Quality Is Critical To IT Projects

Quality

Software projects need to be implemented according to strict quality standards and metrics. Quality needs to be a key consideration for the software project manager.

Also, quality happens to be a very important consideration for many other professionals as well. It is something that is talked about often by many professionals. We hear about it online, from television, from product or service salespeople and from many other sources. It is essential in industry, and is best explained with an example.

Imagine two cars are compared, a luxury car and an entry-level mainstream car. The luxury car has more functionality and more features than the mainstream car. The mainstream car is based on a proven platform that has been produced countless times, and has gone through many revisions. Which one then, has more quality? Most people would say that the luxury car has more quality because it has more features, more functionality and is more expensive. But what about the fact that the more functionality and features you add into a system, the more opportunity that is created for something to go wrong. If there are more features, then there are more things that can break down and in more ways. The mainstream car could be the car that has more quality. The mainstream car likely follows a simpler design philosophy with dependability as its core focus. Since the mainstream car has been used in greater quantities and has potentially been around for more product revisions, many of the defects are likely to have been resolved. In software development, a lot of functionality could be accompanied by a lot of defects. Oppositely, it is possible to build a system with fewer features and less functionality, but fewer defects as well.

The project manager needs to focus on both “deliverable” and the “process” quality. The deliverable quality refers to the work product. The process quality refers to the methods used to come up with the work product. Quality standards will need to be chosen and then they will need to be achieved.

Consider an example where a network application is built for a hospital and pharmacy network. Assume that the purpose of the application is to allow doctors to place and send orders to a pharmacy. Without the right verification of the software, a bug in the software may slip through. What if the units of the order are wrong and a doctor’s order of a type of medication is magnified such that the patient who picks up the prescription gets a larger dosage than prescribed. This could be disastrous. Hopefully, this type of defect is caught early on in the requirements phase, instead of later phases or not caught at all. All team members must contribute to quality.

 

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