Lowest defect rates – faster schedules

We are not rich enough to buy cheap stuff.
– Russian proverb

Did you know, that the products with the lowest defect rates have the shortest schedules?

The statistical research on about 4000 software project mathematically proves that savings on the QA, throwing away the code reviews and unit testing is the worst decision a manager could make in order to speed up the progress. The cuts in the testing will undoubtedly bite the project back.

Steve McConnell from the Construx Software in his Software Quality at Top Speed (IEEE Software magazine, July/August 1996) has a nice diagram, that illustrates the typical defect – development time relationship very well. On the right of the 95% line are the life-critical projects, where it is reasonable to sacrifice the development time in order to produce the bullet-proof products. Unfortunately, too many managers believe they are already on the right part of the diagram, while they are far on the left.

Image used with permission of the author

How is the situation in your company? Do you try to cut the schedules by canceling the testing or code reviews? Did it ever help?

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