The Fantastic Bugs in your app could induce high customer churn. Imagine the beautiful world full of fairy tales and fantastic beasts. They call them The High Bugs. The High Bugs are (in the difference of the children stories we know in our world) the really evil creatures. The Bugs ‘do things’. Usually the bad things. Destroying the beauty of this world. Empires fall due to them. But not your Empire. The last that stands still has no Bugs. The mighty software where the users are happy.
Well, it’s only a fairy tale. The Bugs are real. And yes, the Bugs will be present in production. See the big players on the market. No one speaks about these names, which we do not say aloud. But does it mean there are no Bugs inside the big systems, hiding in the dark? These tiny bastards are there. Not talking about them won’t make them disappear.
And none want them in production. If Bugs appear, no one speaks about them. Is it good or bad?
To tell you the truth, better speak about the Bugs and at the same time do something with them. None of the devs, PMs, QAs are proud that any of the Bugs appear. This means literally ANY (nor the devs environment nor the production one). You cannot avoid this situation where there is a need to fix some issues that arise. The thing is to do it before the users will find at least critical ones and simply, well, how can I say it in the easier way – will give you ‘the bad review’. That’s why it is so important before launching an app.
What is QA for?
Usually, there is the mythological hero called QA who fights the Bugs but due to the financial issues (lack of gold in the inventory), this hero is not hired very often. Every business is different, so I’m not complaining about the financials which may differ. I want to highlight the good side of this investment. Being QA is not only being ‘clicking through the app monkey’. It’s about the high quality of the development process, teaching, and learning, sometimes with a light dose of PM, product owner or Scrum Master competencies. The QA in the development team will master the product from the user perspective and will squeeze the maximum potential out of it and the team.
As time goes by, more and more potential users of the product hit the wall. As the practice shows, many of them will just close the browser tab or get rid of the installed mobile app right after discovering some critical issue or just because of the bad user experience introduced by the system. Remember the case of Cyberpunk? Do you realize how many of the players just left the game after discovering even minor issues which were not allowed there, as there were very high expectations created by the marketing campaigns? Many of them won’t install the game again even if there will be patches and updates added, fixing most of the issues. The bad first impression remains for a long time and causes the rumor about how bad the product is spread across the globe. Having in mind that what appears on the internet, stays on the internet forever, and it is really hard to fix the bad opinion and all this hate flooding the web, consider if lack of investment in a proper QA team is really worth it.
Invest in QA
Some specialists show the QA engagement as cons (mostly because of the costs) some as the pros. To be honest, everything should be discussed at the beginning of the project. The earlier QA member will join the project the best chance to create a system that will satisfy the end-users (business customers). The earlier QA will start testing the whole solution and the processes beneath it the fewer Bugs will appear in production. There is no worse scenario than letting the end-users test the final product and finding the Bugs on production, writing the bad reviews from the start. This doesn’t mean any good for the business. For sure, the investment in QA at the early stage of the project is a good choice.
Minimise the risk
Investment in the QA member of the team also means some sacrifices. The biggest one, besides paying for the person, is that the QA needs to spend the time on the project from its beginning – meaning that the QA is involved in early valuation and design processes where the draft of the features is described. This helps the QA member focus on the value of the features, their quality. Asking the hard questions the whole team together with the client can focus on the business goal which will be the most valuable for the end-users, meaning the best for the client’s business as a starting point.
Now, you may wonder: why the heck is he writing all of these, this is my business, I know what to do with my money. The lack of gold in my inventory is my concern, some sacrifices are needed to reach the market fast with great ideas. I agree. But to make wise choices, a bit of knowledge is always a good omen. Sometimes it’s better to invest more money at the beginning to pick up the rewards (with the lower cost) later. And then if everything goes well there is a high chance that with the support of the experienced QA you and the team will create a high-quality product with as few Bugs as possible, having low customer churn. Being on that level will be legendary.
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