Is software testing valuable?
Yes, of course, it is.
However, it comes with a price tag.
The budgeting process may include various costly activities such as test case development, maintenance, execution, tools, and infrastructure, to name a few. In this regard, reducing software testing and QA costs without compromising on product quality proves to be a challenging balancing act.
Businesses who cut corners in software testing without cost-benefit analysis risk paying up more in terms of rework, or worse, business reputation, and loss of revenue.
Source: Capgemini World Quality Report 2015
Below, you will explore some easy-to-follow ways to reduce your testing costs and still deliver a quality-driven software product.
What’s the solution?
1. Apply shift-left testing approach
Adopting the shift-left testing approach can increase a team’s efficiency to detect and fix bugs throughout every Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) stage from scratch before they become large and difficult to eliminate. There are many ways to achieve the shift-left testing approach and reduce QA costs, such as:
- Prioritizing requirements and planning a testing strategy early.
- Implementing testing sessions to detect, record, and fix bugs on the go before the post-release phase.
- Applying test-driven development (TDD) to eradicate flaws in the codebase and reducing app testing and bug fixing costs.
- More collaboration and discussions to keep team members aboard about all the new changes, updates, feature additions, bugs, and so on–so nobody misses a beat.
Bugs identified in the post-release stage can cost 30 times more than an error discovered in the design and architectural stage. So it is better to begin testing at the start of the software development cycle.
According to IBM, here’s how the cost of bugs escalates at various SDLC stages:
If you do not pay attention, software testing can become expensive in many unexpected ways.
2. Work with test management tools
Test case management apps are useful sources to plan, record, track, and manage an entire test project. These tools offer intuitive dashboards and onboard reporting for QA leads and testers saving them from manual task management and report generation, limiting any time and money constraints. Following are other key areas that are highly beneficial for seamless and cost-effective test project experience:
Test management tools help duplicate test artifacts such as test plans with minimum effort. Every bug found is assigned to the appropriate team member. The process remains transparent until the problem is fixed.
Increases team efficiency
When a team stays aboard and communicates throughout the software development process, team productivity and morale amp up. The collaborative nature of work allows the team to help and answer each other’s queries simultaneously. Exchanging feedback and ideas boost every team player’s spirit to deliver and perform better.
3. More automation
Instead of automating the SDLC from the beginning, many experts start the process with manual testing. Perhaps it is a sensible decision to reduce testing costs as manual testing becomes a burden if overdone.
Although manual testing can be comprehensive, it still requires a huge distribution of resources.
Thus, the rule of thumb here is to automate. It effectively reduces the costs needed to run tests, allowing your manual testers to be more productive and perform other important tasks.
Automation helps the QA team to write and run a test and then execute it infinite times without human interference. For example, in a test scenario, automation testing could reduce costs per test hour from $78 to $17.54.
Other advantages that Automation has are as follows:
Test automation helps the test execution process efficiently, allowing you to spend more time on complicated app areas. Hence, QA engineers submit bug reports on time which enables developers to fix bugs in timely fashion.
Reuse/Reinvent test case
Automated test management tools enables you to modify test cases for different testing phases. This facilitates the workflow of the research engineers to reinvent the test cases from the backlog and reuse them as needed.
Maximum test coverage
Performing automation enables you to run more test suites and have much more coverage. Test coverage allows the testers to verify testing quality meanwhile tracking hidden bugs that may lead to overheads.
“Only automation testing can help achieve 80% to 100% test coverage.”
Executing automation tests can be tedious, but the effort is worthy of all the advantages your team and the entire workflow will relish.
4. Execute a risk-based testing approach
A risk-based testing approach implies scanning the app areas that can affect the product most.
The strategy allows testers to write and run specific test cases to mitigate the market risk. This targeted approach reduces the cost, time, and effort spent in writing a series of less important test cases.
This is how you can quickly perform risk-based testing:
- Filter out potential risks and curate a list
- Explore the most treacherous risks
- Transform and improvise your testing strategy
5. Master the 80/20 rule
Inadequate management of previous software projects and testing suites can result in a hodgepodge of obsolete assets. 80/20 principle is one of the most efficient ways to keep the previous testing assets well-organized allowing reusability for future test projects. Smart work is appreciated over hard work!
Follow the above tips in order to master the expert QA cost-cutting strategies. We assure you, you’ll be able to notice the difference in your testing costs!