What is Quality in IT Industry? 'Defects' is a common answer most of the time received. Most of the customers / management / project teams always talk about just defects. A project having very few defects with lot of effort overrun, too many requirement changes, schedule slippage, resource overloading etc. is normally considered as a project with quality.
No doubt, Defect is a primary and an important indicator of quality but not the only one. Project's overall health should be measured with other important parameters like effort, schedule, resource, defects, residual defects, and review effectiveness etc. Few more measures can contribute to project health based on the project scope (like Requirement Stability Index, Productivity, Process Compliance, COQ Components etc.).
Though Defects are primary indicator of quality, it is not always taken seriously. In Manufacturing sector, defects directly produce loss which is tangible. You can see the finished material and inprocess material lying down in the stores due to rejection by customer or not fit to delivery. Numbers of items which can't be processed or delivered are direct contributor to losses.
In case of IT Sector, defects are always fixed by putting more efforts and hence they are considered as 'within control'. Wrong transactions made due to defects can be reversed quickly and that's the key reason why defects are not taken seriously. If we correlate the defects with other data like efforts or COQ and turn it into $ value, the results will be eye-opening.
While talking about Quality in IT, the thoughts are always focused on measurement and metrics. What about overall quality improvement through management commitment in all areas, strategic objectives, right deliverables on time? Implementation of "TQM" concept in IT will be a good option. Implementing and running it seriously for years can be a right solution to achieve overall quality. It's not a short term solution but a reliable solution.
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