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Cost of Bugs in Production- The Price You Pay for Ignorance

5 Apr
5 Minutes
Software Testing

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    Software development involves a lot of complex processes. Along with significant expertise, it requires a lot of time, labor, and money. When it comes to money, the cost of identifying and fixing the bugs can be extremely high.

    However, it highly depends on when you are trying to fix bugs- during the development or after completing the task.

    Before you dig into the main topic, look at the brief conversation between a CXO of a product company and our QAble expert below. This conversation highlights the real issues which we regularly face.

    It shows the reality of ignorance of software testing, which increases the cost of bugs in production.

    QA Expert: "Are you ok with bugs in production?"

    CXO: "Oh yes!"

    QA Expert: "What about the cost of fixing these bugs in production? Have you budgeted for those?"

    CXO: "Who budgets for bugs? We will deal with them as they come. Anyways our developers are smart enough to develop, test and fix issues. We have a very strong recruiting practice."

    QAble Expert: "I can tell you that this is not sustainable. I can help you fix it now and you can thank me later. 😊"

    CXO: " Aha! We will see."

    From the above conversation, it is clear that CXO doesn’t care about testing the software at every stage. He thinks that the problem can be solved all at once after it reaches the production stage.

    Moreover, he is also not aware of the fact that this can give rise to a domino effect which can hamper the company’s budget.

    Table of Content
    1. Understand the Domino Effect
    2. What Happens When Bugs Are Not Detected At the Right Time?
    3. Accepting the Secret Mantra of Early Testing
    4. What are the Reasons behind Testing Early?
    5. How to Solve the Costs of Fixing Bugs?
    6. Don’t Forget that Quality is Culture
    7. How Testing Can Help in Achieving Long-Term Benefits?
    8. Action Point
    9. FAQs

    Understand the Domino Effect

    The cost of any prevailing bug can rise if not corrected on time. In the year 2016, software failures cost around $1.1 trillion. Failures were detected at around 363 companies which affected more than 4.4 billion population of their customers.

    One point that needs to be highlighted is that companies could easily avoid these incidents. But they didn’t pay any heed and pushed the software towards production. Hence, it's high time to understand and pay extensive attention to software errors.

    What Happens When Bugs Are Not Detected At the Right Time?

    Companies need to understand that delaying the task of bug fixing will increase the costs of fixing at every stage. For instance, if the team finds a bug during requirement gathering, it may cost around $100. Significantly, the cost of bugs in production increases up to $1500 if it reaches the testing phase.

    Along with that, if they are still not found, then the cost can reach up to $10000 after reaching the production stage. Furthermore, if the bug remains undetected, then companies must remain ready to face major financial loss.

    Accepting the Secret Mantra of Early Testing

    Prevention of certain issues is far better than waiting for the cost of bugs in production to pile up. Taking small steps consistently not only saves your time but takes the product in the right direction to achieve desired results.

    What are the Reasons behind Testing Early?

    One of the main reasons why testing early can be beneficial is having lesser data. Yes, having less data allows one to use only one browser. Along with that, they can use the software as required smoothly.

    Also, you have a debugger available to do the task faster. But, the problem increases when the bugs reach the production stage. The lack of important tools to mitigate them creates huge chaos to cut the cost of bugs in production.

    Look at the following points to understand why the costs of fixing bugs increase.

    • Technical Issues- As said above, if the bugs aren’t detected on time, the technical issues pile up. As a result, they become more complicated with every stage. Thus, the longer the testers will wait, the higher costs the organization needs to pay.
    • Delay While Detecting the Bugs- As time passes and the system becomes more complex, it becomes tough to find bugs and remove them. With new configurations and add-ons, the bugs connect with the new functionality. Thus, it makes it time-consuming and difficult to fix the cost of bugs in production.  
    • Higher Dependance- If the bugs are critical for operating other systems, then fixing is mandatory. As the bugs start affecting deeply, the costs to fix them will rise immediately.
    • Problem in Replication- Significantly, difficulty replicating the bugs can be a major factor. If it takes a long time to diagnose it, then the costs will again increase.

    How to Solve the Costs of Fixing Bugs?

    Removing a bug is a crucial and pricey affair. But, there are some steps everyone must follow when it comes to fixing them. Note the following steps.

