June 11, 2015 // By Mark Smith
Businesses rely on effective software to drive a positive customer interaction experience. Improving customer interaction increases the businesses competitive advantage and is the primary driver for software development. If a software project does not help a company improve their competitive advantage, the project is a failure.
With global competition, rapid technology evolution and customer’s anytime, anywhere expectations of technology access - software is THE competitive advantage for a business. To enhance a business’s competitive advantage the quality and velocity (qualocity) of software development must be higher and faster than the competition. Lacking high quality and velocity over time a business surrenders its competitive advantage.
Two critical aspects of software development are required to improve a business’s competitive advantage: user experience and quality assurance.
User experience (UX) involves not only the look and feel of the software, but also the flow. Customers demand that the iPhone experience be tailored to the iPhone and be different from the web experience. Effective UX will result in an application that provide the competitive advantage that the business is looking for. In addition to improving the quality of the application, UX can improve the development velocity by providing developers with a clear map of the application look, feel and flow, allowing them to be more efficient in their coding efforts.
In addition to delivering a high quality UX the development efforts need to deliver high quality code. If the code fails a customer, the customer is gone to the competition in a click. Often companies rely on subject matter experts (SME) or business analysts (BA) to perform software testing. This approach adversely affects the development efforts in several ways: it distracts the SME’s and BA’s from creating the best software requirements, the SME’s and BA’s lack the best practice knowledge of software quality assurance and it does not provide rapid feedback to the developers on code quality.
Software quality assurance testing (QAT) extends beyond testing for requirements. QAT involves usability, security, performance, accessibility and of course requirements. The testing approaches, from unit tests to manual testing to test automation can speed up a project or drag it down. QAT experts work to provide rapid feedback to developers ensuring that the defects are fixed quickly and that developers are mindful of code quality. This improves the end quality of the software while improving the development velocity.
By improving both the quality of the software and the velocity of the development, a business improves their qualocity – making the business more competitive.
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