Quality Progress - October 2014 - 8

EXPERTANSWE Weighing cost of quality egory (external failure costs), and economic without a library of manuals, process areas Q: In agile systems development pursuits, are models show it may be more cost effective and artifacts. They eliminate most manual the appraisal and failure costs of a greater to recall a product than to "do it right the processes by running automated tests at a magnitude or proportion of the overall cost first time," as W. Edwards Deming suggested. fraction of traditional CoQ and don't require of quality (CoQ) than in nonagile pursuits? Proponents of traditional methods like to years of expensive training. Done right, they In agile development pursuits, what are the point out that academic textbook approach- eliminate debilitating big-bang organizational preferred proportions of prevention costs vs. es emphasize the use of a balanced portfolio change. They are lean, just-in-time, have low appraisal costs vs. failure costs relative to of quality engineering activities. In fact, tra- work in progress, focus on high-priority cus- the overall cost of quality? ditionalists tend to point to the earliest and tomer needs and can be used to meet scope, lowest-cost defect prevention activities as time and cost constraints. Wallace J. Robinson Columbus, OH the answer to the quality dilemma. Unfortu- Even novices using agile methods experi- nately, instituting these practices is difficult, ence great improvement in terms of time, A: It's been known since the founding of expensive and time consuming. Traditional cost, quality, risk reduction and customer scrum and extreme programming-later methods come with portfolios of thousand- satisfaction. The rewards are greater if you called "agile methods"-that these methods page models recommending hundreds of invest more time implementing most agile have a lower CoQ. activities, metrics and artifacts. practices. Projects that use more of these In simplest terms, CoQ is the total costs Agile methods aren't as well entrenched, agile practices experience 100 to 200 times of achieving conformance to requirements don't come with dozens of thousand-page the level of productivity and quality improve- for a product or service across its entire life manuals, and have few activities and artifacts. ment typically found by using traditional cycle (from concept to retirement). There Their creators understood why traditional methods. Employee morale increases, ex- are generally four major quality engineering projects failed and incorporated practices to pensive attrition comes to a screeching halt, activity expenses that contribute to CoQ: overcome these problems. Agile methods and customer satisfaction, trust, loyalty and dramatically reduce scope and sharply align retention exponentially increase, along with ing defect introduction before development it with business objectives. They develop a buyer and supplier business value. (training and root cause analysis). small, highly prioritized list of the top 20% Remember that it is possible to fail with of customer needs to achieve 80% of the agile methods. Ignoring advanced practices dently evaluating products and services business value. They're implemented in small and principles such as fully automated test- before delivery (inspections and testing). batches until tacit knowledge is uncovered. ing, continuous integration and continuous Buyers and suppliers communicate, cooper- delivery is the fastest way to fail. Remember fixing defective products and services before ate and collaborate in an open, empowered that agile methods are a mindset, value sys- delivery (rework, retesting and scrap). and transparent manner using lightweight, tem and set of behaviors similar to Deming's disciplined processes and artifacts. Thou- plan-do-check-act cycle. 1. Prevention costs: the cost of prevent- 2. Appraisal costs: the cost of indepen- 3. Internal failure costs: the cost of 4. External failure costs: the cost of fixing defective products and services after sands of automated tests are run every few delivery (warranty, repair and recall). minutes using free and open-source tools. plans, daily standups, demonstrations and Frequent defect prevention is performed on a retrospectives instead of advanced agile daily, weekly and monthly basis. principles is also a quick way to fail. You can The expenses associated with each type of cost grow in order of magnitude from stage to stage. For instance, prevention Sticking to basic backlogs, iteration Visit this article's webpage at www. also revert to debilitating traditionalism be- costs $1 per defect. Then, appraisal costs qualityprogress.com to learn 18 practices cause you don't know how to get coaching $10 per defect, internal failure costs $100 that help make agile CoQ lower than to achieve productivity and quality levels at per defect and external failure costs $1,000 traditional methods. 150 times the level of traditional methods at per defect. External failure costs may be as high as $10,000-$50,000 per defect. Today, some firms focus on the last cat- 8 QP * www.qualityprogress.com Agile methods have few down sides. They have the repeatability, definition, quantification and optimization of traditional methods a fraction of the CoQ. Agile methods consist of a plethora of sophisticated human behaviors as opposed to http://www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - October 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Perspectives
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Step It Up
Strength in Numbers
Take Care of Your ‘Ugly Baby‘
Getting It Right the First Time
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Quality in the First Person
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Quality Resource Guide
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

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