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Are Testers to Blame for Missed Deadlines?

Are Testers to Blame for Missed Deadlines?

In the world of software development, there are a number of reasons why a project might fall behind schedule. It could be an absurd, last-minute requirement from the customer. It could be a massive, unexpected reduction in your company's workforce. It could be that a giant monster destroyed your Sim City industrial park. But if you ask a dev manager in Europe, they're likely to tell you that deadlines are missed due to out-dated testing methods.

A company called CA Technologies interviewed 301 in-house development managers (an odd number, yes?) from the UK, France and Germany. Of those people, more than half (56%) said that "their IT department's reputation had been tarnished because of issues relating to 'out-dated' application development and testing methods."

Here's PCAdvisor with some of the specific details:

While 59 percent of UK respondents cited quality and time-to-market on  integration testing as a major challenge, it was lower (48 percent) across all  three countries. In the UK, 41 percent had issues with performance testing  compared to 32 percent overall.

A prominent factor in the UK element of the research was the sheer number of  releases expected to be delivered, with 41 percent of UK respondents stating  they had to bring out ten or more releases a year. This compares to just 26  percent of respondents in France, the next nearest country.

Outdated application development and testing is having a major impact on UK  enterprises, with 76 percent of respondents sighting loss of reputation in the market as a major concern. Furthermore, 67 percent were worried about reduced application functionality negatively impacting customer experience.

Almost half of all UK respondents (48 percent) are now already looking to move towards cloud-based development environments and 46 percent to agile development methods.

So will Agile cure what ails them? Last week, we started a good debate on the costs (and benefits) of switching to Agile. One of the more insightful comments came from Mike Koepke, who wrote:

"(With agile) we are much better able to accurately estimate and complete our work in 3-week chunks rather than 3-, 6- or 9-month segments.  We still do long range release planning, but by completing deliverable code every sprint, we remain "agile" with respect to the scope of what gets delivered when we hit hard release dates.  The key to making this work is having full buy-in by our product managers, who are active members of our scrum teams."

What do you think? Are outdated testing practices to blame for missed deadlines? And is Agile the solution? Sound off in the comments section.

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