    • Gathering information about the requirement- Firstly, gathering accurate and necessary requirements from stakeholders is an essential process. It is done to ensure that the experts can meet their expectations or not
    • Focus on Bug Fixing- The next step is to prioritize fixing the bugs. Categorize the bugs according to the severity, impact, or resources required to fix them. To do this task easily, start by fixing high-priority bugs.
    • Investing in the Right Tools- The lack of tools leads the developing team to spend extra time and not achieve the right quality. To solve this issue once and for all, invest in the right tool to track bugs. Hence, it allows the team to measure the impact so you can take the necessary steps on time.
    • Automated Testing- Automated testing also helps identify bugs much earlier during the development process. Before the issue escalates, automated testing can determine the bugs and solve them. Thus, the cost of bugs in production can be reduced immensely.
    • Increased Collaboration Among Developers- Collaboration among developers to find and fix bugs reduces the overall costs of fixing. They can work together to resolve the issues much faster.
    • Implementing Best Practices for Coding- One of the best practices to lower the cost of bugs in production is writing readable code. Hence, the developer should write clean code by following specific standards.

    Don’t Forget that Quality is Culture

    Growing businesses in the IT field must have a clear goal for testing their products. Unfortunately, companies often neglect testing in order to release their products faster. This, however, can have long-term consequences, as extensive testing can provide numerous benefits. Companies should, therefore, prioritize testing and understand how the cost of bugs in production can be a huge bummer.

    Companies Need to Change their Mindset

    Most business owners as well as senior management among companies across the world don't have the mindset to test the bugs on time. They only focus on delivering the features and think that testing them later will help them make a lot of money. Hence, this showcases their short-sighted mindset. In the end, they have to spend more to solve the bug issues.

    Developers Are Not Testers

    Another major problem that companies need to address is that a tester and a developer have different expertise with specific objectives. Thus, they are not the same. Even after knowing that, they only trust developers to do the task of testing.

    They don’t realize that developers will not think the same as the tester. Due to this, developers are not able to find major anomalies like a skilled tester. In turn, the cost of bugs in production increases unknowingly.

    Stop Depending on Customers to Report Bugs

    Significantly, there are also several instances where companies wait for the customers to report the bugs. Doing this can prove to be a huge disadvantage. Why? It is because the customers will instantly switch to a competitor instead of waiting to detect any problem.

    Therefore, it is better to take the matter into your own hands and fix the cost of bugs in production.

    How Testing Can Help in Achieving Long-Term Benefits?

    It is still not too late if business owners take the charge to solve the issues immediately. They can easily achieve long-term benefits such as security issues, better user experience, increased customer satisfaction, and using efficient resources.

    These are the simple steps that they can incorporate to achieve long-term benefits to reduce the cost of bugs in production

    • Establish a Culture of Quality- Organizations should focus on fostering a culture of quality. They should encourage and establish testing as a valuable and necessary part of the software development process.
    • Incorporating Testing in the Development Process- Secondly, testing must be treated as an integral part of the development cycle and not as an afterthought. Remaining focused on the testing part can prove to be a great advantage for slashing the cost of bugs in production.
    • Offer Training and Resources- Furthermore, training the team with the combination of appropriate and latest tools and resources. Doing this will help them do effective testing on time.
    • Measure and Report the Testing Results- Organizations always need to measure as well as report the impact of testing. Thus, the report should have necessary information such as the impact of the test, bugs caught, customer satisfaction, and resources saved. In this way, they can demonstrate the cost of bugs in production.
    • Lead an Example- The senior management of the company should lead an example. They should emphasize the importance of testing and allocating the necessary resources. Through this, they can set an example and optimize the cost of bugs in production.

    Action Point

    Value testing is the key to a successful and problem-free product release. By doing this, you'll avoid expensive bugs, keep users happy, and boost your market reputation.

    Don't wait, start value testing now!

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    Written by Nishil Patel

    CEO & Founder

    Nishil is a successful serial entrepreneur. He has more than a decade of experience in the software industry. He advocates for a culture of excellence in every software product.


    What are the long term benefits of testing?

    Software testing has a lot of long term benefits such as better cost efficiency, improving user experience and productivity, enhancing customer satisfaction, etc.

    What are the essential tools used for software testing?

    To become an expert, a tester must have proficiency across various tools such as ray, Practitest, SpiraTest, TestRail, Avo Assure, Selenium, Linear, etc.

    How to fix bugs during production?

    To enhance the process of fixing bugs in production, a tester must draft a testing plan, prioritizing test codes, implementing benchmarks, etc.

    What happens when software bugs are not tested?

    If bugs aren’t tested then it can degrade the overall product quality, stakeholder disapproval, and security complications.

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