The Role Of Quality Management In Agile Software Development 

The Role Of Quality Management In Agile Software Development 

What does quality management mean in software development?

Quality management within the software development life cycle (SDLC) is an ongoing process that aims to develop and deliver a software product of a high quality. Meeting client requirements and ensuring that the standards expected and promised are withheld, whilst also guaranteeing the product meets any of the standard requirements and regulations. While it is something that can easily be overlooked or misunderstood, SQM (software quality management) is more important than ever. 

In a world that now demands the very best and latest from their digital experiences, the pressure placed on software developers is high and delivering the very best can be a challenge. Having a software quality management process in place, with the support of quality management specialists ensures that the deliverables are of the highest quality. 

Quality management activities throughout the agile SDLC 

Since quality management is to be applied at each stage of agile software development, you can segment the activities of quality management into different focus areas. From planning to testing and deployment, there are a number of quality processes that can be undertaken. 

Planning: 

  • Define quality goals: Establish clear quality objectives aligned with business needs and user expectations.
  • Risk assessment: Identify and prioritise potential risks that could impact quality.
  • Test planning: Develop a comprehensive test plan outlining testing strategies, tools, and schedules.
  • User story refinement: Collaborate with stakeholders to refine user stories and ensure clarity and testability.

Development and Design:

  • Continuous integration: Integrate code changes frequently to detect and fix issues early.
  • Code reviews: Implement code review practices to identify and address potential defects.
  • Unit testing: Develop and execute unit tests to ensure individual code components function as expected.
  • Automated testing: Implement automated testing frameworks for regression and functional testing.

Testing and Deployment:

  • Acceptance testing: Conduct user acceptance testing to validate the product meets user needs and requirements.
  • Performance testing: Evaluate system performance under peak load and identify bottlenecks.
  • Security testing: Assess the application’s vulnerability to security threats and implement mitigation strategies.
  • Deployment and monitoring: Carefully deploy the software and monitor its performance and user feedback post-release.

Maintenance and Feedback:

  • Defect tracking and resolution: Efficiently track, prioritise, and resolve identified defects.
  • Performance optimisation: Continuously monitor performance and implement improvements based on insights.
  • Feedback analysis: Collect and analyse user feedback to guide future development decisions.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly review and refine quality management processes based on learnings and best practices.

Reasons why quality management should be a priority within software development

Having a software management process in place not ensures the best quality at the end of the development process but allows you to enjoy the many benefits this brings with it. 

  1. Improves the experience of the end-user 
  1. Reduces the risks of errors and bugs after initial release 
  1. Cuts out the need for work to be redone 
  1. Yields positive feedback 

Good quality management will oversee the process of the development from start to end. 

Ensuring the key objective are fulfilled: 

  • Fulfil the business requirements
  • Deliver product on time and within budget 
  • The product delivers a highly functional product that provides an excellent user experience 
  • The product is compliant with industry rules and regulations
  • At final release the product does not encounter bugs or errors 

The importance of a quality culture within a business 

Quality management is now an integral part of a business strategy, supporting growth and customer retention. No business can afford to let down their customers by delivering a sub-par product. When it comes to agile software development, quality management has a valuable role in the delivery of a product that meets demands and exceeds expectations. 

Placing value on quality management and encouraging a quality culture within business will help in mitigating the risks associated with poor quality delivery.

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