Friday, December 29, 2017

Understanding, Measuring and Building Consumer Quality

It has been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. For those who don't know, I am working in Vuclip, a B2C company in the OTT space, where we have millions of consumers using our product via Android and iOS native apps, and the Browser too.

In the past few months, I have been in deep water taking on a new and very exciting initiative. Before I share what that is - here is a traditional approach to Quality.

Typically practices, processes, tools are chosen and implemented to help build a good Quality Product for the end-user. Evolving from Waterfall methodology to Agile methodology has been challenging for many (organizations and individuals), but has proven to be a huge step forward to achieving the goal of building a good and usable product.

In this course of time, we have (thankfully) changed the thought process of considering QA to be the "gate-keeper of Quality" to QA being a "Quality Advocate and Quality Enabler" for the team and the product. A very important change as a result has been changing the focus of QA from "finding defects" to "preventing defects".

And rightly so! After-all, why should the QA be the gate-keeper and -
  • take the responsibility and blame of someone giving poor / incomplete requirements? or,
  • someone writing bad code during development?
The QA is not a scavenger meant to clean up mess created by others. The QA instead is an enabler who -
  • helps bring all stakeholders together through the life-cycle of the product - from conceptualization to end-delivery, 
  • asks a lot of questions to find gaps, clarify assumptions, etc.
  • helps find and radiate information including risks, and,
  • is an active part of doing whatever it takes to prevent defects coming into the system
The Agile practices help do this in a collaborative way, getting features to completion in an incremental fashion, and iterating / pivoting based on the feedback received. This is also what practices related to Continuous Delivery enables us to do well.

But this is nothing new, at least for me. After all, during my fantastic journey at ThoughtWorks, I would say that these were basic tenets of why and how we worked.

That said, my eye-opener in the past few months has been to take this thought process many steps forward.

My agenda has been - how can I help influence and raise the bar of quality in such a way that we not only build a quality product, but also be in a position to predict how our millions of consumers will be able to use it.

This initiative we are calling as Consumer Quality -
  • how do we understand Quality (= value) of the product as perceived by our Consumers, 
  • what data can be relevant to understand this, how can we be proactive about looking at this data while building a quality product, and,
  • the Nirvana stage - how can we predict what actions taken will have desired impact on Consumer Quality!
I hope to be able to share with you more of this in 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! Keep Learning, Keep Sharing!

No comments:

Post a Comment