July 31, 2009

The Wow Factor - Puffery for Your QA Department

I was reading a free, ad-supported trade magazine for the QA and Tester market, and was struck by the sheer volume of puffery in nearly every ad.

According to Wikipedia, "puffery as a legal term refers to promotional statements and claims that express subjective rather than objective views, such that no reasonable person would take literally. Puffery is especially featured in testimonials."

I understand that this is what ad-writers and marketers do.  I understand that you aren't supposed to take it literally.  But this seemed even more over-the-top than usual.

From an Application Lifecycle Management provider:
  • 50% faster to market
  • 25% more productive
  • You can avoid cutting heads
  • Ensure your Agile success
From a test tool vendor:
  • Cut testing time in half
  • Test faster while protecting quality
From a testing services vendor:
  • Compete with confidence
  • Optimizing complex test enviroments
  • Accelerated results unmatched in the industry
From an automation design tool vendor:
  • A New Era of Automated Web Testing
  • Unprecedented productivity
  • Boost productivity and communication!
From a training vendor:
  • Accelerate Your Career
  • World-Class Expert Instructors
  • Perfect solution
  • One of the best investments you can make
This all sounds great.  Who wouldn't want to ensure success, protect quality, have optimized, unmatched results, and find a perfect solution in a new era?  Very exciting.  Very - Wow!  Should I go right out and purchase all of them?

So what if we started talking about our QA efforts within our own companies using similar language?  From now on, let's add a bunch of Wow Factor in how we speak:
  • A New Era in Quality Software Releases!
  • 99% fewer bugs in the field!
  • Ensure corporate success
  • Perfect bug reports
  • Unprecedented quality
Will we get a higher salary?  Would we get more time to test?  Might we get more resources?
Maybe not.