Concept of idea testing in agile development

In the last 2-3 years, a new concept of idea testing has taken firm ground with product development companies (especially start-ups).

With fierce competition in the software industry, to keep their position in the market, most product companies these days follow a very aggressive release cycle. No doubt this puts a lot of pressure on qa / testing. However, companies are adopting risk based testing approach and go ahead with product release being fully aware that the product has bugs.

It's very interesting that they do this. Here are a few points to take note of why it is worth the risk taking.

  • With the internet breaking all barriers, the field is wide open for various ideas. With technology easily available, it has opened up lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and even people working in the industry to quickly build products to bring their ideas to life.
  • It's a known fact that 90% of new business ideas fail. Reasons being:
    • The concept or idea does not strike a chord with the target market
    • The idea is a hot one, but get late to market due to overshot time lines
    • The idea is in demand, but company wants to release a completely bug-free and fully tested product so that customers are not inconvenienced. Again, late time to market
    • The product is released into market with the new idea, but the product is mostly breaking due to inadequate testing. Prospective / trial customers move away from the product due to bad quality which reduces confidence in product reliability.
  • Business ideas are prone to be copied very fast in these days and competition with adequately tested software with additional innovative features thrown in can make or break your business.
  • Taking into consideration all these points, start-ups have chosen a middle path. That is, to launch a product idea with the most essential features adequately tested such that there are no blocker bugs.
  • Let the people use the software, analyze what features people like the most, and invest more time and money into adding more functionality into those features based on feedback from users. These are again well tested. This way a well thought out implementation of a product idea adequately tested (just enough that the functionality in question is not broken) and delivered timely to the users will be well received if there is a demand for such a product.
  • This delivery approach also gives an insight into whether people liked and want to use the software. If not well received, product strategy / design can be revisited.
  • This incremental approach to product development that is stable and adequately tested instead of a big bang approach trying to deliver a full featured product completely tested is a more preferred in today's competitive market.
  • It's the idea that gets tested which then gets enahnced in feature availability and quality. This will serve the end users interest and that's what makes the idea / product click.


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