Confidence! Does that make you suspicious?

TMap HD aims for Confidence. Confidence in IT-solutions, which a customer can trust and rely on. Without errors. Sounds great! Such a perfect goal makes a test professional, with his critical character, by nature a little suspicious, doesn’t it?

This suspicion is understandable because he knows that in most current approaches, the given time and budget is too limited to test everything with the necessary coverage. These approaches include methods, like product risk analysis, to distribute the available test effort as effectively as possible. But does that create enough confidence? If you realize that software tends to become more complex and that the given time and budget tends to decrease, then it becomes clear that these approaches will not last.

The current approaches do not provide enough space to arise sufficient confidence. Testing is done at the end of the project with the deadline in sight and there is usually no time to test everything and repair all bugs found. So one thing is for sure: there will be unfixed and undetected defects in the released IT-solution. This problem will increase in the future. Testing provides insight in the current quality, but insight is not enough to guarantee confidence. If you do what you always do, you will get what you always get, so, to create confidence, another approach is required.

Let’s turn it around. Instead of specifying, then build, then test and fix the final product to add quality at the end, let’s build in quality from the start by taking confidence as the focal point. The business of the client demands it, because the business depends on working IT-solutions. This need for confidence is the base for an approached from the other side: not given the budget try to make the best of it, but given the required confidence ensuring that quality is always the leading target.

From that required target the necessary confidence must be created during and in coherence with the creation of the IT-solution. Quality must be built in from the start. It cannot be tested in afterwards.

This is possible through a few measures, to give this approach the quality driven characteristics. Three important ones are:

1. Quality must be the concern of everybody and included in the task or contract of everybody involved.

2. Set the goal for Confidence and strive to do everything right the first time. Any deviation is a reason for an improvement of the way of working to exclude such deviations in the future.

3. An independent quality and test manager with a mandate directly from the client, coordinates and directs on quality, using tests as an instrument to provide insight in the created quality at any time during the whole process.

This TMap HD approach can be summarized by: Confidence through built-in quality. 

Aldert Boersma is a senior Quality Manager and Architect. He is one of the two writers of the TMap HD book.