Great quality can be defined as “fit for purpose”. In other words it does what it is supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, people have great pride in knowing that they deliver high quality and that they are a member of a team or company or organisation that delivers working solutions, at the first attempt.
From a day-to-day perspective, fixing defects regularly is demotivating. Some would argue that the developer fixing the defect created it in the first place (not always true) and so should fix it. Having many work-arounds, often an accepted form of ‘solution’ will cause lost time and frustration for all, internal as well as external.
Fixing defects and managing workarounds diverts resources away from what developers indirect do, such as raise equity value by creating new products quickly and getting them to market faster than the competition.
Due to pressures, defects are often fixed late into the night, which affects people’s work-pleasure life. They also significantly contribute to high levels of interrupts whilst innovating yet again slowing down time-to-market.
Simply put, if the system or product has many defects then innovation will be impossible without significant investment in human capital (i.e. buying new teams that have no legacy). Not only innovation, but also new sales for product companies will be tough as sales will find it hard to find a referable client or indeed get through a two-hour demo without the software falling over.
How Can Agile Help?
Agile methodologies help improve quality by promoting:
- Never compromising on quality: What is delivered after the short sprint/timebox is fit for purpose, thus minimising additional Technical Debt.
- Continuous builds and integration of software followed by automated testing (daily as well as nightly) giving developers near-immediate feedback.
- Bringing the client closer and more frequently into contact with the teams thus raising assurance that what is needed is built, nothing more, nothing less.
Do you See or Feel this in your work?
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