Quality has nothing to do with testing

When people hear the word quality, many of us instantly think of testing.

This shouldn’t be any surprise as the words, quality, testing, quality assurance, QA groups, testers are often lumped together when people discuss quality and software.

What is a surprise for some is how little testing has to do with quality.

Quality on software projects begins way before any tests are written or executed.

Quality begins the first day you start your project.

It begins the moment you engage your customers and figure out how you are going to work together.

It manifests itself every day by the manner in which you collaborate with team members, and the spirit and attitude you bring to the work place.

It’s doing simple things, like getting feedback on you product early and often.

It means managing your project, and setting expectations, so that there is enough time to do the really important stuff, and not worrying about the rest.

It means bringing your A-game every day. Getting knocked down, and then getting back up and coming in for more the next day.

I would do well to remind myself of this the next time I need to deal with a problem of ‘quality’.


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4 Responses to “Quality has nothing to do with testing”

  1. Mayson Lancaster Says:

    I agree with your sentiment: but with some qualifications.

    Testing = unit testing? No: much more is needed.

    Testing = making sure software does not blow up? No: more needed.

    Testing begins with the first design: does your userbase understand it?

    Some forms of testing often neglected, that do lead toward quality:

    Useability testing: how difficult is the software to use?

    Understandability testing: can somebody, who wants to, understand it easily?

    Garbage testing: How much of it shouldn’t be there? NO NON-DATA INK!!

  2. A Inspeção boa e a ruim « Blog Visão Ágil Says:

    […] Quality has nothing to do with testing seja um ótimo post que vale a pena dar uma olhada, acho que o título ficaria melhor formulado […]

  3. Glenn Gruber Says:

    Agree with the sentiment. We actually did a webinar called “Quality is not about Testing” (http://www.symphonysv.com/newsroom/archive/webinar/, scroll down about 1/2 way).

    This is a very ‘Deming’ conversation. Quality must be engineered in, not tested out.

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