Do testers goldplate too?

Flickr by Mykl Roventine
Why is it that developers are always blamed for goldplating Anyone who has worked in a project environment knows that scope creep is a major contributor to goldplating. It is obvious that goldplating can be expensive, especially when you consider the fact that change costs increase as the project progresses.
But what if developers aren’t the only ones who contribute to goldplating? What if goldplating is also being performed by testers? It is obvious that goldplating by testers could be ten-times more expensive than if it were done by developers. But how does a tester goldplate?
A tester may goldplate a product if they go beyond the requirements to produce a quality product. A tester might feel that their suggestion will improve customer experience, so they log it in the defect log. Although their suggestion may be exactly what they intended, if it is not within the requirements, it can become a form of “feature creep “. Although a tester’s job is to ensure quality products are delivered, many testers use their own definitions of quality to determine quality.
Quality is defined as the ability of meeting specified requirements as set forth by the user. This definition is based on the user. It is the user’s perception of the product that determines if it meets their expectations.
To reduce the risk of “gold-plating” by testers, all defects must be triaged by a member the project team who has a clear understanding the requirements scope. This person can determine if each defect is a problem in the current project or an enhancement suggestion for future releases.

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