The Blind Men Meet The Quality Elephant: How What They See Affects The IT Team

In the IT team, and especially in testing and audit, we concentrate on measuring such items as defect density and product attributes. We see testing as an activity which is designed to help mitigate risk. Yet testing and reviews may increase risk; for the test team, for the IT project and for the customer organisation. Sometimes we believe we are working towards providing better solutions for our customers yet they reject our efforts. Why is this? Quality is an elephant found by blind men who think they can see; it can be experienced in many ways. Different people within an organization may hold different opinions about quality, depending on their roles and viewpoint. If the IT teams focus on one definition (their own) they may not communicate well with others in the organization who use a different definition. We need to listen and understand the quality viewpoints of others, if they are to deliver what is required.