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Strategic quality: Communicating QA’s critical role in achieving business goals
In 2012, Knight Capital Group lost $440 million in 30 minutes when a “large bug” in their software triggered series of unexpected automatic stock trades. As a result, company business continuity required a nearly $400 million emergency investment and an effective change in management control. This example demonstrates a clear correlation between a QA lapse and a subsequent impact on business strategy. So why do corporate boardrooms so often cast quality assurance as a cost center, rather than a strategic priority? Where’s the disconnect that causes QA’s critical role to go unnoticed?
In part, this reflects the corporate reward and recognition systems. For example, CEOs may receive bonuses and accolades when the stock price rockets, but improvements to quality testing don’t always generate the same fanfare. This reality may manifest when funding requests for new QA personnel or technology get rejected. It may surface when development is asked to provide better solutions, faster, without any corresponding improvements – or even reductions – in the supporting quality infrastructure.