Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Value of Defect Prevention

Steve McConnell reported in 1996 that "early upstream defects generally cost 10 to 100 times as much to remove late downstream as they do to remove close to the point where they are created.”

So why is it that we spend far more time, effort, and dollars on defect removal than defect prevention? Because, sadly, preventing problems is not sexy.

Many programmers and people in general, love to be the hero. Finding and fixing that critical error provides a great adrenalin rush. But when you consider time-to-market or cost issues, this model just doesn’t make sense.

A few of my go-to defect preventative tactics include:
• Requirements reviews
• Design and Code reviews
• Coding standards
• Writing test cases and plans early
• Automated build and smoke tests


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