Back to front page

5. Quality Osmosis

Quality Osmosis_System Verification

We have thus far talked about quite concrete steps toward making quality a first-class citizen of the modern agile software development setting. Those will get us 80% there. But, as in any other process, the last 20% will require 80% of the total time, effort, and experience.

It is in these last 20% that the mindset of the entire team will need to be set toward quality. To achieve this we, as quality advocates, need to pressurize the surrounding environment with an abundance of microscopical quality enhancing characteristics. Eventually, with small enough increments and high enough pressure, these characteristics will permeate the team and the quality mindset will be adopted.

Micro binary decisions

One way of guiding a team toward a quality promoting mindset is to demonstrate the power of micro binary decisions. Whatever goal you may strive toward, every obstacle or decision point can be broken down into smaller pieces. When the pieces are small enough, a binary choice can be identified. In this choice, one path leads toward the goal and the other away from it. Then it is just a question of weighing the external consequences of that choice and decide. The break-down process to reach that decision point demands an elevated level of understanding of all aspects and this is where the most effort and experience is required.

Improving software quality

By understanding and embracing the contents of the articles in this series, we can increase the probability of improving quality. By trusting in our ability to understand problems sufficiently enough to break down each problem into micro binary decisions, we should also be able to trust that the overall product quality will improve as much as the team prioritization in each decision point allows.