Emtec Insights

Defect_Prevention_Mantra_of_Business_Assurance.jpg“Business Assurance” over “Quality Control”

With the explosion of disruptive technologies, ever-dynamic market trends, and increasing customer expectations, “quality” has taken center stage. The demands on Quality have extended beyond conventional “control” mechanisms to providing strategic transformational “Business Assurance” Services. This necessitates a change in approach, process and service delivery.

The Value of Business Assurance

  • Providing strategic and transformational “Business Assurance” Services aimed at defect prevention.
  • “Early” involvement of quality assurance with greater emphasis on static vs dynamic testing reduces costs.
  • Right sizing quality assurance efforts will deliver maximized ROI and reduced time to market.

It is evident that 50% of defects originate during design and development activities and the cost of fixing these defects increases exponentially as you move into the subsequent phases of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). It is therefore imperative that any Quality Assurance methodology should strive towards preventing defects at the origination stage.

The following diagram (Adopted from – Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University) illustrates the importance of Assurance and Defect Prevention.


As shown in the above illustration, a typical quality control approach leads to 61% of defects unearthed during the quality control phase whereas adapting an assurance approach reduces it to 32%. Similarly, assurance aimed at defect prevention provides a cost savings of 48%. The effort and time to unearth defects in the quality control phase drops by 50%.

While Quality control is the central function, the QA services portfolio should be a mix encompassing: 

  • Quality assurance principles, standards and measurements with static and dynamic Assurance methods and techniques.
  • Innovative techniques along with relevant quantitative measurement and monitoring services.
  • Well defined frameworks for structured and process driven test methodologies.
  • Infrastructure & tool evaluation and advisory services.

QA services should be aimed at providing a holistic synopsis of quality and a 360 degree view of quality gating mechanisms across the application lifecycle.  

There are robust frameworks, methodologies and a set of techniques that has to be woven into a quality engineering process. These broadly comprise of:

1.  Adoption of ETVX process model (Entry, Task, Verification & Exit) at every phase of the QA lifecycle.

2.  Functional decomposition of Business requirements into modules, features and conditions that   convert to test cases in order to ensure that every requirement (whether explicit or implicit) is captured for verification and validation.

3.  Bi-directional traceability matrix ensuring adequate tests for all requirements which helps prioritize the test cases and define the right sized test suite.

4.  Scientific test coverage analysis through the judicious use of various techniques such as risk based, orthogonal array to arrive at the critical path for optimized testing.

5.  Static test techniques such as review and gap analysis which help validate end user requirements are  captured and designed adequately even before the code construction is initiated.

6.  Mapping of requirements with Functional Specifications (FS) / design documents to unearth design defects as well as build the “table of testable requirements."

In a nutshell, the cost of correcting poor quality is proven to be exponentially higher if not detected early. If testing is started early as requirements are defined and the appropriate mix of verification and validation techniques are utilized (as explained in this article); greater assurance will be provided with improved fault discovery. These techniques will go a long way in ensuring improved quality and better time to market with reduced costs.

Written by Emtec Blog Team

The Emtec blog team is proud to bring you the latest IT insights and best practices for the enterprise to optimize and empower IT, Finance, HR, and Sales and Marketing. The team includes thought leaders globally across sectors, technologies and specialties with their unique experience and acumen. If you would like to connect with the Emtec Blog Team: Insights@emtecinc.com

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