How Does Quality assurance (QA) Save Money

How Does Quality assurance (QA) Save Money

Far too frequently, Quality Assurance is viewed as a cost rather than an investment. Yet when quality slips, errors occur, and recalls are initiated, the financial implications can be astronomical.

I’ve seen this firsthand how a strategically integrated QA process can turn these setbacks into savings.

Let’s take a look at a software development project where a client company refrains from hiring a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer to “cut costs.” Such companies often ask themselves: “Why should I hire a QA engineer from the project’s beginning when I could bring one on board during the last phase and cut costs?” This mindset is a classic example of being “penny wise, pound foolish.” Initially, it might seem like a cost-saving measure, but it often leads to even bigger expenses and issues down the line.

Why is quality assurance (QA) Important?

According to the latest CISQ report, cybercrime losses due to existing software vulnerabilities rose by 64% from 2020 to 2021. Implementing software quality practices is imperative to mitigate such risks and safeguard against potential losses. An earlier CISQ report highlighted that US companies lost a staggering $2.08 trillion in 2020 due to poor software quality. A significant portion of this loss could have been prevented with sufficient testing.

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Thus, you might ask: how does QA save money? Quality assurance (QA) ensure that the software meets the intended requirements and functions as expected, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Identifying and rectifying defects early in the development process prevents costly issues from arising later, saving time and resources.

Investing in Quality assurance (QA is not a luxury; it is an essential part of any standard process. It contributes to building a strong reputation for reliability and professionalism, attracting more customers and opportunities.

Benefits of QA Testing

Early Identification of Bugs

Early Identification of Bugs

The primary goal of any QA engineer is to identify bugs. However, it’s not just about finding issues but also about the timing of their discovery. Identifying bugs early in the software development process is crucial for saving money and ensuring the overall success of a project.

The later a bug is discovered, the higher the associated costs. Without the expertise of a QA engineer, spotting these bugs during the initial stages of development becomes nearly impossible. When QA engineers are involved from the outset, they can identify and address potential issues before they escalate, significantly reducing the time and resources required for bug fixes later on.

Example: Consider a company developing a new mobile application. During the initial development phase, a QA engineer discovers a critical security flaw that could potentially expose user data. Because the issue is identified early, the development team can address and fix the flaw before it becomes deeply integrated into the application’s architecture.

As a result, the fix is straightforward and incurs minimal additional costs. However, if this bug had gone unnoticed until after the app was launched, the company would have faced substantial expenses to patch the issue, not to mention the potential damage to its reputation and the legal liabilities from a data breach.

Analogy: Think of software development like building a house. If an architect notices a foundational crack while laying the foundation, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to fix it at that stage. However, if the crack is only discovered after the house is fully built, fixing it becomes a massive, costly endeavor, potentially requiring tearing down parts of the house and rebuilding them.

In the same way, identifying bugs early in the software development process ensures that problems are fixed when they are easiest and cheapest to address, preventing costly overhauls later on.

Preventing Rework and Maintenance Costs

Preventing Rework and Maintenance Costs

Thorough testing acts as a shield against the costly adversaries of rework and maintenance. When QA engineers detect and rectify potential issues early, they preempt the need for extensive rework and ongoing maintenance. Consider a scenario where a critical bug eludes detection during initial testing and manifests itself post-deployment.

The subsequent need to identify, address, and rectify the issue demands considerable time and resources, disrupting operational continuity, leading to potential revenue loss, and tarnishing the company’s reputation. Conversely, when bugs are identified and resolved upfront through rigorous testing protocols, the software emerges resilient and reliable, sparing organizations from the burdensome cycle of reactive maintenance.

Example: Imagine a tech company developing an e-commerce website. During the rigorous QA testing phase, engineers discover a bug in the payment processing system that could occasionally double-charge customers. By catching this issue early, the development team can fix it before the website goes live, preventing a major headache for both the company and its customers.

If this bug had slipped through initial testing and was only discovered after launch, the company would have faced significant rework costs to correct the issue. Additionally, dealing with customer complaints, issuing refunds, and potentially losing customer trust would add to the financial burden.

Analogy: Consider building a car. If a faulty part is detected and replaced during the manufacturing process, the cost and effort involved are minimal.

However, if the same defect is only discovered after hundreds of cars have been sold, the manufacturer faces a costly recall to fix the issue in all affected vehicles. This not only involves replacing the part but also dealing with the logistics of contacting customers and managing the recall process. Similarly, thorough software testing catches issues early, preventing the need for extensive rework and ongoing maintenance that can be disruptive and expensive.

Preventing Delays in Project Timelines

Preventing Delays in Project Timelines

Quality Assurance (QA) acts like a project roadmap, helping teams avoid traffic jams. It gives teams a clear picture of how their software works and where potential roadblocks might pop up. This means QA engineers can fix issues before they become big problems, keeping the project on track. When everyone understands what needs to be done from the start, there’s less chance of confusion or mistakes later on. Quality Assurance (QA) ensures the project keeps moving forward smoothly and gets completed on time.

Example: A startup is developing a new social media platform. During the testing phase, QA engineers discover that the app has performance issues when handling a high number of concurrent users.

