In the products arena, customers demand more from the software components designed for the latest hardware, often with requirements that change rapidly, even as software projects are underway. Keeping track of changes while meeting aggressive (and unaltered!) deadlines is difficult, if not impossible. In the IT space, more businesses are focused on their operational software for capturing and providing value to their customers and lines of businesses. E-commerce websites compete to improve customer relations and simplify online business; businesses that create highly optimized supply chains sup-porting a fast, efficient ecosystem of partners quickly rise in the marketplace.
What does this competitive environment mean for businesses seeking to deliver high-quality products and services?
Certainly, effective quality management and continuous testing create opportunities to deliver key business benefits, such as improved market share, higher customer satisfaction, and increased brand equity. But top quality in the completed product cannot serve as the single guiding principle by which products are produced and delivered. Time to market is also key; costs and risk factors must also be part of the balancing act. Get these things wrong, and you may face unsustainable costs, missed windows of opportunity, unhappy customers, even a massive recall or the complete failure of a system at a critical moment. Get these things right, and you can achieve a positive operational return on investment from efficiencies gained in development activities.
However, figuring out
- a) How to relate quality to business outcome
- b) What constitutes the right level of quality for individual products is not always clear.
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