In 2016 we have witnessed a lot of products recalls around us. We witnessed the highly visible Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall; recalls from Automotive companies, with reports suggesting upwards of 50 Million Vehicles recalled in 2016 alone. There were recalls from various other sectors like home appliances, computing products, consumer electronics, industrial automation and many high technology industries. These incidents of a product recall, field failures, and defect slippages becoming especially relevant and most noteworthy when most of these companies have been focusing on aspects of product quality for time immemorial. Is it time for us to think beyond product quality and furthermore focus on product integrity?
WHAT CAN TEST ENGINEERS, QUALITY ENGINEERS LEARN?
As testers, one of our primary responsibilities is to provide a very context specific feedback on the quality of the product. Does this mean that providing feedback on just the quality of a product is not sufficient anymore?What more feedback should testers provide on the products they test.
First of all, let us consider the quality characteristics which we expect from a typical software product. Sogeti TMap explains around 17 quality characteristics for a software product. The popular ISO 25010 mentions about 35 quality characteristics for software products and ISO 9126 articulates around 27 quality characteristics for a software product and the list goes on. The question to ask is if the testers are being sufficiently guided by these quality characteristics or do we need additional quality characteristics to provide feedback on the quality of the product
The new age smart products seem to be very complex with systems of systems architecture involving multiple integrations between software, mechanical, electrical and multiple information processing interfaces. Does our traditional view of software product quality suffice in this ever evolving word of smart products? Therefore should we as testers also move beyond providing feedback on just product quality. Should we as testers start providing feedback on the Integrity of the Product?
Various dictionaries describe the Integrity in various ways; But in the context of Product, The first use of the world Product Integrity was in 1990’s , in response to the need for a new word which is much broader than quality and total quality.
I will try to explain my point of view on the concept of Product Integrity in subsequent posts. Please provide your valuable comments.