Insights /

Deliver better digital products with a speed through quality mindset

Deliver better digital products with a speed through quality mindset

When it comes to digital product development, speed and quality are often seen as a binary. Leaders often assume the primary way to decrease time to market is to decrease their focus on quality assurance.

Despite its popularity, that "speed over quality" mindset is shortsighted and can lead to long-term problems for companies. For a more sustainable approach to development, one that can keep their product releases stronger for longer, businesses can instead turn to a different strategy: speed through quality.

By prioritizing quality assurance, engineering teams can ensure that their digital products don't break down over time through numerous updates. This mindset delivers lasting returns on investment rather than limited or superficial time-to-market boosts.

What is speed through quality and how does it help?

Speed through quality in software development is a particular approach. It focuses on the idea that companies can create real and sustainable responsiveness to issues by integrating quality control into the release pipeline. While this style requires extra effort before a product goes live, the investment pays itself back over time, as engineers lay the groundwork for successful, simplified updates.

No piece of software is perfect and complete at launch. Not only will engineers be called on to add features and functionality over time, but they'll also have to make updates to address bugs and operational issues faced by users. The speed through quality approach helps them make intelligent, impactful changes to code, and to do so quickly and efficiently.

The difference between mindsets is centered on the way engineers view their products. Favoring speed over quality means racing to launch, viewing releasing a piece of software as a finish line to reach as quickly as possible. Speed through quality treats a launch as just one event on a longer timeline, with a focus on ongoing support.

Speed through quality rewards patience

On day one, engineers may not realize any value from using a speed through quality mindset. Focusing on quality assurance doesn't speed up the digital product release process, and patience is required to see the approach through.

Following launch, however, the real value emerges. Staying competitive in the digital product space means offering the best user experience over time. The organizations best able to meet these requirements will be the ones that can effectively update their software and keep up with the market's needs. Speed through quality sets them up for success in this regard.

Why do companies sometimes neglect product quality in favor of speed?

After considering the advantages of quality control, it's worth asking why so many organizations remain committed to a speed-first approach. The answer has its root in high-level priorities.

Companies that use time to market as their primary determinant of success may end up disregarding quality assurance. The assumption these businesses make is that a focus on quality would slow the release schedule, and therefore lead to lost value.

When responsiveness to the business environment through fast releases is a company's guiding principle, leaders may actively oppose efforts to focus on quality. While this approach makes sense on an abstract level, it disregards common issues that can derail projects post-launch.

Short-term gain vs. long-term success

The kind of responsiveness that emerges from a speed-first mindset is often either illusory or short-lived. Applications rushed into the market may contain code that is hard to maintain and slow to update. These difficulties cause overall issues for businesses as they try to remain at the top of their verticals.

A product's user base will ultimately determine whether that release is successful or not. Products released quickly with inadequate quality control may build up high initial user counts — because they're the only option on the market — but then lose numbers as they fail to adapt.

Such an erosion over time can hamper a product's ability to drive real, lasting value for a company. The winning offering may end up being one that wasn't first to the market but has been able to gracefully add new features and respond to bugs.

What kind of pipeline approach is best for speed through quality?

Companies that want to adopt speed through quality and reap the ongoing rewards can begin their transformation by embracing a few philosophical concepts and best practices around development:

To make sure they're on the right track in using a speed through quality mindset, engineering leaders can look to key measures that reflect the strength of their code:

What does success look like for a company adopting a speed through quality approach, and what are software quality metrics worth watching? Numbers that indicate an effective program include:

These measures show a product that demonstrates the intended effects of speed through quality. With this level of resilience and adaptability, the software can seamlessly incorporate new updates, ranging from needed patches to added features.

How does speed through quality fit in with modern deployment methods?

Organizations adopting a speed through quality mindset as part of an overall update of their development practices will find it easy to make these objectives work together. Modern engineering approaches are fundamentally compatible with speed through quality.

Embracing these practices and principles helps companies eliminate the disconnect that can spring up when engineering teams work in isolation, pushing out large updates that may break or undermine the work done by their colleagues. This fast, harmonious approach exemplifies speed through quality.

How can an external consulting engagement help companies adopt speed through quality?

One of the quickest and most effective ways for a company to adopt the principles of speed through quality is to engage with trained experts. These third-party contributors can work side by side with the organization's engineers, modeling and imparting the necessary practices. Such collaborative work provides a perfect environment for upskilling an internal team.

A third-party engagement is an opportunity to work with professionals on the cutting edge of engineering best practices, who have already put these principles to work in other corporate environments. The length of the collaboration, as well as the level of collaboration between internal and external personnel, can differ based on the company's current level of sophistication, size and immediate needs.

Ready to investigate speed through quality for your organization?

When it's time for your business to refresh its approach to development speed and quality assurance, you can contact the experts at Transcenda. Throughout a consulting engagement or side-by-side development effort, you can work with our team to overcome outdated misconceptions and achieve a balance between quality and speed.

Through this collaboration, you can internalize processes that will help you build digital products that will endure through years of updates, keeping your company competitive for longer. Reach out to engage with experts who can bring your team's skills and practices into a new era.

Contact Transcenda now to learn more.

Subscribe to receive the latest industry insights and news about Transcenda

Related articles: