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Sunday, March 27, 2011

What is Quality and what are different perspectives used in understanding quality?

Quality is the total characteristic of an entity to satisfy stated and implied needs. Three perspectives are used in understanding quality:
- quality of the product
- quality of the process
- quality in the context of the business environment.

Quality of the Product
- The quality of the product has a different perspective for different people.
- End users assume that the software has quality if it gives what they want, when they want it, all the time. The ease of use and is also a important criterion for end users.
- For software engineers, they take a look at the internal characteristics rather than the external.

Quality of the Process
As software engineers, we valuethe quality of the software development process. Process guidelines suggests that byimproving the software development process,we also improve the quality of theresulting product. Common guidelines of process include Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI),ISO 9000:2000, Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination (SPICE).

Quality in the Context of Business Process
Quality is viewed in terms of the products and services being provided by the business in which the software is used. Improving the technical quality of the business process adds value to the business, i.e., technical value of thesoftware translates to business value.

To address quality issues:
- use quality standards.
- understand people involved in development process.
- understand the systematic biases in human nature.
- commit to quality.
- manage user requirements.

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