Explain different views of software quality.

This question appears in Mumbai University > Software Testing & Quality Assurance Subject

Marks: 10 M

Year: June 2012 , Dec 2013, May 2014, June 2015

1 Answer

Quality is a complex concept - it means different things to different people, and it is highly context dependent .

Following are the five different views of quality:

i) Transcendental View :

  • It envisages quality as something that can be recognized but is difficult to define. Here quality is something that can be recognized through experience but is not
    defined in some tractable form.

  • Quality is viewed to be something ideal, which is too complex to lend itself to be precisely defined.

ii) User View:

  • It perceives quality as fitness for purpose. According to this view, while evaluating the quality of the product, one must ask the key question "Does the product satisfy user needs and expectations?"

  • In this view, a user is concerned with whether or not a product is fit for use. Quality is not just viewed in terms of what a product can deliver, but it is also influenced by the service provisions in the sales contract.

iii) Manufacturing View :

  • Here quality is understood as conformance to the specifications. The quality level of a product is determined by the extent to which the product meets its specifications.

  • Any deviation from the stated requirements is seen as reducing the quality of the product. The manufacturing view has its genesis in the manufacturing sectors, such as the automobile and electronics sectors.

iv) Product View :

  • In this case, quality is viewed as tied to the inherent characteristics of the product. A product's internal qualities determine its external qualities.

  • The product view is attractive because it gives rise to an opportunity to explore casual relationships between internal properties and external qualities of a product.

  • An example of the product view of software quality is that high degree of modularity, which is an internal property, makes a software testable and maintainable.

v) Value - Based View :

  • Quality, in this perspective, depends on the amount the customer is willing to pay for it. The value based view represents a merger of two independent concepts: excellence and worth where Quality is the measure of excellence and value is the measure of worth.

  • Quality is meaningless if a product does not make economic sense. The value based view represents a trade- off between cost and quality.

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