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Learning from the Pioneers: What Today’s Software Quality Professionals can Learn from Deming, Juran and Ishikawa

by Rebecca Staton-Reinstein
Intermediate level

Summary: The breakthrough thinking of giants in the quality field such as Drs. W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Kaoru Ishikawa and others are as applicable today as they ever were.  Unfortunately, their profound knowledge is often missing from discussions of practical applications for improving software.  Learn the basics taught by these pioneers and how to apply them in today’s demanding technical and business environment.  Learn how to improve you own effectiveness and efficiency in Software Quality Assurance or Testing by getting back to basics.  Learn how to get the results that your company demands with lower costs and less frustration by embracing the wisdom of the Pioneers.

Abstract: The breakthrough thinking of giants in the quality field such as Drs. W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Kaoru Ishikawa and others are as applicable today as they ever were.  Unfortunately, their profound knowledge is often missing from discussions of practical applications for improving software.
Analyzing the Cost of Quality can serve as a model to organize processes, information and improvement strategies.  Software Testers and those who perform Peer Reviews find and report defect data that can serve as an engine for improvement when properly analyzed.

Applying statistical analysis to software requires basic knowledge about statistical principles but more importantly an understanding of how to apply these tools to the software lifecycle and processes.  Control Charts, Pareto Charts and other common tools have pragmatic uses for the quality analyst and others who must listen to “the voice of the process.”  Searching for Root Causes through the Ishikawa technique is a basic skill that every software quality professional should be using regularly even to make small incremental improvements to work processes.

Defining processes is fundamental to all quality initiatives whether Six Sixma, ISO, CMM/CMMI or any other serious approach to software improvement. Understanding process and systems thinking is absolutely necessary for the quality tester, analyst or manager to be effective and produce consistent results.

Juran’s “Fit For Use” approach to quality has concrete ramifications for gathering requirements for software projects and defining thorough testing of the product.  Deming’s “Continuous Improvement” approach is critical for creating processes that are capable of consistently producing software systems that are “Fit for Use.” 

Formal improvement efforts can also benefit from the work of Imai, Kano and Tuguchi and it’s vital to apply their insights to the software issues that often find no easy solutions.  Metrics in software improvement have also evolved and learning to use defect data as a mandatory tool guarantees focus on improvement beyond the find and fix cycle.

Learn the basics in hands on workshops taught by these pioneers and how to apply them in today’s demanding technical and business environment.  Learn how to improve you own effectiveness and efficiency in Software Quality Assurance or Testing by getting back to basics.  Learn how to get the results that your company demands with lower costs and less frustration by embracing the wisdom of the Pioneers.

Rebecca Staton-ReinsteinPresenter Bio: Rebecca Staton-Reinstein, president of Advantage Leadership, Inc. works with companies that want to improve software quality though strategic initiatives that impact efficiency, effectiveness and the bottom line.  Her clients include all economic sectors and circle the globe.  Her company performs assessments of current performance and budgetary impact and works with you to change these results. She is the author of several books on improving software quality as well as those on strategic leadership and planning.  The St. Petersburg Engineering Academy in Russia honored her for her contributions to software quality improvement.