No Adaptation Required

No Adaptation Required

I’ve seen many folks suggest we adapt Crosby’s Four Absolutes of Quality to the software context. The arguments proffered smack of ignorance of what software development is about, or ignorance of Crosby’s work.

Crosby’s Four Absolutes of Quality

  1. Quality is defined as conformance to requirements.
  2. The system for causing quality is prevention, not appraisal.
  3. The performance standard must be Zero Defects.
  4. The measurement of quality is the Price of Non-conformance, not indices.

Well, maybe it’s not the profferers’ ignorance so much as their being blinded by their existing assumptions and beliefs.

In my latest book, Quintessence – An Acme for Highly Effective Software Development Organisations, I propose Four Absolutes of Quintessence:

  1. The definition of quintessence is meeting all needs of all the Folks That Matter™️.
  2. The system for moving towards quintessence is people choosing to change their collective assumptions and beliefs.
  3. The performance standard for quintessential organisations is zero needs of all the Folks That Matter going unmet, every time.
  4. The measurement of quintessence is the consequences of not meeting folks’ needs, sometime referred to as the cost of ineffectiveness, a.k.a. the Cost of Focus.

Whereas the above list – the Four Absolutes of Quintessence – differs from Crosby’s list, the former is about organisational effectiveness, the latter about quality. When talking about the quality of software, no adaptation from Crosby’s original list is required.

– Bob

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