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Monday, August 08, 2011


This point of view tries to define the common pitfalls of Software Quality and the stakeholders’ involvement in achieving the quality objectives of any Software Development Engagement. Quality per-se cannot be achieved with just planning without action, the action from all the stakeholders. The author tries to find out who should be the stakeholders for achieving quality objectives and if the current set of quality initiatives taken by organizations is sufficient to reach the goal or will the organizations have to re-think on their plans.

SOFTWARE QUALITY – IT TAKES TWO HANDS TO CLAP; the title looks vague. But in reality, it is not as vague as we think. As a tester, I don’t think it is vague. What are the “two hands” that we are talking about? Well, one hand is the “Customer” and the other hand is the “Service Provider”. By saying that, does the title still make sense? Enough is said about co-operation between two business entities. But, will there be success when both work in tandem? The answer to this is a plain YES. Software solution will reach its peak of Quality with co-ordination and understanding between the Customer and the Service Provider. We may wonder then that this happens every time but there are cases where customers are not happy with Quality of the solution. Probably, they would have stumbled upon severe production bugs. We know that we used the right processes, right approach and right mix of everything. But still, there is no “quality” as perceived by the Customer.
The domain, the technology, the software model, the people, the process, the testing and quality initiatives – these are all necessary phases of any Software Development. Each of these is focused from the day one of the Software Development Life Cycle. I am sure then the Customer too is an equal stakeholder in the entire process. After all, the customer pays for the service. But we often miss something or rather many things during the process of execution. Some of the important factors that we often neglect are:

 Attitude
 Communication
 Tracking
 Follow up
 Understanding
 Approval
 Recognition
 Resources
 Tools
 Documentation
 Process
 Technology

The order could be different in each case. The list could grow with each experience. But these form a major chunk of misses that could be possible “fatal errors”.

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