How a software bug can cause high costs to the project

Posted: June 20, 2018 by Natalya Rahmany

Software testing in recent years become one of the most important parts of the project management lifecycle.

In this post, I’ll explain how a software bug can cause high costs to the project.

Today, most software companies have a software testing department. It’s a big change compared to previous years.

Still, some of the software companies did not believe in the existence of the QA department and mainly relied on the development department to check out.

Test effort is often shown by the proportion between the number of testers and the number of software developers. The proportion varies from 1 tester per 7 developers up to 1 tester per 3-4 developers.

It means the budget spent on a software project for the testing department is very variable.

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A software bug that was not found during testing in a lab could be a reason for very high costs when the user used the software.

Let’s see why!

1.If customers find out an issue in production it’s first of bad image for a product and software company.  In long term, it could damage even a company brand as “Not quality brand or product”.

2.Issues in production or lower env (pre-production) create a lot of “noise” and cause of loop of Hotfixes and Patches. This impact caused to switch of the development team to fix issues of the patch and not roadmap development.

3.A system with a high risk must be tested deeper than another system that does not generate a big loss in case of failure.

Just imagine defence critical systems or medical systems have a software bug, this type of issue could cost a person’s life. Therefore is it so important to find out the software bug as soon as possible.

 The V-Model recommends starting the testing process already in the requirements phase. The agile model tests the system in parallel to development.

 Starting testing in this phase minimizes project costs significantly.

As another example, you can think about financial systems. The system calculates the wrong price to stock, it can lead to millions of stocks being sold and buy for an incorrect price.

In this case, the total loss can be millions of dollars, of a cause depending on how much the price was miscalculated by the financial system for each stock.

See additional example: for a producer of GPS systems, an erroneous driving direction can mean a very high risk. As a result, the customers will not trust the defective driving direction.

If a consumer will not trust the defective driving direction it can lead to losses in sales.

The decision of how intensively and deeper the software shall be tested should be made based upon the expected risk of failure.

Therefore, the risk assessment should be detailed in the initial stage of a project.

In order to receive good covering tests, the testers should work due to production requirements. The tests must be designed and performed in a systematic way.

Only this way the tester can find more complex faults with less effort.

Is this post helpful for you? Share your thoughts in comments on how it helped you. 

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