Are you stepping into a new aircraft knowing that there is no budget for a proper test procedure? The answer to this question is an absolute no brainer. We blindly trust that an aircraft has been thoroughly tested before it is put into service.
We also have this blind faith in applications that allow us to manage our finances, drive our cars, manage our health, etc. But is this trust really justified? Are we sure that all these services have been subjected to a thorough testing procedure?
There is no easy answer to the above question. We only go by what we see in the market. To our great pleasure, we see many organisations that have set up a solid and mature test procedure. Yet we still come across situations where the test procedure is far from mature. Or even worse, completely absent. Think of organisations that work with financial, medical and personal data. The chance of risks and errors in the applications used by these organisations is significantly higher.
Why do organisations take the risk of making big mistakes that can lead to misery for customers and themselves? We see roughly four reasons for this:
An old saying goes: when the horse has bolted, the well is drained. This is certainly true for organisations that have experienced a software crisis due to a lack of a mature testing procedure. When patient or customer data is made public, the above causes suddenly appear to be quickly remedied.
Barry Boehm discovered in 1979 that the cost of correction increases exponentially as an error is found and corrected later in the development process. There is no better plea for preventing or correcting errors as early as possible in the development process. The costs for a mature test procedure are therefore quickly earned back. After all, because you stumble on errors and risks in time with a mature test procedure, the repair costs will be lower.
This also makes a case for the function of test manager within the management team. When all stake holders are convinced of the necessity of a mature test procedure, a lot of misery can be prevented.