Software Development & Testing

Even bugs that don’t get fixed have a positive ROI

Even bugs that cannot be fixed can have a positive ROI. There are some ways to generate the Return on Investment in this case.

Bug hunting is always a daunting task for developers as well as for the company. Testing software takes a lot of time, resources, and energy. But an in-depth analysis reflects that testing is not an expense; it is a cost-saving activity. And it can even be very quick.

A common excuse for not performing proper testing is not having enough time to fix all the bugs. But not all bugs need to get fixed immediately. It all depends on several parameters and, ultimately, on priorities. Even if the product gets tested, allocating the required resources to fix all the bugs is not always possible.

Even more interesting is finding a bug that cannot be fixed anytime soon and has a positive Return on Investment (ROI). It might sound surprising, but further discussion can provide more insight.

FOUR ways testing can save money

Effective testing techniques such as Crowdtesting can help a lot to save money . As shown below: 

  • Finding bugs that can be fixed as early as you can in the development phase
  • Finding bugs that cannot be fixed, but identifying them
  • Running tests that can mitigate high potential risks
  • Guiding the project through timely, accurate, and robust information for project tracking

There is always an inherent cost of poor quality (COPQ), that is, that it is cheaper to find and fix bugs before release. It includes two different components:

  • Conformance cost includes the cost of finding the bugs or defects and the quality assurance process.
  • Non-conformance cost results from bug fixing,  retesting, handling unhappy customers, business loss, and negative impact on the company’s brand image.

Finding bugs that don’t get fixed

Let’s finally get to the point. Even bugs that cannot be fixed can have a positive ROI. There are some ways to generate the Return on Investment in this case.

If the bugs are non-rectifiable but known can help in the following ways.

  1. Preventing the users from seeing the bugs.
  2. Warning the users through a release note so that they can avoid the bugs during their work.
  3. Developers can provide walkarounds and other relevant information to help the users.
  4. If customer service knows about the issue, it would be easier to handle conversations with clients.

For instance, a non-fixable bug affects the performance in an older version of the web browser. Adding a check to prevent users from accessing the older version is a great relief. Or even ask to download the latest version for better performance. Or else share a release note about the low performance on the older version. Perhaps the support team can advise the user accordingly. In all ways, the customer will be satisfied.

How to calculate the ROI of a non-fixable bug?

To understand the ROI in the case of non-fixable bugs, let us assume a hypothetical case.

Suppose a helpdesk or technical support staff knows that on an average the call time for an unknown bug is 15 minutes more than for a known bug.

On average, the tech center receives five calls for every bugand the cost of a tech person is around $40 per hour.Therefore, even just considering the three elements above, if we calculate the cost-saving due to a known bug is: 40 X (15/60) X 5 = $50

A practical example

A walk around to the technical support team is one of the efficient ways to resolve the unfixed bug-related issues, which, in turn, saves time and resources. It is a knowledge transfer to the support team about the bugs. After comprehending the bug-related issue, the support team can resolve the calls related to the bugs quickly rather than spending time troubleshooting the problem. The result? A happier customer.

Final words

Testing is always a savior, and apart from the financial implications, the after-sales problems impact the intangible aspects the most. A lot of bugs in the final product can bring down the customer experience, brand image, and market reputation. Though some non-fixable bugs have ROI yet, those must be known for better management. 

Now, here’s a question for you: have you calculated the ROI of your non-fixable bugs yet? 

White paper: Crowdtesting Method

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