by Alan Willett


We were preparing to buy a birthday present. We planned to purchase the latest, about to be released, expansion to a favorite video game.  We paused and did some research. We’ve noticed that quite a few major game franchises are prone to release date slips. Often, companies delay releases more than once.

We looked and found that we were correct. The game vendor had just announced a delay to ensure that everyone would have a quality experience when the game was released.  In other words, the game developers were being locked in a room to fix multiple defects.

I am glad they are working to ensure that their product works well when released. However, testing quality into a product is the slowest way to achieve this standard. Consider that for every defect found by a tester, multiple steps have to be accomplished by various people before the defect fix can even be tested again.

My best clients know, with detailed data, how much every defect caught in testing costs their business. They know how much it delays the product. Those clients know that the purpose of testing is to validate that the system development process is working. If testing finds a problem, those clients go back to address the root cause of the defect. It is rare for their testing to find defects.  It is even rarer that their customers find defects.  

Perhaps the most satisfying result of this process is that they don’t have to delay their product releases in order to ensure a “quality experience” for their customers.

We are still looking to buy this game, but not for the upcoming birthday. We are now hoping it will be ready for winter holiday gift-giving. Did you ever hear of the Duke Nukem 10+ year delay? We have our fingers crossed that the delay for this game will be a short one