Home > Agile > Who is to blame when quality is failing?

Who is to blame when quality is failing?

My blog post about my friend with the failing supplier resulted in one of my developer friends thinking that I was developer bashing. Not all customers want to pay for bug free software. And I agree. Most seasoned software users knows that there are always bugs in systems. The costs for those last 10% is higher than most of us are willing to pay so we find them in most software. Of course there is software where there's a 0 bug tolerance within for example aviation and medicine, but if we look aside from that my friend is correct.

But there is a big difference between small annoying bugs which is not spotted until you do something that is not easily expected and bugs which becomes apparent after just a few minutes of testing. It's a big difference between bugs which are annoying and bugs which makes the system not usable.

In the matrix we find these bug definitions. Most bugs are annoying and can be spotted using standard scenarios. That they are there is often no surprise to the team but priorities have resulted in them not being done. When I say annoying it could be that the bugs makes the system useless to one or a few users but it works for most users and that the main purpose in reached in spite of the bug. I would say that the annoying bugs which are only spotted using special scenarios are inevitable and also acceptable to most users.

When it comes to the bugs which makes the purpose of the system not being forfilled we have the bugs which are not easily spotted but anyway makes the system useless. These are the oops of the system. The things we hadn't thought of. These are costly to find and I think that in most cases customers can accept that this happens.

But what about the bugs which makes the system useless and can be spotted using standard scenarios? Many years ago Microsoft released a version of Microsoft Excel where the print functionality didn't work. Here we find the bugs which me and my friend where discussing. In his case, ll deliveries have bugs of this category.

So, who is responsible? I would say in principle the manager is responsible for the problem and if there was any bashing in my previous post it was management bashing. BUT the developers of the team should, if they had any pride in their work, should also feel a responsibility. I don't think it's about laziness, my experience is that these bugs are often a result of taking on too much and not making sure that no bugs in this quarters leaves one's desk because you're eager to start with the next task. Of course it happens to every developer that such bugs sneaks through the cracks and that's why we have testers. But if every delivery is infested by these bugs, this is more than just mistakes.

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Categories: Agile
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