QDD – Quality Driven Development

QDD – Quality Driven Development for planning and tracking

Okay all y’all software quality folk and teammates.  I want to propose another approach to evaluating software quality in real time before, during, and after development and deployment.  Follow me on this… I’d like your feedback.

TDD – everyone knows what Test Driven Development is, right?  It goes like this…

  1. adopt an automated test framework, then
  2. iteratively
    • add a test,
    • run the test batch,
    • add just enough code to pass the test,
    • rerun the test batch, then
    • tidy up the code.
  3. post / publish / push into inventory
  4. respond to customer/production feedback

TDD can provide great feature/function test coverage when coupled with exploratory testing.  And that once was the goal of QA… but that’s for another post.

QDD – this is a new term in our industry… at least when used in this manner.*  The QDD process:

  1. adopt a time-boxed development rhythm,
  2. iteratively
    • identify salient (most important) qualities
    • plan their measurement
    • select landing zones (upper and lower limits)
    • evaluate and manage the risk associated with the other qualities
  3. constantly evaluate attainment
  4. post / publish / push into inventory

Here’s an example sprint-level QDD plan:

Quality Goal Measurement Metric Minimum Limit Maximum Limit
Salient qualities for this sprint UX Customer delight “Recommend?” Top Two Boxes 50.00% 90.00%
Reliability Product issues MTBF 4 hrs 10 hrs
Affordability Sticker shock GSR “Cool” “OMG”

Note: We introduced in the several McAfee business units as GQMFURPS.

I believe QDD provides a medium that yields team alignment and useful decision-support info.  Helping teams set QDD goals – and tracking progress against those goals – seems like a worthwhile use of your QA resources freed up by TDD.

I further believe that QDD is a subset of QDx.

Please share your thoughts.

Note: See also Vic Basilli’s GQM+Strategies and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Joe Yoder’s writings on transitioning from QA to Agile Quality.


* Funnily enough, one site lists “QDD” as “Quality (QA) Driven Development”.

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About iesavage

Oregon software quality pioneer. Writing about quality, Oregon, software, and pioneering in no particular order.
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