In the software testing industry, the cost of defects is proportional to the stage at which the defect is detected. The concept of ‘ earlier the better’ applies appropriately here.
The earlier a defect will be detected in software, the lesser efforts and money it will take to fix it. Even sometimes it depends upon the impact of the defect is going to have on the experience of the user and working of the software, that the defect will be considered for fixing or not.
There are generally three stages where a defect or a bug in the software can be detected.
1. Requirement and Specifications Stage
This is the stage in the software development lifecycle at which the concept of the software is decided. The aim of building a project is decided with specifying the requirements for accomplishing the same.
A loophole or a weak link or lack of any function can be detected in the idea of the project at this stage while discussing with the stakeholders and analysing the scope of the same.
These defects can be fixed with some discussion and research. And the cost required for the same will not be very high and will not cause any bad impact on the reputation of the enterprise.
As no actual working on building the software is started till this stage so that’s also an added relief for developers that they have not wasted their time and effort on working on an idea with undeniable defects.
Most of the bugs about a project are detected at this stage only.
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2. Design Stage
At the design stage, the visibility and the workflow of the software are planned. The mechanism is designed that how the data will flow from the database when called or how the new information will be stored in it.
This stage provides exact details the development team will need to code the software as desired.
Still, if a bug or failure is detected at the design stage it will not cost much expensive as the weaknesses in the design of the software can be reissued.
But if the software related defects found at this stage is an undetected bug at requirement phase then it takes relatively more efforts and money to fix them.
It is required to go back to the requirement stage and fix the issue and redesign the software and its workflow. It all requires some amount of time which was not supposed. Sometimes it may lead to an extra delay in the release which is not good for enterprises.
But again it’s good if the failure is detected here the reputation of the enterprise is still not on stake.
We are saying this thing about the reputation of an enterprise because it is what makes a company into a brand. It is well realized in research that a negative word of mouth spread more quickly than a positive word of mouth.
The customers unsatisfied with the services influence more people not to use your services more than a customer who is happy with your product.
3. Construction Stage
The construction phase is the one where the ideas planned and workflow designed to executed to make the software take desired actions.
At this stage, the requirements are prioritized that ‘which should be the first and the last functionality to work on?’. Those elements of the software build first which can allow the testing team to get started and bring basic functionality to the system.
It’s the construction stage that responsible for developing the final product ready for pre-production and to be released for users.
A defect that occur at this stage cost much more than at the previous stages. Developers are bothered about these issues because it cost not only money but also time and effort.
To correct a defect at this stage the team is required to get back to the requirements stage and reissue the requirements specifications and redesign the software to make it ready for the changes in the code.
At this stage, the testing is started. Previously manual testing is done but sometimes due to human error some bugs remain unidentified and the software is passed on for production and release for the users.
Now the software testing industry is relying on the accuracy of automation testing tools to test the software at every stage of development to make sure that the software is building as desired.
As they provide more coverage and various tests can be done simultaneously.
Even after all these technological developments, the concept of Zero Defects is still hard to achieve.
If some possible defects are not recognized and corrected till the testing stage the product will be released and later bugs will be informed to the team by the user.
It will not only cost money, time and effort to fix them but also the reputation of the enterprise. Now it depends on the impact the bug is going to have on the system that a bug will be fixed or not as already mentioned it cost much higher to fix it.
If the defect is having no serious impact then the owner may decide to let it be the way it is. But if it’s an important one than the owners would have to spend money to fix them.
There are also examples when the owners decided to withdraw the product as the cost of correction of the bug was hard for them to afford.
Let’s learn how to deal with defects
Defect Management Process
This process involves a defect discovery, defect removal, and then process improvement.
It mainly focuses on
- Preventing the Defects: It involves improving the quality and productivity of the software by preventing the defects during SDLC.
- Early Detection: It involves recognizing defects in the early stage of testing as the cost of fixing them is much lower than that in later stages.
- Minimize the impact: The development team should identify all the possible risks that may occur and analysing the maximum impact it can have in the system and then making efforts to minimise their impact. So those bugs are encountered a negligible number of times when the software is being used.
- Resolution of Defects with minimum impact on existing software in the market. The changes are made in such a way that it does not interfere with the current working of the software.
- Improving the process: These defects also provides the team member with an opportunity to realise the mistake they made during the requirements and design stage.
It makes them better software developers so that they can less efficient and less buggy software and future unpredicted expenditures can be reduced.