How Can You Build a Culture of Developing Quality Products?
Software quality starts at the top. Learn about encouraging a culture of quality and who is responsible.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Does your organization appreciate the extent to which quality starts at the top?
Too many organizations don’t.
Consider Snapchat, for instance, which in early 2017, was suffering from an underwhelming IPO and slowing user growth. Developers Snap Inc. encountered problems with their Android app due to prioritizing iOS at an early stage, enabling Instagram to capitalize and steal Android market share.
The result was seemingly long-lasting damage to Snapchat. Yet, much of this could have surely been avoided if a culture of quality had been installed across Snapchat’s product line from the beginning.
Who Is Now Responsible for Quality?
It has never been more crucial to deliver high-quality products that will satisfy customers.
Companies can no longer rely solely on testers and QA teams to cover all possible scenarios during testing.
If your firm continues to depend on the old ways of ensuring quality, it risks falling behind competitors. Quality should no longer be regarded as exclusively testers’ responsibility.
Instead, to ensure your company releases a bug-free product that furthers instead of damages the reputation of the brand, you must focus on your whole firm’s approach to quality.
The short answer to the above question: everyone.
Your teams no longer have the luxury of simply sitting in their respective silos, while barely interacting with other departments. Instead, there must be "quality owners" or "quality advocates" throughout your organization.
Everyone in your company accepting responsibility for quality helps to deliver such benefits as better team alignment, superior-quality products, and a world-class customer experience.
Take Steps to Develop a Quality Culture
From working with some of the largest and fastest-growing technology companies, we’ve observed numerous patterns in how firms operate and create their own business’s quality strategy.
Not only must your organization’s quality strategy involve every department, for example, but you must also have a quality narrative that helps you to get organizational buy-in.
In addition, you will need a team of quality advocates to continually champion quality.
Your firm already has a quality narrative – but is it the right one?
The term ‘quality narrative’ refers to how people think and talk about quality within a company.
So in short, your company has a quality narrative already.
But is quality the epicenter of your company, with everyone embracing responsibility for the quality of what the customer receives?
Or is your firm’s quality narrative an unclear one, with teams left unsure as to what their responsibility from a quality standpoint is?
There’s a lot of work involved in creating a quality culture.
Cultivating a culture of quality is not an easy or overnight job, and organizations vary in terms of what works best for them. However, if you are persistent and determined, it is possible to affect change in your quality culture that will be instrumental in improving the standard of your company’s products.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.