Thursday, 9 July 2015

How to rate internal product quality during systems development

There are many ways to define and rate product quality. This product quality rating is based on typical product quality assessments for software products and in particular online software.
This post was written for dev teams who do not have a dedicated QA manager or the like.

Why

So why should you do a product quality rating? It will give you an indication of how well the product is engineered in a more holistic perspective. Many will judge the quality of the product based on what end users say about the product. While end user feedback is a very important indicator of quality or value, the product may still have many issues underneath the covers that are just waiting to blow up and become a big issue for the user or other sides of the business.

This product quality review helps to get a complete overview of the product and its strengths and weaknesses. It helps to plan ahead and reduce risk.

How

The rating can be conducted by the product development team, perhaps in collaboration with others such as internal users and other stakeholders. As several of these categories are only known to the dev-team this rating cannot be done by customers or other external stakeholders.

A score from 0 to 10 can be given where 10 would be the score that the best product on the market would receive in that category.

Extensibility

Is the product considered to be extensible? Can it be enhanced with new capabilities or functionalities without hampering its existing functions?

Availability

Is it product ready for immediate use? Does it require a lot of configuration including technical setup? Is it difficult to get started with the product? Are there long start-up times?

Features

Features are the “bells and whistles” of products. How complete is the product? Compared to competitors how would you rate the feature-set in terms of user value? Are you missing important features? Are there many half-finished features?

Performance

Refers to throughput and latency. Can the system handle the user load? Is the system perceived as slow at times?

Accessibility

Is the system accessible for impaired/handicapped users?

Reliability

Does the product perform flawlessly under stated conditions for a long period of time?

Correctness / Conformance

Is it free from faults/bugs? Is it aligned with specifications? Does it conform to standards?

Efficiency

Does the product perform effectively without wasting resources?

Maintainability

Is it easy to maintain code?

Understandability

Is it easy to understand and grasp what the product is for? Does it seem too complex?

Usability

Is it easy to use and learn?

Supportability

Is it well documented? Is it easy to support?

Scalability

Does the product scale well and can it handle controlled increased load? Is it efficient when new resources are added?

Robustness

Is the product able to withstand harsh conditions and rough handling? It should be durable enough to endure erratic variations in stress as well as pressure that too with minimal damage or alteration to its functionality. Does it handle bad or corrupt data?

Security

Are there any likelihood of potential security breaches due to poor coding practices and architecture etc? Have you done penetration test or security audits? Do you have logging, exception handling etc.

Elegance

Is the product stylish, good looking, giving a good first impression?



Further reading

http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/what-does-product-quality-really-mean/