Thinking Quality In


Recently the phrase ‘building quality in‘ has become something of a mantra for lean and agile development. It is sometimes offered as an alternative to ‘testing quality in’ (which is something I never really understood). I believe the point is to emphasize that we should consider quality whilst building our products, and not as an afterthought in a wasteful testing and fixing ‘phase’.

This might seem sensible; after all there is a broad acceptance that quality should be everybody’s responsibility and that this is a good thing.

The problem is that it implies that quality is a kind of static, tangible element of a product, an ingredient like yeast or salt which can be added to the mix. It is as if we can make our customers happy by stirring just the right amount of quality into our product when the time is right.

The word ‘build’ places the burden of…

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