Everyone who works on a product, be it a web application in the IT industry or a cappuccino in a coffee house, has one important goal – to satisfy the customers who will be using it. When analyzing this and thinking about how you can tell whether the product is successful or not, quality is one of the key metrics that naturally comes to mind. However, what you understand about a quality product can be quite different from what other people’s perceptions are.
So, let’s start by defining the term product quality. It can stand for both building the right product and building the product right. This means that all you need is to make sure that the product you’re working on is what your customers are looking for and expecting from you. The product developer needs to organize the working process as efficiently as possible, so the budget is optimized and the project timelines are respected.
Software quality metrics or how to measure software quality
From a high-level perspective, both points from the paragraph above are essential. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that the final product fits the requirements that were stipulated at the very beginning. No matter how fast the product has been built, if it does not meet your customers’ needs, it cannot be called a high-quality product. Even if the product has all kinds of up-to-date features, if it misses out even just one small function from your requirements list, it will still remain a low-quality product as far as the client is concerned.
That is why I would like to emphasize 2 processes that are essential to fulfill the software quality standards. The first one is collecting the requirements and figuring out what goals the product is supposed to serve. If you spend enough time determining your business goals, adjusting your strategy, and discussing with our development team what features your customers expect before the project kicks off, you may consider the product half-completed. If, and only if the tech team clearly sees their tasks, be assured that they will deliver a high performance.
The second one is all about testing. This is the phase when we check whether the product does what it’s supposed to, in other words, find and fix all possible technical issues. Based on the requirements, software quality assurance engineers will examine how the product works and make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
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Quality driven software
As mentioned above, it is essential to collect the requirements at the very beginning of the development project. And the questions naturally arise: “What should I do if I don’t know all of the requirements but have an idea what kind of product I would like to develop? Or if I want to make changes and adjustments to the initial requirements at a later phase of development?”
The answer is: “Define as many criteria as possible at the beginning and leave room for improvements”. Our development and QA teams will help you in keeping the product backlog prioritized and updating it according to the latest decisions. The Scrum framework is sure to be the best solution for such cases. The approach of continuous improvement adopted by Scrum guarantees not only meeting quality requirements but also constantly improving product quality.
More about applying Agile software development methodologies and best practices of project management can be found here: https://elitex.systems/blog/software-development-project-management/.
How to improve software quality?
As I mentioned earlier, the approach of continuous improvement is capable of making your product better. The better this process is set up and maintained, the higher the quality of the product will be. Various methods can be used to improve product quality.
The most popular amongst them are Kaizen which means continuous improvement and Plan-Do-Check-Act. Kaizen focuses mostly on efficient management rather than on quality assurance itself and suggests making small improvements, measuring their impact, and therefore improving your workflow.
Plan-Do-Check-Act helps in improving the process by analyzing how useful small changes could be before putting them into practice. This approach is quite popular among Kaizen practitioners, too. Generally speaking though, no matter how skilled the tech team you hire is or how well the requirements are specified, the sky is the limit. So, don’t miss a chance to fine-tune the process and this will undoubtedly positively influence the software quality.
I hope that this article has brought you more clarity and understanding of software development quality and what actions you should undertake to refine your product quality metrics.