Talk About Quality

Tom Harris

On Time Delivery

with 5 comments

When a major express mail company promises “on time delivery” I think we all know what they mean. In software, I’m not so sure.

In a previous post I talked about multitasking: when it’s appropriate and why. One of my key assumptions was that software deliverables result from tasks that are finished — completed. If so, then multitasking was not good for developers.

But let’s check that assumption. Maybe the software market is a market where

Partial results matter, and

Any late result is worthless

For example, if you’re running for a plane and lose a shoe. Better to make the plane and buy new shoes at the other end, right?

Some questions arise, though:

How partial can the initial result be and still matter?

Partial in features or partial in quality?

Is a later corrective delivery a separate, on-time delivery, or a completion of the initial delivery, thereby making it late?

How much fun is it to always be running half-barefoot for a plane?

What I do know is that when my express mail package comes damaged, missing items, or late, I demand my money back. If it happens twice, I switch carriers.

P.S. What happens when the client you were going to visit by plane is on the plane, sitting next to you?

Written by Tom Harris

June 12, 2006 at 12:45 am

Posted in Agile

5 Responses

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  1. Partial functionality is ok, especially if you let the customer know that they are going to get functionality in waves. Partial quality doesn’t really work, even if you tell the client. They just wave off that you aren’t promising anything – they think the quality of software is binary – it works or it doesn’t. So, skimping on “quality” to them means that it’ll still work. When the software is poor and buggy, they are going to be upset, even if you told them that partial quality is what they chose. You should have known better than to give them the option.

    Joshua Volz

    June 12, 2006 at 2:17 am

  2. […] The full post can be found here: Link. […]

  3. What is More Important? Time or Quality?…

  4. With time – one good and important thing can be achieved🙂 –> Quality..

    then again, arent these two interlinked.

    ehab

    June 14, 2006 at 12:43 pm

  5. With quality, many good things can be achieved🙂

    One of them is:

    –> Time

    They are interlinked, but they are positively correlated: high quality is the basis for success on all the other parameters.

    Tom Harris

    June 14, 2006 at 9:48 pm


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