Creating a Culture of Quality


The 11th (and final) question in the Test Test asks if the organization has a culture of quality. Does everyone care about quality, or do they consider quality to be the test team's job?

If everyone doesn't care about quality, how do you get them to start caring about quality. You could change their pay structure so they only get paid if customers are happy and don't find bugs, but I doubt that approach would work. Similar "penalties" for low quality are probably also not optimal solutions. A better solution may be to try to get people excited about quality - give them a chance to be proud of the software they're building. But that probably won't work for everyone either.

So, try something else, then try something else. Do whatever you can to get everyone on the team to care about quality. Companies like GE and Toyota have built quality cultures - there's no reason every single software team can't do the same. You have to start small and work at it. Then, you have to keep on working at it.

Culture is difficult to change, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It's almost always worth it in the end.


Comments (2)

  1. "Companies like GE and Toyota have built quality cultures – there’s no reason every single software team can’t do the same. You have to start small and work at it. Then, you have to keep on working at it. "

    Alan, it is good that you have given the example of a Japanese company that possesses a quality culture. I find the work of W. Edwards Deming quite inspiring. Deming was instrumental in establishing the movement towards high-quality in Japan.

    I find Deming’s fourteen key principles of management quite inspiring. Further, I think that these principles, applied to a software organization, can help build a culture of quality in that organization. One ought to adapt every principle to one’s situation and take action in line with that principle every day.

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