Make Testing Your Competitive Advantage

At first glance, testing might only look like a cost, but testing can actually help you reduce risk, get your product to market faster and contribute to a considerably improved customer experience.

Testing is often viewed as a necessary evil, an additional cost to the project that slows everything and everyone down. I would disagree and say that investing in testing is actually a cost and time saving, and that smart testing can be an organization’s competitive advantage in today’s high-paced society.

Testing provides information about product quality and product risk that stakeholders need in order to feel confident that they are making the right decisions, at the right time.

Deciding when to release a product to market means weighing the cost of a delay against the risk and consequences of an application failure. As illustrated by the recent software failure experienced by American Airlines, inadequate testing not only puts your image and brand at risk, but it can also pose a threat to life and safety. American Airlines uses an application that provides the pilots with flight plans, but, after an update, the application would unexpectedly crash, causing several dozen planes to be grounded. This is just one example of a safety-critical problem that proper testing could have prevented.

By shifting left, and focusing on quality from day one, testing can help shorten the overall development cycle, enabling faster time to market. Early testing can find potential issues already in the requirements, saving development from wasting time building the wrong thing the wrong way and potentially having to rebuild major parts of the product.

Emphasizing testing as part of your organizational culture and processes lets you achieve a judicious balance between business drivers and user expectations. Acting as user advocates, testers aim to understand what motivates and engages your customers, and that understanding is a crucial part of delivering a successful customer experience.

Smart testing lets your organization work more efficiently and effectively, while also ensuring a better experience for your customers. Smart testing could be what sets you apart.

About Christin Wiedemann

Christin Wiedemann (@c_wiedemann) is the Co-CEO and Chief Scientist of PQA Testing. After finishing her PhD in Physics at Stockholm University, Christin Wiedemann started working as a software developer for the Swedish consulting company HiQ. Christin soon discovered that software testing was more interesting and challenging than development and subsequently joined the Swedish test company AddQ Consulting. At AddQ, she worked as a tester, test lead and trainer, giving courses on agile testing, test design and exploratory testing throughout Europe. Christin developed a course on exploratory testing, and is a co-creator of the exploratory testing approach xBTM. Christin currently lives in Vancouver, where she joined Professional Quality Assurance (PQA) Ltd. in 2011. In her current role as Chief Scientist, she drives PQA’s research and method development work. She continues to use her scientific background and pedagogic abilities to develop her own skills and those of others. LinkedIn Profile
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