In today’s internet world – the cost development often outweighs the benefits. Moreover at times delays in time-to-market would lead to competition getting the first movers advantage. It is thus imperative to have a delivery model based on operational excellence which ensures quick turnaround at reasonable costs. Software today is burdened with many process which focus on Quality Control i.e. functional testing, user acceptance testing etc.. Not many processes are focused on Quality Assurance which would really reduce the time spent in fixing defects caught in the Quality control phases. Moreover like Quality Assurance – we also need to focus on productivity assurance processes which will ensure that the team is performing at optimum levels.
Productivity assurance would include activity such as reusability assessment – wherein we enforce the assessment of usage of reusable components. Of-course this means that you would have to have a component based development model in place beforehand. A lot of focus will then be laid on estimation and not this would be narrowed down to components or even one level further. Continuous revision of estimates based on further analysis and continuous testing would ensure a properly integrated system.
One very important factor in productivity assurance is peer reviews , yes this concept is very popular but often the focus of reviews in most cases is to identify what is being done wrong. Peer reviews should actually aim to find what is working well within a piece of code and then suggest ways to build on that. This will ensure that there remains a healthy relationship between the parties involved. Yes we do need to identify errors – but today there are so many tools to do that and hence we need allocate this task to an individual.
With continued focus on Productivity Assurance and Quality Assurance – we need not forget Quality Control as some % of effort needs to be invested in gatekeeping of Quality. We have worked on this model and have seen incredible results with productivity improving by 30% in six months time and a quality improvement of more than 45% in the same period of time. We have thus been able to work out a win-win relationship with our customers as we are able to delivery quality in quick time and still keep our costs low.