Peter D. Hedderley
Technology Specialist & IT Consultant



"Software is like a lucid dream, limited only by our imagination and ingenuity
- we are the architects, sculptors, rule-makers and rule-breakers."
Peter D. Hedderley.

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articles:quality_-_by_force_or_by_conviction

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Quality : By Force? or By Conviction?

I often read about Software Quality and about the methods and tools for monitoring and assessing the quality of software. I wonder though, if Software Quality is really something that we can only judge and influence once a given quality is already present. Well of course, we know that this isn't the case - the principle of “start as you mean to go on” applies to software, just as it does to any other undertaking.

When I consider the up-bringing of a child, would I wait for the child to throw something on the floor before telling the child to pick it up? Whilst I'm not an expert on the upbringing of children, it would seem advisable to teach children about tidiness and cleanliness before it comes to the eventual necessity.

Software Quality starts from day zero of a project. It's not just down to the programmers, the architects or the project managers - but rather - the whole team - including sales!

The project must be about quality from the outset - so that the results are of a high quality from the outset. It's difficult to increase the quality-level of a project at a later stage and you certainly cannot test quality into a project. Quality control monitoring can sometimes make people feel like someone is looking over their shoulder, however it must be understood that quality control can also have a reassuring and motivating effect - proving and confirming that the work that is being done is of a high value.

From the outset, the project team must know, understand, believe and feel that:

  • the project has relevance and importance - the project is important and thus so is the work involved.
  • the customer has relevance and importance and they deserve to receive a high quality piece of software.
  • quality is something that is not enforced or forced upon them, but rather is a basic expectation and requirement.
  • quality is something that everyone must deliver, no matter what their role in the project is.
  • laziness, low quality and indifference will not be tolerated or rewarded.
  • the project's quality is already high and as such a high quality level should and will be easier to maintain.
  • a little a day, keeps the audit away - maintaining quality is a daily, on-going task and should not be allowed to slip.

Published on 28.07.2011 - Logica Intranet Blog of Peter Hedderley

articles/quality_-_by_force_or_by_conviction.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/11 21:02 by Peter Hedderley