12th June 2019
Always be testing.
In today's digital world, we judge organisations on the quality of the experience they offer. And with the world at our fingertips, it's all too easy to switch if our expectations aren't met. Leading retail bank TSB's recent IT failure caused people to lose access to their accounts for up to five days which led 80,000 customers to switch to a competitor, costing the bank £330m.
With customer loyalty paramount, it has never been more important to demonstrate that customer expectations will be met by software.
If you want major return on investment, you need to find major risks early on, and test every step of the way. With that in mind, here are our 5 key principles of making testing a business priority at Made to Engage.
1. Our mantra: test early & test often
Testing early is key to delivering products that are cost-effective for clients. This is because it's 100 times costlier to fix a bug once a system is operational than it is to fix it during design. And there are further figures to suggest there's a lot to gain in early testing. It's 6.5 times more costly to fix a bug during implementation, according to the IBM System Science Institute. And it's 15 times more costly if left until a designated phase later in the project.
The later the bug is found, the more stages you have to go through to retest it which means the cost rises drastically. The lesson? Bring QA in early and often.
2. Prevention is better than cure
That’s why our testers get involved at the start of a project as the continuous ‘what if?’ voice – searching for every pitfall to prevent future flaws in the build. Even the smallest of typos can cause a customer to doubt whether a commerce platform is secure enough to take their payment – and put a business at risk of losing sales and customers.
At Made to Engage, we help our clients rise to these challenges with proactive testing that catches defects earlier when they're easier to fix and prevents 'showstopper' errors taking hold. Our focus on improving the quality of our solutions for clients has helped us achieve ISO 9001, an internationally-recognised standard for Quality Management Systems.
3. No tester is an island
The silo mentality can be one of the biggest barriers to success in agile teams. Think about the last time you wrote an article – you ran your eye over it before 1) sharing it with someone else or 2) taking a step back from it for a few days. Both measures will often throw up errors not originally caught by you.
Many developers don’t have time to wait a few days to bring fresh eyes onto their work, certainly not during rapid software development. At Made to Engage, our agile testers work alongside our developers to build quality products together as one cohesive team which helps to increase efficiencies and decrease costs.
4. Improvement is a journey, not a destination
Focusing on user acceptance testing (UAT), which takes place at the end of a project and allows users to test the product to ensure it has no defects, is a costly way to fix problems. UAT doesn’t test for validation, security, performance or anything beyond the basic functionality of what users need the platform to do for them personally.
Instead of focusing on the UAT phase, we apply QA throughout design and development. It’s a better way of approaching testing that reduces costs and ensures quality is woven into every phase.
5. Optimised testing is key
Some organisations may be concerned about taking time to test, such is their eagerness to step ahead of competitors. Optimised testing overcomes this fear by using automation to decrease the time taken while maintaining testing quality. At Made to Engage, we look at how analytics and AI-driven programmes can power the best quality solutions for clients. Our QA testers need to learn fast, often moving around between manual testing, automation and a blended approach.
We'll keep pushing the boundaries of QA...
...in order to deliver the best quality products across key industries including retail, finance and tourism.
Every organisation should be testing the platforms that drive their business to anticipate problems and avoid them. Organisations need to get on board now to continue to meet and exceed rising customer expectations.