Seven Pragmatic Practices to Improve Software Quality - A Forrester research report

A new Forrester Research report, Seven Pragmatic Practices to Improve Software Quality, by analysts Margo Visitacion and Mike Gualtieri.

Seven steps taken directly from the Forrester report:


Pragmatic Practice 1 Define Quality to Match Your Needs

Impact on Quality: Meet business requirements; achieve a satisfying user experience.

Benefit: Your ability to achieve quality is improved because the application development team is not charged with unrealistically perfect expectations. Rather, it is chartered with a definition of quality that fits the given time, resource, and budget constraints.

Relevant Roles: Business stakeholders; entire application development team.

Pragmatic Practice 2 Broadcast Simple Quality Metrics

Impact on Quality: Reduce defects.

Benefit: Highly visible metrics keep quality top of mind for the entire team and expose when efforts fall short.

Relevant Roles: Entire application development team.

Pragmatic Practice 3 Fine-Tune Team/Individual Goals to Include Quality

Impact on Quality: Meet business requirements; achieve a satisfying user experience; reduce defects.

Benefit: Team members perform according to their incentives, making quality improvement part of their goals reinforces desirable behavior.

Relevant Roles: Management.

Pragmatic Practice 4 Get the Requirements Right

Impact on Quality: Meet business requirements; achieve a satisfying user experience.

Benefit: Less rework means less retesting and fewer cycles, which greatly reduces the overall effort.

Relevant Roles: Managers, business analysts, user experience designers, architects.

Pragmatic Practice 5 Test Smarter to Test Less

Impact on Quality: Reduce defects.

Benefit: A focus on testing the most crucial and at risk areas ensures that they receive the lion's share of test resources and that any bugs that slip through are likely to be confined to the least-important features.

Relevant Roles: Quality assurance, managers.

Pragmatic Practice 6 Design Applications to Lessen Bug Risk

Impact on Quality: Reduce defects.

Benefit: Simpler, cleaner designs result in code that is simpler, cleaner, and easier to test and rework—which means that the code will have fewer bugs and that those bugs will be easier to diagnose and repair.

Relevant Roles: Architects, developers.

Pragmatic Practice 7 Optimize the Use of Testing Tools

Impact on Quality: Reduce defects.

Benefit: Automation frees resources from mundane testing to focus on the highest-priority tests and increases test cycles' repeatability.

Relevant Roles: Quality assurance, developers.

Visitacion and Gualtieri conclude that software quality is a team sport, and everyone needs to play.

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