Everybody knows if you can get input early, ultimately, you save money.—Beth Epperson, Quality Assurance Lead at ELM
Companies that use a linear, waterfall process finish a project or module and then hand it over to their QA team to review it and test it. Best case scenario, development goes back and make the changes that QA recommends. Worst case scenario, development has to scrap it and start over again. The waterfall process is a painful, fundamentally expensive process because it extends the development cycle and the delivery time. It’s like playing an entire game without a coach. But, after the game, the coach shows up and tells the team what they did wrong. Then, he sends them back out on the field to play the game over again, the right way.
ELM uses an agile design method, a proactive approach, as opposed to a linear flow process, which is more reactive. The idea is to take corrective action throughout the development cycle, rather than having to make changes to the end product. The agile method requires open and active communication between QA, the development team, and the customer. In this case, the coach, or customer, tells the team what to do, and the quarterback, or QA, calls those plays to the rest of the team. In an agile process, the entire team gets feedback during the game, so they can course correct before the game is over, or in the critical fourth quarter.