In business, everything comes down to the bottom line: money saved or money earned. I like to approach my test projects from both directions (yes, I believe testing can be a profit center).
In order to show this, you really need to have some testers on board. If you do, the next step is to be sure you have a solid defect management system. Enter each and every defect, even if it’s fixed as a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ (ie, fixed before you can even write it up). Teach your development team to not look at defect reports as a mark against them–bugs are what they are, and a defect report is there mainly to ensure a defect is fixed before release.
With this new defect tracking system in place, show your managers the defects fixed – especially the high-severity or high-priority defects which would have interrupted service. Time lost due to defects is money lost, so every defect found before release represents a return on investment.
This is more difficult to communicate, but consider the value of “Good Will” to a business. This is an intangible but real value, and it’s often used when calculating the value of a business. Look at quality as the same thing. High-quality software has an intangible value. Look at it this way – when you buy a book from Amazon.com, you don’t generally worry about whether your transaction will be recorded, the correct amount charged, and all of this happening securely. But if you buy from BobsBookEmporium, well you have no idea and you’re going to be wary. This reputation for secure, accurate transactions is in part what has made Amazon the empire they are today.
By showing management the evidence (bugs found) and also pointing out the intangibles of quality, you can help justify those testers.
I hope that helps you a little further down the path!
John Overbaugh is a testing professional with 13 years of experience and is a frequent contributor and testing expert with IT Knowledge Exchange.
There are direct and indirect benefits, tangible and intangible benefits, short term and long term benefits, few of them could be:
Time to develop a better product is reduced if testers are involved right from beginning of the development
Increase in Customer Satisfaction
Successful completion of project (development/ customization and implementation)
Repetition of bugs is reduced and eventually zeroed down
Team’s confidence increases
Increase in Management Confidence
Increase in product demand
Increase Product Stability
Increase in Sales of Product
Customers are retained
Growth of Organization increases
All these are measurable in a period of time depending on product/organization size.