How Quality Became a Growth Driver

Competing priorities are a fact of life in any business. 

An effective business strategy has sales, product, marketing, engineering and leadership pulling in the same direction on the way to a common goal. 

But in any business, each team is going to have a differing opinion about the most important jobs that need to be done. This can be particularly challenging as your business enters a high growth phase.

You may have heard something along the lines of:

“We need to focus on all revenue-generating activities. If what you’re doing doesn’t create revenue, I don’t want you to do it.”

- Management

For app teams, that means putting all your resources on products or features that create revenue. Checkouts, signups, differentiating features, in-app purchases; that kind of thing.

But what about all those other features and products that your user base is using? 

What happens when you take your eye off the bigger picture: The quality of your app?

What happens when you don’t prioritise quality?

Bugs happen. And when bugs happen, apps get deleted.

That’s not going to help you in your efforts to create revenue. High quality apps are growth drivers, it's as simple as that.

According to Cisq, as of 2018, poor quality software cost businesses in the US $2.8 trillion. That’s a lot of missed revenue.

You may have heard about the demise of the payment processing app, Wirecard. Claiming to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the app was actually riddled with bugs and irregularities. 

In fact, it turned out to be fraudulent, and there were plenty of warning signs.

Take a look at the app store ratings, and you’ll see the problem. Hundreds of reviewers state that the app simply does not work. 

How can such a successful company have a buggy app that doesn’t work? If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Trust is a vital ingredient when it comes to building a successful app. If users don’t trust it, they won’t use it. 

A buggy app is a surefire way to reduce trust in your brand and, like Wirecard, your revenue is going to suffer as a result. 

How can quality actually drive growth?

Your team cannot spot every bug.

It’s not because they’re not smart, or because they’re not effective in their role. 

It’s because no tester - correction, no one ever - understands everything about the world.

We each bring a lot of falsehoods to the table when we design, build, or test a product. These falsehoods might be something along the lines of:

  • There are always 24 hours in a day
  • People’s names will fit within a defined amount of space
  • Daylight savings time happens at the same time in every time zone
  • People have exactly one full name that they always go by

Making these assumptions can lead to some pretty extreme consequences when it comes to your users. 

Errors around time can impact how they access certain features or promotions. Errors around names can stop them from checking out, or even signing up in the first place!

One of our clients was experiencing exponential international growth, except in Indonesia. Sign-ups lagged far behind not just the world, but other neighbouring countries. They tested many theories but could find no reason. 

They reached out to us to access localisation testing via our crowd of global testers. What did they find?

The ‘Last Name’ field was mandatory. 

40% of people in Indonesia do not have a last name. That means more than 100,000,000 people were unable to use the signup form. 

Once the fix was released, sign-ups in Indonesia sky-rocketed, with the country becoming the top user group in the region and revenue soaring.

Another company might have put all their resource into countries with higher sign-up potential, but that would have been a costly mistake. 

Prioritising quality can actually create new opportunities to create revenue.

How to ensure quality is a priority

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to prioritising quality is getting internal buy-in. You need to have everyone on your side. 

It can feel like an insurmountable task, but it really isn’t.

In Leading Quality: How Great Leaders Deliver High Quality Software and Accelerate Growth, Ronald Cummings-John and Owais Peer revealed how to create a culture of quality in any company.

You’ll need to understand who you can and must influence, create empathy between teams, support your efforts with evidence and create your internal champions. 

We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s worth the effort!

By doing this, you can change the role of QA in your business, making quality everyone’s responsibility. Quality really can become a growth driver.

And with your high quality app, you can expect to see the difference in your bottom line. Higher quality, higher revenue!

If you’d like to boost your QA team’s capacity and your revenue, speak to one of our quality consultants today.