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IT Quality Objectives

(Alias: quality goals)

He turns not back who is bound to a star.
             - Leonardo da Vinci

IT Quality objectives set benchmarks for quality improvement in IT system and service delivery. Objectives should be clear and compelling so as to engage the imagination of employees and act as a focal point for action. The more challenging the objective and more inspiring it is likely to be. For example:

Become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products (Sony, early 1950s)

Pointing to clear IT quality objectives

ISO 90001 refers to quality objectives as integral components of an operational quality management system. Objectives can be:

  • Competitive
    Replace XYZ company as the most respected quality supplier of software in our marketplace
  • Focused on role models
    Become the IBM of software development
  • Transformational
    Transform our information technology division from a poorly respected internal service provider to a highly sought after innovator in building the company's competitive advantage

Reaching a particular objective always involves setting one or more intermediate quality goals.

Setting Quality Goals

The expression of a quality goal should address five issues:

  1. The object of quality focus:
    Process, product, specification, design description
  2. Why it's in focus:
    To characterise, to evaluate, to predict, to motivate, to improve, to understand, to assess, to manage, to engineer, to learn about, to control, to achieve
  3. Regarding which measurable quality attribute:
    Cost, effectiveness, completeness, correctness, defect removal, reliability, usability, reusability
  4. From who's point of view:
    Software developers, customers, development management
  5. In which context:
    Marketplace, project, process, group, method, tool, constraint.

An Example of a Quality Goal

To improve our requirements, design and test processes in order to achieve 98% defect removal efficiency in all software delivered to our internal users.


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