Quality is a central part of a software development process. It shouldn’t be seen as an expense because higher quality correlates with lower development costs and faster delivery times. All this requires a vision about quality and good practices – not the most common “we’ll find the issues at the end of the project and fix them” -strategy.
Quality adds value, not expenses
Software projects with budget overruns and that is late on deadline are not necessarily in problems before the testing has been started. A high number of issues found at this stage usually add up to the problems and are very expensive to fix.
A study by Capers Jones in the United States states that an average development cost for a function point is 1000$ and maintenance costs add up another 1000$. Software with higher than average quality has an average development cost for a function point of 700$ and $500 for maintenance. This adds up as a 40% saving for the software lifetime [Capers Jones: Applied Software Measurement: Global Analysis of Productivity and Quality, Mcgraw-Hill Professional 2008].
For a software project costing 400 000$, this could mean a saving of 160 000$. Should you improve your return on investment – by improving your quality?