Submitted by Jay Philips
I think a great way to show if you and your testing team are adding value to a project & organization is to pull the number of defects found pre-prod that the testing team found and compare them to the number of defects found post-prod. If it wasn’t for the Testing Team all those pre-prod defects would not have been found, they would have been found by some very unhappy (probably not returning) customers/end users. You can also take the cost and number of hours that the Production Support team would have spent to support the customer/end user.
A metric that I personally like to show is the “cost of defect corrections” compared to the “cost of defect avoidance” as we all know that a defect found later in the lifecycle costs more to fix as it requires more resources form various groups in an organization.
There are serious problems with these ideas. As an exercise in responsibility and critical thinking, I suggest that you talk about those problems.
Take a few minutes and consider someone being measured on these and what reasonable objections he might have.
I wasn’t saying to measure a single person on the number of defects that he/she finds. I know that one person may not find the same as another nor would one person the same critical issues as another. I was referring to the measuring of the overall quality of the product that is released to production. You can determine the quality of the application based on the the number of defects found pre-prod and post-prod. Developers would find defects as well but the test team is more than likely going to find the most. An organization can show value of the testing team even if only one defect was found pre-prod because it’s one less defect that the end user saw, which means one less call to a help desk.