Setting Software Quality Purposes

Various quality attributes may have various levels of significance to various clients and users. Relevant quality views and attributes need to be identified first.

In the case if software is used in different real-time control conditions, for example air traffic control software and embedded software in automobile, medical devices and so on, accidents due to failures may be disastrous. Consequently, safety is the main interest. 

On the other hand, for mass market software packages, such as different auxiliary utilities for personal computers, usability, instead of reliability or safety, is the main interest.

In the narrower meaning of quality associated with errors, faults and failures there are various kinds of troubles and software bugs that may have various significance to various clients.

In that way, for software that is intended for different operational environments, inter-operability troubles may have a main importance for clients and users; while the equal troubles may not have such a big importance for software products with a standard operational environment.

So as soon as information about clients’ quality anticipations is obtained, it is necessary to measure it to set proper quality purposes in 2 phases: 

  1. Firstly it is necessary to choose the quality measurements and models generally accepted by the clients.
  2. Secondly it is necessary to find out the anticipated values or ranges of the corresponding quality measurements. For instance, various market segments might have different reliability expectations, which are also impressed by the common market conditions and competitive pressure.

Software vendors not only compete on quality alone, but also on price, time-table, innovation, flexibility, user experience and others.

Zero defect is not reachable purpose and should not be the goal. Instead, zero defection and positive flow of new clients and users based on quality anticipations management should be a purpose.