April 10, 2017

Why we need to move from Product Quality to Product Integrity?

BY :     April 10, 2017

INTRODUCTION

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?

product

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.

 

Vivek Jaykrishnan

About

Vivek  Jaykrishnan is a highly experienced enterprise test consultant and  test architect. He has a career spanning 18+ years , steering the functions of Verification and Validation including functional, system, integration and performance test in leadership positions with organisations of repute. Vivek has a proven track record of working across various engagement models including outsourced product V&V in service organisations, Independent V&V in captive unit and globally distributed development in a product company. Vivek  also has extensive experience in developing and implementing verification and validation strategies and driving V&V to align with various development methodologies including continuous delivery, agile, iterative development and water-fall model. Vivek is passionate about applying cognitive intelligence within testing, helping organisations move beyond product quality to product integrity and also chasing the next frontiers in IOT testing.

More on Vivek Jaykrishnan.

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  1. Roopam · April 25, 2017 Reply

    Systems becoming more complex in the new age, and the need to move focus from just Quality to Integrity, is a thoughtful and righteous approach indeed. For Software Quality, I would step back a number of steps and relook at Quality, when things were simpler but the concern existed.

    In my opinion, the traditional approach of many Testing Teams to assure Quality is rather mechanical. If we ask testers and test lead (grass root level) of how can they help in QA, the response is mostly around :Testing, or running test cases, or automation and sometimes, improvement. The work cycle is mechanical and repetitive and lacks the passion, the spark of “i own quality, how can I do it” rather than “I own test cases.” Teams where Quality is taken more by interest and passion, additionally, Quality as a culture imbibed and percolated down from top, has proven to make a significant difference.

*Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group