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December 13, 2009

What does Quality mean to you?

Quality-tag-map 

The tag map above is an artifact of a discussion about quality that we had internally at Hashrocket last Friday. The question was: "How do we measure Quality on our projects?"

Many of us felt that money (budget) or rather, adherence to the client's budget was the best way to judge quality. I took that to indicate awareness and constant refinement of the quality/speed ratio.

Interestingly, lifestyle (pace) ranked highly, which I think is a reflection of our core values. A comfortable, stress-free environment and sustainable pace is an essential factor in production of quality software. However, I don't know if you can use lifestyle indicators as a quality measurement.

Customer satisfaction ranked highly as well, but perhaps not as high as the others because customers are not always clued in to the real level of quality in their application? Hopefully some of my rocketeers will chime in with their opinions about that.

The answer with the most votes by far was craftmanship, which itself needs further discussion to define well and understand. As a group, we brainstormed ways to measure craftsmanship and ended up with the following ideas, not weighted:

What-is-craftsmanship 

How do you define quality and craftsmanship? Tell me in the comments.

By the way...

I absolutely have to tell you about a great consultant that we retained at Hashrocket to spend a couple days with us discussing quality and helping our management team to figure out growth plans for 2010. His name is Steven M. Smith and I met him at the AYE Conference in Phoenix last month. Besides being a great management consultant, Steve specializes in experiential workshops. You should definitely consider hiring Steve to help you with your software development company or department.


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