What are the advantages of a testing service?
A testing service allows preventing error occurrences, by reducing the overall number of errors of the Project.
Additionally, because the errors are detected at an early stage just following development there is a significant reduction of the average cost of each correction. It is a known fact that the closer to rollout into production, the higher is the correction cost. Finally, because the savings obtained from the reduction of the correction effort are higher than the investment made in testing, the service pays itself.
Why not using a programmer or analyst as a tester?
From a Project’s return on investment point of view, it seems to be more suitable to use a developer or an analyst as a tester because there is a potential synergy on resource allocation by the Project Manager.
However, a developer or analyst regards the testing activities as a non-specialized activity and executes the tests with a mindset to achieve positive results, i.e. to show that software works. The execution of the tests on a downfall perspective, i.e. to show what it does not work, is seldom addressed.
Besides, as the Project Manager focus is on meeting the deadlines, any delay occurring on a Project compels the developer performing the test to suspend the activity and resume the development activity.
When this happens, all the advantages resulting from error prevention disappear because the testing activity is suspended.
Moreover, the information systems are steadily growing in complexity, requiring that the testing activities should be performed by an exclusively dedicated team.
Finally, the testing teams have usually a more comprehensive and deeper knowledge than any member of the development team, because this is an “out of character” role to an analyst, normally dedicated to understand a system or cluster of systems, which does not require an end-to-end understanding of the process.
As such, the best way to perform an overall testing is to have an independent test team do the work.
What is the required investment?
For customized software, the investment is around 10% of the Project budget and the return on investment corresponds to 15% to 25% of the same amount. This return on investment only considers an estimation of the savings obtained from the reduction of the error correction effort. For accuracy, it should also consider the brand damage costs and/or loss of profits resulting from the information system operation failure.
How can WinTrust validate the system if they don’t know my business?
WinTrust knows the business as does the development team: based on requirements.
This approach presents the added value of ensuring that the requirements are updated as per any change in the business, as well as the additional advantage of ensuring that the requirements are validated by a third-party on the find errors and omissions process. Any occurring error or omission is usually detected before the start of the development stage, so there is also the benefit of preventing errors arising from poor quality requirements.