What is Software Quality?
What is software quality? Who is in charge of it? How can it be measured?
The definition of quality can lead to much debate, but perhaps it is not so arbitrary or complicated after all.
What is quality?
We recognise quality, especially in services such as software, as how effortless and rewarding the activity.
This puts focus on two particular software test processes:
- User Experience – To monitor ease of use
- Goal – Monitor the reward metrics.
Who is in charge of quality?
All teams and team members work together to achieve quality, and it is a Software Test Analysts duty to maintain and improve quality process. The whole company and it’s employees should become natural keepers of quality in all they do as part of all processes.
Test Analysts, developers, and managers must engage equally with the customer representatives from the early stages, to fully understand the spirit behind each project.
How can it be measured and labelled as achieved?
Business strives for happy customers because happy customers recommend those companies above others. It could be logical then that the measure of product quality is measured by the contentment shown from customers.
Integrate the teams.
Integrate all the teams. Customer, marketing, production, sales and owners. When teams are integrated across the company, the customer requirements remain in view. Team members gain knowledge that empowers them to self monitor their activities with clearer understanding of the goals. Team integration plays a vital role in facilitating an early and wide scope of feedback to management concerning the challenges ahead and so facilitating improved project planning and estimations.
Keep the customer involved.
Keeping the customer involved in the evolution and production of their product gives them input to establish important product attributes and focus the importance of otherwise missed design features. Combining customer feedback, good test planning and execution, high quality, useful product is produced.
These are the definition of quality given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB).
Definition by IEEE
- The degree to which a system, component, or process meets specified requirements.
- The degree to which a system, component, or process meets customer or user needs or expectations.
Definition by ISTQB
- quality: The degree to which a component, system or process meets specified requirements and/or user/customer needs and expectations.
- software quality: The totality of functionality and features of a software product that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.
As a general rule of thumb, good quality software is that which does the job well, according to the customer.