By identifying this issue early, the development team can optimize the code and server infrastructure before the official launch. This proactive approach ensures that the platform will handle the anticipated user load, preventing delays that could arise from unexpected performance problems.

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If this issue had gone unnoticed until after launch, the team would have faced significant delays in addressing the problem, possibly leading to a poor user experience and loss of early adopters.

Analogy: Think of a large-scale event, like a music festival. Detailed planning and pre-event walkthroughs help organizers identify potential issues, such as bottlenecks at entrances or insufficient restroom facilities. By addressing these problems before the festival begins, organizers ensure a smooth event with minimal disruptions. If these issues were only discovered once the event started, fixing them would cause delays, long lines, and frustrated attendees.

Similarly, Quality Assurance (QA) identifies and resolves potential problems early, ensuring that the project progresses smoothly and meets its deadlines.

Improving Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Improving Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Quality Assurance (QA) is not just about ensuring the software works; it’s about ensuring it works exceptionally well. Proper quality assurance (QA) is vital in improving customer satisfaction by ensuring that software is of the highest quality before it reaches customers.

When customers encounter software that functions seamlessly, meets their needs, and exceeds their expectations, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to continue using the software and recommend it to others, contributing to increased retention and organic growth. In today’s competitive market, where customer experience is paramount, delivering high-quality software through thorough testing becomes a cornerstone of long-term business success.

Example: A financial services company releases a new mobile banking app. Through meticulous testing, QA engineers ensure that the app is user-friendly, secure, and bug-free. When customers start using the app, they find it intuitive and reliable for their banking needs.

As a result, customer satisfaction is high, leading to positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. The app’s seamless performance encourages users to continue using it and recommend it to friends and family. This increased customer retention and organic growth helps the company maintain a strong competitive edge in the market.

Analogy: Imagine a new restaurant that meticulously tests every recipe and perfects the dining experience before opening its doors to the public. When customers visit, they are delighted by the delicious food, prompt service, and pleasant atmosphere. These satisfied diners are likely to return and bring friends along, leading to a loyal customer base and positive reputation in the community.

In the same way, thorough Quality Assurance (QA) ensures that users have a smooth and enjoyable experience, fostering customer loyalty and promoting growth through positive feedback and recommendations.

Minimizing Risks and Avoiding Legal Costs

Minimizing Risks and Avoiding Legal Costs

Software defects can lead to significant legal ramifications and associated expenses. When software fails to perform as intended, it can result in financial losses, data breaches, or even personal harm to users, opening the door to potential lawsuits and legal liabilities. For instance, a banking application that erroneously processes transactions could lead to financial losses for customers, triggering legal action for negligence or breach of contract.

Similarly, healthcare software with a bug that compromises patient data could violate privacy regulations, inviting costly penalties and legal repercussions. Thorough testing identifies and rectifies defects before they escalate into legal issues, helping organizations mitigate potential legal liabilities and safeguarding their reputation, finances, and customer trust.

Example: A healthcare software company develops an application that manages patient records. Through rigorous testing, QA engineers identify and fix a critical bug that could have led to unauthorized access to sensitive patient data.

By addressing this issue before the software is deployed, the company avoids potential data breaches and ensures compliance with privacy regulations. This proactive approach prevents costly penalties and lawsuits, safeguarding the company’s financial health and reputation.

Analogy: Consider a car manufacturer that conducts extensive safety tests on its vehicles before they hit the market. These tests reveal a potential flaw in the braking system. By identifying and fixing this issue early, the manufacturer prevents accidents that could lead to serious injuries or fatalities, as well as the associated legal liabilities and recalls.

Similarly, thorough Quality Assurance (QA) helps organizations identify and rectify defects that could lead to significant legal and financial consequences, ensuring that the product is safe and reliable for users.

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Real-World Examples of Inadequate Testing

Even large companies with vast experience have suffered due to inadequate quality assurance (QA).

Here are a three examples:

British Airways

In 2016, British Airways experienced a catastrophic IT failure due to a software glitch in their booking system. This resulted in thousands of canceled flights, stranded passengers, and an estimated £100 million in compensation payouts. This incident vividly demonstrates the significant financial ramifications of inadequate testing. Prioritizing thorough QA procedures beforehand could have averted the costly fallout and preserved customer trust.


In 2018, Facebook faced a significant data breach, exposing millions of users’ personal information to unauthorized parties. This breach resulted in substantial regulatory fines and reputational damage. Robust security testing and quality assurance protocols could have detected and mitigated these vulnerabilities earlier, preventing costly financial and reputational consequences.

Upon its 2013 debut, the website encountered major technical hurdles such as crashes, sluggish response times, and authentication errors. These issues were largely due to hurried development and insufficient testing. Subsequent efforts to rectify these issues led to significant delays and incurred millions of dollars in extra expenses. Comprehensive testing and quality assurance during development could have ensured a more seamless rollout, mitigating costs and public dissatisfaction.

Wrapping up

If there’s one thing to remember, it’s this: the success of a project relies heavily on the meticulousness of its quality assurance (QA) processes. Companies face a crucial choice: adhere to rigorous testing protocols for assured success or risk project implementation without them. Investing in thorough software testing is not just about preventing issues; it’s about creating a reliable, high-quality product that meets customer expectations and reduces long-term costs.

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