How much do you plan to invest in QA?

According to the, 2016 State of Testing Report, 66% of IT organizations report that Quality Assurance Budgeting is a challenge for them. The biggest challenge I hear is, “how much should I allocate for testing/QA?” My usual response to this, based on my 20 years of experience successfully managing hundreds of QA efforts, is plan to invest in testing/QA at least what you plan to spend on development. Remember QA done right doesn’t include just the test execution that happens once the code is delivered. An optimized QA Framework has QA involved from the beginning of a project, requirements definition, through deployment and including some post deployment support.

It still amazes me how many companies that develop software don’t allocate near enough budgeting to QA. In fact, a lot of startup and early stage software companies allocate nothing to QA. “We’ll just have the developers test their own code”, or “the client/customer will test it for us”, are common responses I’ve heard. Another one I hear quiet often is, “our developers are REALLY good and their code is bug-free”.

The risk of your software project failing is directly related to how much you invest in your Quality function. The less you invest the higher the risks. The more you invest in QA the lower the risk of failure will be. Finding defects later in the SDLC or in production will cost you a hundred times more to fix, not to mention your loss in reputation, customers, fines, and revenue!



I recommend clients to look at three main components when budgeting for QA:

  1. People

    Finding good QA professionals with the right skill sets is becoming more challenging every year. There is a global shortage of QA professionals with the right level of technical skills to adapt to the changing QA role. A role that is becoming more and more technical.

  2. Process

    Developing Adaptable QA Process Roadmap/Frameworks, and allowing adequate time to carry out these successfully.

  3. Tools

    Assessing your tool requirements and investing in the right tools so they don’t become shelf-ware within 12 months.

According to the 2015-16 World Quality Report, 35% of total IT spend is being allocated toward QA and testing. By 2018, that number is expected to reach 40%. This is encouraging to me as it shows that organizations are beginning to realize the true value of QA and are committed to developing better software. It is budgeting time now.  How much are you planning to invest in QA for 2017?

Noel Kierans Head ShotAbout the Author

Noel Kierans is the founder and CEO of Celtic Testing Experts, and has successfully managed testing efforts on hundreds of projects. He and the CTE team have implemented new QA practices where none existed before, and have extensive experience helping clients enhance and improve existing QA processes and procedures.

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