Alternatives to Spot Checking
We do not need to suffer the pains of the risk due to spot checking. We have a number of alternatives. For example:
- Modeling and simulation
- Iterative testing throughout the development
- Launch AND continue test and verification
- Launch and continue test and verification reduce volume of customers
Relying upon modeling and other forms of simulation expertise we can reduce product testing as our only verification activity. To be effective though, we must have accurate models, and not models based upon wishful thinking or hope.
We should have been delivering increments of the product to testing for evaluation prior to the launch date. Monitoring key attributes (faults found, severity of the faults found) help clarify whether spot checking is a ludicrously speculate or a sound wager.
Just because we have a hard date to deliver the product, does not necessarily mean the testing must stop. Ideally, you should have a good idea of what you are delivering before you release it upon your customers. That is the ideal state. The lesser than idea would be to keep testing even after launch to better ascertain the quality of your proposed delivery. In this case you may find quality problems in the product before your product goes through the logistical channels and would make it to the customer.
We can couple the previous example with a delivery to only certain customers, reducing the volume of field exposure risk of the product before we have conducted our testing. We can even chose our customers based upon attributes such as most understanding or key relationship in which we treat them better than some other customers.
Any of these examples would be a better solution than spot checking when evidence indicates (as shown in previous blog post) spot checking is foolhardy.