What is at stake when ignoring quality assurance during the R&D process?

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Research and development help companies meet changing needs of the market and stay ahead of competitors by introducing new products and improving existing ones. Constant race for new and better, while at the same time getting ahead of their competition is forcing companies to launch products, which might turn out better if spent few more days in the development.

That is even more true in case of developing IT solutions. Development holds all focus on coding until the very end when testing steps in. In a hurry quality assurance processes are done unsystematically and with many gaps. Testing in such cases surely needs to become smarter, more effective and more efficient, but at the same time must be personalized to each company`s needs and their R&D process. This is where testing automation can show its` many benefits. What does actually slow down the quality assurance in R&D and how can testing automation help? 

Deadlines cannot always be met.

Not catching deadlines is every project manager`s nightmare. Each delay ultimately leads to loosing money. This can be attributed to various factors – product is not launched in time, which may also result in penalties in case of B2B, while the developers and other resources cannot spend their time on other projects, since they are still engaged on the first one.

Discovering and fixing bugs can get really expensive if not detected early enough.

In all cases something is completely clear – solving every problem is easier (and cheaper) as soon as it is detected. Earlier in the development process it is discovered, less it costs in money, time and people to resolve them. With automated testing all types of testing can be supported, which enables bugs to be discovered as early as after each development phase, as during the end-to-end testing.

The cost to fix an error found after release is about 15 times higher than if it is uncovered during the design phase. It is up to 30 times more expensive if it is identified in the maintenance phase. During the implementation phase, when part of the code is being tested, the error costs 5 times more, while the integration testing can raise the bar up to 10 times, concluded IBM research.

Quality and customer experience go hand in hand.

Quality is not what a company puts in the product, but it is what a customer gets out of it, stated Peter Drucker. A company can invest a small fortune into a new product, but if a user is not satisfied with the experience, then something went wrong. That is why a special attention should be given to the whole concept of customer experience. Product must be technically flawless, while carefully designed with end user in mind. This is where interdisciplinary teams show their true value.

Everything R&D does, should be done with customer in focus. Surely leadership, engagement of the team, process approach, continual improvement, evidence – based decision making and relationship with suppliers all matter very much, nothing matters as much as satisfied customer in the end of the chain. Customers among others demand flawless technical experience, which cannot be reached without proper quality assurance processes and testing.

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