Most IT professionals, especially those in high technology or software development, are very familiar with the appropriate steps regarding Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) or Agile methodology when it comes to releasing critical software such enterprise functionality to financial services or health care industries. As a product moves from requirements to development to testing and eventual release, the key phase that is always the first one to get overlooked is testing.

Some excuses frequently expressed are:

  • My software shop has minimal resources
  • We cannot miss our date to ship
  • We can always clean up bugs on the next release
  • It’s OK to jump from Test to Prod as Staging is just another step that we can do away with

In all scenarios, these are excuses are just that – decisions by management to shortchange the product to meet customer or market expectations that may have not been adequately addressed prior to product going through the development cycle.

While every situation is different, and I concede that tough decisions need to get made in IT to support the business, I have observed countless times where the CIO/CTO makes a judgement call that should be reserved to a different member of his senior management team.

For instance, the fourth observation of not pushing code through the staging gate is common pitfall when resources are indeed constraint. The proper protocol should not be to simply dismiss sound process and verification to fundamentally short change critical software deployment. IT should only push for the right tools and processes and let business or finance peers make the call on whether the costs outweigh the benefits.

This balance between IT and budgeting creates a much needed governance check and removes the responsibility from IT on not feeling pressured to make this judgment call on top of the many other that the organization does on a daily basis.To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.