One of the biggest mistakes in software development projects is to adopt Quality Police Policy for testing activities. In this post, I will explain what Quality Police Policy is and how it affects software testing and software quality.
A simple explanation of Quality Police Policy is to keep testers away and not involving them till late stages of software development. In other words, testers are ignored and their role is limited. The only thing testers might have is the initial customer requirements which most probably are subject to modifications. The testers then wait for next software release. They are not involved during requirements clarification meetings, design meetings or other project-related meetings. Whether this is done intentionally or unintentionally, there are always high expectations by management that the testers will (and must) find all the issues in the software.
This is really unrealistic. As testers, we know that there is no software that is bug free and there are bugs that might be hiding and might not show till the software is on customer site. Also, exhaustive testing (testing everything including all input combinations) is impossible. Therefore, leaving every thing to testing team will not be a good idea to assure software quality.
Quality is baked in and it should be built into the software rather than integrating it later. Therefore, testers should be involved in all relevant project-related meetings. This will enhance the quality of the software. In addition, testers will find far less issues during system testing. Less issues means reduced time for issues fixing, regression testing and retesting. This results in faster time to market and more profit.