Why a "Maker Checker" Strategy Is Essential While Developing Critical Business Applications
Regardless of the numerous methodologies, checks, controls, and high level of quality assurance, there are many instances of larger software projects ending up in the graveyard of gigantic failures.
Large Outsourced Business Application Development and the Likelihood of Failure
Inaccurate requirement specifications, impact analysis, and the study of business requirements, along with incorrect estimations, are the stones that pave the path to failure. The scope and extent of the project are underestimated, creating hurdles as the project begins to grow. If the project requirements are not well defined and communicated, the customer does not get what was planned, along with software that works incorrectly, numerous errors, and delays. Unprofessional project planning, milestone deliveries, and the lack of a comprehensive roadmap lead to cost overruns, missed deadlines, and inadequate resources.
Due to an incorrect understanding of what is required of the business application in terms of operational needs, incorrect tools, technologies, methodologies, and architectures are adopted. This increases the complexity of the software system — giving rise to technical challenges such as poor performance, scalability issues, security vulnerabilities, and compatibility problems that can hinder the development process. There is also a scope creep resulting in additional costs and delays, making it difficult to complete the project on time and within budget.
You might assume that many (or all) of these would be caught and fixed during the various checking, validation, and testing phases of the project. That would be true in an ideal world. But, as we all know, the world is far from ideal. For a variety of reasons, things slip through the cracks and then these cracks become chasms that bring down the best-planned projects.
Low-quality testing, inadequate quality assurance, and lack of any kind of validation of the designed system can lead to defects and errors in the business application, leading to customer dissatisfaction and lost revenue. And often, this is because of the checking being left to those who are doing the making.
Here’s why that’s wrong and needs to change. Let’s take the example of one kind of large project to see the downside that could develop as a result of leaving the making and checking to the same agency.
Business Application Development for the Government Sector Can Be Complex
Over and above the complexity of large application development, government sector projects add to the share of chaos and confusion that could cause failures in its implementation.
A large-scale government project has multiple stakeholders, such as different agencies, departments, and contractors. All stakeholders have their own set of expectations and demands from the business application being developed, which could give rise to broken specifications.
Budget constraints are a common factor affecting all government sector projects, which might lead to inadequate funding for the project to its logical completion along with all the quality assurance processes. The procurement process, along with the tendering process, can be lengthy — thus adding to the project's complexity in its initial stages as well.
Besides, software applications written for the government sector must comply with various regulations and standards, such as security, accessibility, and privacy regulations, which can add complexity to the development process. There is also a critical factor of legacy systems already running within the government IT infrastructure. Integrating the new business application with these systems can be daunting for the software development team.
The factor of scale and size of users, workflows, and customer interactions can be complex to design. If not done correctly, it could lead to errors, performance issues , project delays, and other failures.
Now imagine the motivation of a team, agency, or systems integrator that’s working on such a complex project. The key need of that team would be to move ahead and complete the project. Sometimes due to proximity to the project and sometimes due to the pressure of a Go-To-Market deadline, they can leave things unchecked to create massive problems later.
Introduction to the Maker and the Checker
IT expansion is on the rise across both the private and the government sectors. There is a large-scale digital transformation taking place, leading to an increase in IT spending. As per Gartner, India’s IT spending alone is expected to grow 2.6% in 2023 to reach $112.4 billion.
The sluice gates for large-scale projects have opened and there is a rush to implement accelerated digital transformation in the government sector as well.
However, these large-scale projects, either outsourced, handled internally, or done for the government, are fraught with impediments and high possibilities of failure due to multiple reasons. What was asked for and what was delivered by vendors could be very different and not to the standards expected due to sheer size and complexity.
The role of the maker is to create the business application according to the project requirements, while the role of the checker is to thoroughly validate the application for performance , availability, and scalability, among other factors. Improper validation of projects has resulted in more than 70% of digital transformations falling short of their objectives. About 74% of organisations that have previously started a legacy system modernisation project have failed to complete it.
This end-to-end validation process is critical to ensure that the application meets the needs of the business and its users. It would be beneficial to have an independent third-party vendor (Checker) perform the validation to objectively assess the application's quality from architecture to implementation.
Benefits of Introducing the Maker-Checker Concept for Large Business Applications
The maker-checker concept involves having an independent reviewer (the checker) who is not involved in the software development process - so as to review the work of the maker. This can help ensure an unbiased and independent review of the work, improving the overall quality of the software. The Global Software Quality Assurance market value is projected to reach $20.21 billion by 2029, growing at the CAGR of 9.6%.
The checker in the maker-checker concept is responsible for validating the software developed by the maker. This can help ensure that the software meets the requirements of the project and the needs of the end users. Validiation of IT projects has become so crucial in any SDLC before actual deployment that independent validation and verification services are expected to account for $2.1 billion by 2029, according to DATABRIDGE Market Research.
The checker in the maker-checker concept is responsible for re-testing the software developed by the maker. This can help identify any issues or bugs in the software before it is released. This process of validation, review and quality assurance by the checker ensures the improvement of the overall quality of the product. Checker testing is largely considered to be an integral part of Digital Quality Assurance & Engineering, a market that is exploding due to the high acceleration of digital transformation. As per NASSCOM, the addressable market would have grown from $60 billion in 2019 to $76 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 8%.
The checker in the maker-checker concept can help ensure that the software is scalable by reviewing the design and architecture of the software, thus identifying potential scalability issues early in the development process.
Government sector projects are often subject to strict regulations and compliance requirements. The importance of compliance is reflected by the Enterprise Governance, Risk & Compliance market which will reach $134.86 billion by 2030. The maker-checker concept can help ensure that the business application is developed in compliance with required regulations and protocols of governance.
Conflict of Interest
By having an independent checker, the maker-checker concept can help mitigate any potential conflict of interest that may arise if the maker is responsible for the final validation and testing of their work.
Avekshaa - The Checker Specialists
Developing large-scale business applications can be complex and challenging, particularly for the government sector. The Maker-Checker concept can help ensure that the software meets the needs of the business and its users, is scalable, and complies with regulatory requirements.
As an experienced provider of independent validation and testing services, Avekshaa can assist in ensuring the quality and success of large software development projects. Our dedicated team of specialists can :-
• Provide an objective assessment of the application's quality
•Identify potential scalability issues
• Help mitigate any potential conflict of interest that may arise
Click here to learn more about how Avekshaa can help ensure the success of your large-scale business application development projects.