under pressure to deliver solutions that promote efficiency and satisfy customer demands—you’re also protecting the very image and day-to-day operations of your company itself.

Quite simply, you can’t afford to leave something as essential as quality up to chance.  Without the right people, processes, and tools, you’re defenseless against the 3 Perils of Software DevelopmentTM

DEFECTS

Costing 5x more to fix over each stage they lie undetected, defects infuriate users, cripple productivity, and generate costly rework

Delays

Implementation delays run up costs, erode your department’s credibility, and hold up valuable releases from seeing the light of day

Dollars

Mounting defects and delays run up costs, leading to busted budgets, reductions in scale, and project cancellations

That’s where we come in.  Armed with expertise in all phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC), our expert Quality Assurance personnel will implement a culture of quality across the entire breadth of your IT organization.  With Lighthouse, your projects will stay on course because your people will have the discipline, processes, and tools to keep them headed true north. 

A culture of quality doesn’t just help keep your projects on track, either.  It creates tremendous value all on its own.  We’ve helped our clients save as much as $10 million on a single project.   Regardless of the scope of your need, we’re confident our expert personnel can help.

The software development project has come so far, and everyone can see that the end is near. Likely, you’re doing Agile development and have been doing in-sprint testing along the way.  Maybe you’re pretty sophisticated and have been doing test automation along the way.  But, whether Agile or Waterfall, you likely want to do a comprehensive regression test before going live.  Perhaps the development team has done some along the way with unit testing, code inspections, and possible their own QA code analysis tools and everyone feels ahead of the game already!

The next thing to do is to check the budget to see how that’s looking. Well… maybe it has been banged around a little along the way. How might some dollars be saved? Of course! Using internal resources to complete the testing phase (which won’t go toward the budget at all) might be your first thought. These subject matter experts (SMEs) have already been lending a hand throughout the project with their insight. They are perfect candidates to complete the testing, right? Let’s explore that today.

Have you seen soemthing like this represented before?

You’ve probably seen something similar, but not quite. Quality is sometimes one of the outer points of the triangle rather than the center. We put quality in the middle because it is the center of today’s topic. This is the delicate balance that every project manager must deal with. Try to change any of these three items, and the other two will also change to accommodate. Whenever there is a shift in the original plan, the first thing to turn to is how that change will affect this delicate balance because you cannot change JUST ONE.

Time savings

On one hand, your SMEs are right here, right now, so there are significant time savings that would have otherwise been spent interviewing, hiring, and onboarding a testing team. This is sounding more and more like a great idea already, right?

On the flip side however, they will need to be trained on how to properly test, including what the process looks like, logging defects, what exactly is a defect, and more. How long will that take?

The other consideration is the quality that this team of resources brings to the testing event. The development team might be able to help with some steps, but they don’t always understand the end-picture that the SME expects. This can create a disconnect, and neither the development team nor the SEM has the skills to identify and compensate for that disadvantage.

Finally, what is the cost of missed defects that make their way to production? An inexperienced team is likely to have a significantly higher rate of missed defects.

Compare a professional testing team

Due to the core competencies a testing team possesses, means that they can jump right in and get started with minimum onboarding. They write quality scripts to provide the best chances of identifying defects quickly and efficiently. Not only will they acclimate quickly to the task, but their execution is much faster, for they know what to seek and what to expect.

Cost savings

Since SMEs already work for the company, there’s no additional cost to pull them in to do testing for the team, right? A wise leader will look at the bigger picture here.

First, these internal resources are on loan – meaning that their participation for the project has already resulted in lost productivity in their ‘day jobs.’ Their team is either taking a hit on productivity or has supplemented their role with another resource. Their leadership has agreed to a specific amount of allocation to the project. That cost has already inflated somewhere in the organization even if it is not directly listed on the budget. Increase the demand of these resources beyond a tolerance threshold, and it may not be surprising if there is an internal cost transfer. This transfer is to compensate for those losses that the loaning organization has been gracious about up until now.

The slower testing pace of SMEs means they spend more time than is necessary, but they are also generally more expensive that professional testers.. Finally, there is the resulting technical debt, which is the cost of ongoing defects that go undetected due to lack of formal testing experience. These defects result in additional development time, or even worse, reduced productivity or loss of customers after implementation. Another harder result to attach a cost to, is the reduced morale that comes with a sub-par product which results from insufficient testing.

Compare to a professional testing team

The professional testing team brings with them processes and practices to operate at a peak level of efficiency. Their engagement provides the smallest risk for undetected defects and the lowest result of technical debt. SME resources can return to productivity in their day jobs.

 

Resource savings

It is probably evident at this point that there are no savings in resources when using SMEs versus a professional team because you need resources either way. A primary difference is in the availability of those resources, but a secondary (and often overlooked) impact is that the borrowed SMEs generally have a full day job and are asked to do testing after hours.  Thus, you run the risk of burning them out.

Compare to a professional testing team

Here is where the difference really presents itself in an obvious way. A professional team operating at peak efficiency requires fewer resources to accomplish a higher quality of work than the SME resources.

This saves the budget associated with the duration of time the resources are needed, such as extended development for defects discovered after implementation. It saves the cost of lost productivity from an implementation that did not meet expectations or the cost of lost business when software misses the mark for the customer.

A professional testing team saves the project’s time budget. A professional team leader provides an accurate estimate of the time required based on the scope of the testing needed. Their increased efficiency and processes ensure that more defects are identified, which lowers the risk of technical debt going forward.

Finally, a professional team saves resources by first sending the SMEs back to their own team. The trained eyes by a professional team increases the likelihood of detecting defects, which increases the productivity of the development team to quickly repair the bugs identified as well as their dependencies. This level of detail is often missed at the SME level, resulting in more re-work.

Conclusion: bring in the pros

Planning for a professional testing team in a project brings the highest level of effectiveness and efficiency when it comes to software testing. A professional testing team bring values in increasing the level of efficiency for the development team as well. This “bonus” brings additional value to the project on all three angles of time, resources, and cost.

We at Lighthouse Technologies are that very resource you seek. Our tools, methods, and thought leadership bring a new level of efficiency to your organization that will not only make a positive impact on this current project, but the lessons learned will help your teams on all future projects. That value goes above and beyond a single project scope.  Where are your challenges? We can likely help!

 

How We Do It

 

Code Analysis Algorithms

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what parts of your code had the highest risk of defects, so you concentrate your effort on those areas?   Thanks to our proprietary algorithms, we can do exactly that—ensuring thorough defect removal in the most efficient manner possible.

Transparent Communications

You are included in every step of the testing process. You get access to our user-friendly dashboard—giving you up-to-date testing progress reports so there are no surprises—and are always current.

Metrics-Driven Methodology

Our methodology isn’t based on arbitrary “expertise”; it’s based on the proven processes and historical data that have helped safeguard countless other projects since we were founded over 15 years ago.

Defect Prediction Drivers

We don’t just look for defects; we know how many we’re going to find.  Based on a host of factors, we estimate the total number of defects we expect to find within your code—ensuring nothing is overlooked.

Roadmap-to-Resolution Plans

We take the time to understand exactly where your pain is, and tailor our services to specifically solve its root cause.  The resulting “roadmap” is your customized solution, and our expert personnel will be with you every step of the way towards its resolution.

Learn More About Lighthouse’s Quality Assurance Services

WHITE PAPER

“The Value of Software Quality”

WHITE PAPER

“Striving for World Class Productivity”

CASE STUDY

“Vendor Quality Management Saves Retailer over $10 Million”

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No high-pressure sales here. We promise.


PMIASQIEEESoftware Engineering InstituteInternational Software Testing Qualifications Board