Quality for virgins

If you have ever been forced to read past the first line of a book or article on Quality, you probably felt the urge to scream loudly.

What an amazing load of horse manure they have created to explain a simple common sense concept.
If you are involved in software and you follow almost everybody else into ignoring quality then these people have done you and your customers a terrible injustice.  If on the other hand you write tomes of nonsense in quasi technical gibberish that leaves almost any one likely to read it(don;t kid yourself, they won’t) cold and confused, then you really need a long holiday and period of quiet reflection.

Here’s the lowdown on quality

A simple definition that servers most purposes is: Give the customers exactly what they want, no more and no less.

At  a simplified level, what this means is making sure that you understand exactly what the customer wants to receive and how they will decide whether it meets his/her requirement and then making sure you deliver it.

Don’t listen to the nonsense about giving more, or delighting the customer. Total  rubbish. If you give more, then you are either going broke, or overcharging everyone else.  This is the real world.  Only footballers give 110%.

 

How do you know that you know what thy want?

You don’t, but, on the law of averages, if you make your best effort to listen and to question their requirements, you will achieve the maximum you could be expected to and your customer will trust you. It is all about trust ultimately.  If you are not genuine you will eventually be found out. Trust is hard to build and easy to lose, but accelerates the success of almost any endeavour like rocket.

How do you communicate pink and  soft, touchy feely needs and requirements into language that can be understood by technical designers  and engineers.?

You don’t, you translate it into the engineers language and then you satisfy yourself that when it arrives it will be exactly what your customer wanted.  That’s the magic of the product manager and business analyst.

How do you make sure that you get what you want from the engineers and especially suppliers?

Easier than you thought.  You don’t tell them what to build , or how to build it but you place the emphasis on how you will test it and what result you aspect to receive.  That way they have not only the measure of the car door, they know how important the shiny chrome branded badge is as you open the door to step into your new sports car.

 

Knowing what will work is the key to getting it right first time.