Speed Or Quality Or Both?
Speed is the name of the game today and all for the right reasons. If you are a business owner, the constant demand to be quick on your feet manifests from the time you conceive an idea to the time it is delivered to your customers. Fast decisions, quick cycles, improved quality assurance, and speedy feedback loops, these things take the front seat and your business becomes accustomed to rising expectations from every stakeholder there is. In this scenario, how much does quality matter? Can your business afford to let quality go in an attempt to achieve speed?
Businesses have a good reason to prioritise speed. Users’ demands are always changing and putting out timely updates can generally keep the users satisfied. However, it is never okay at any point to overlook quality. When enterprises overlook quality they usually undercut the benefits of fast software delivery. This simply means, imagine being quick on your feet to put out software updates, but they are buggy. This can drive your users to your competitors.
Hence it becomes critical for enterprises to find the balance between speed and quality.
Can You Balance Speed & Quality In Software Development?
In short, your answer is yes, balancing speed and quality in software development is possible. A general rule of thumb while trying to balance speed and quality is adopting a professional and standardised release management process that can discipline the process to implement continuous delivery by adopting agile practices without tampering with quality. A management process typically targets factors that can hinder speed. Apart from adopting a systematic management process, enterprises can take the following measures as well:
a) Avoid arbitrary release schedules at all times
Sticking to a plan proves extremely important here. Testers are always under pressure to maximise software delivery time but they must never commit to release times that are not mentioned in their development roadmaps. Testers must always stick to their arbitrary release schedules at all times.
This method completely puts quality of software before speed of delivery, and it puts testers in a position to make sure they are only delivering reliable, well-tested software. Software quality should determine software delivery speed, not vice versa.
b) Application rollbacks cannot be used as an excuse
Oftentimes when you’re moving too fast, you’re trying to maintain the speed but you end up releasing a buggy version of an application. When this happens you are free to perform a rollback. A rollback is when testers can revert the application back to the previous, more stable version.
Testers should use rollback whenever they need to. It gives one plenty of time to clear the errors before putting the version back out. But what they mustn’t do is use rollbacks as an excuse for releasing buggy versions.
As good rollbacks are, they are also disruptive to users. It really must be used as a solution of last resort instead of a go-to excuse whenever a version turns out buggy.
c) The more software tests, the better
Regardless of how quickly the delivery pipeline goes, the more software tests are run, the more confidence you have in your software releases. This is one of the reasons testers who want to release quickly would favour test automation.
Doing more software tests, on the other hand, tends to prolong the delivery time. Therefore, test automation is only partially helpful. Because of this, some testers can be tempted to omit some tests in order to keep their deliveries flowing quickly.
The software delivery pipeline of tomorrow
Prioritising speed over quality can lead to a lot of inefficiencies you generally want to keep at bay. Achieving a genuine balance between speed and quality over the long run can be done by ramping up, planning with agility in mind, and conducting frequent tests.