The Truth Behind Unlimited Cycles

Everyone agrees that quality is an important part of software development. And a bad user experience is more likely to weaken brand loyalty than ever before. In fact, 73 percent of users say that app performance is a key factor when determining brand image and customer loyalty.

This has shifted the focus of testing and quality assurance services as more and more third-party testers embrace unlimited cycles. But before you give praise to the quality assurance gods, many QA concepts are often misguided – from the complexity involved in delivering quality to the effort required to maintain high standards.

While unlimited testing sounds great, there are actually a plethora of downsides.

Inefficient and expensive

This unlimited cycles merely postpone launches and updates, becoming monotonous and ineffective as testers continually work with new builds of the same software.

Ultimately, you want your testing to progress, not only hunt for every little thing.

Additionally, testing requires effort to develop and maintain. The time cost of unlimited testing adds up in the long run in extra overhead.  

Lack of priority

In unlimited test cycles, the goal is to find every single bug possible. However, not every defect is created equally. If test engineers are spending countless hours triaging minor issues, they’ll lose sight of significant defects and critical defects.

Unlimited cycles are rather inflexible and won’t allow any bugs to go through – prioritizing quantity over quality. However, it’s important that precious cycles aren’t being spent on small annoyances or rare cases, instead of focusing on more serious and immediate issues.

I’m not saying to let known bugs become customer-facing issues, but I am a huge supporter of prioritizing defects and internal quality metrics.

This not only allows testers to consider a wider range of circumstances, but it also offers more time to predict emergencies. Additionally, it saves software engineers valuable time and energy.

Inconsistent quality over time

Testers are people with different skill sets, styles, and approaches. As in every other aspect of life, our pasts experiences shape our focus and decision making. As such, the number of defects caught, the quality of defects, and the time it takes to find these bugs will differ as well.

Understanding these differences and maintaining realistic expectations is the basis of proper test management. These differences are especially important when it comes to unlimited testing.

Many unlimited test cycles are often repeated by the same person. While that sounds like a positive because it saves time and resources having a new person understand the test differently, it’s really a hindrance in conjunction with this method.

Having the same person continually repeat the same test to no end creates tedious repetition and decreases active engagement with the product – quite the opposite of any effective test strategy.

Moreover, maintaining good quality in a product becomes rather challenging during unlimited test cycles due to habits and attention spans. Even with the best of intentions, one person continually testing the same product will grow accustomed to it. To put it bluntly, unlimited cycles lead to lower quality tests.

Unstable option

Testing the functionality of a product has radically evolved over the years and is now more integrated into the development process. This has only highlighted the need for specific testing requirements. However, unlimited testing sometimes takes on a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

This inadequate offering leads to a plethora of insufficient test evaluations and maintenance.

In unlimited cycles, testers focus more on individual aspects and not on the product as a whole. But customers don’t just buy a feature, they buy the whole experience. By testing in chunks, the usability and functionality of a product is deficient.

Getting everyone to focus on the whole product instead of their individual parts is one of the most difficult aspects of unlimited testing cycles. This method simply isn’t scalable.


Moreover, software development requires agility – as does the testing process. This testing method merely doesn’t afford software QA the agility it demands. From inefficiency to a lack of priority, it’s plain to see that the old saying “too good to be true” goes double for unlimited test cycles.