Good quality gone bad – Day 66/139

Today I had a good chat with a bunch of great guys working in the fields of Test-driven and Agile development.

Software development is a risky business.

Developing good quality software is a double-edged sword. Firstly, a software always seems to grow by time. Secondly, only a small software can be maintained free of defects. This being the case, it’s a miracle there is any decent software out there in the first place.

How does one get good quality then?

Here’s a short story about quality. Someone can probably point out the original source but this is the version that I heard:

American company buying Japanese components sometime back in the old days.

Americans: Our absolute quality measurement is six defective units per million.

Time passes and the products are delivered.

Japanese: Here are the million units that you ordered. We wondered why you wanted the six defective ones but we packed them here separately.

The lesson here is that quality is a function of the people who do their job. You can try to demand good quality but it’s difficult to enforce.

Luckily, there is a great measurement for quality.

No matter what you do, products, services, software or something else, this method applies. Just ask the customer of your product one question:

Would you recommend our product to your friends?

This was presented to me as the Harley-Davidson measurement. Their customers apparently answer “yes” 97 times of a hundred.


One response to “Good quality gone bad – Day 66/139

  1. It was good to meet you! Fun conversation. 🙂

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