Monday, February 1, 2016

Three Quality Aspects of Digital IT

Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers' expectation.

As Drucker wisely put: you can only manage what you measure. The quantitative measurement helps management continue improving IT efficiency. Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers’ expectation. Modern IT organizations are the complex business system, and the quality of IT management has multiple aspects:

The quality of data and Information Management: An Information System (IS) is "a system" that deals with Information Management: collecting, storing, and processing data and delivering information, knowledge, and digital products. Too many businesses are data rich but information poor. Or they spend so much time and energy collecting data for that "just in case" scenario. Information Management quality means quality data, quality management, and quality measurement. By “quality data” – it means clean, organized, actionable data from which to extract relevant information and insight. Data quality does not end with managing the incorrect entry of information, but the logic of data has to be taken into account too. Poor information management implies not understanding what raw material they have to play with; or poor measurement -not applying worthwhile evaluation to it to reveal the inherent value, You can walk through all the various dimensions of data quality such as accuracy, consistency etc, but business context is indeed a very important perspective. Data by itself is meaningless until it’s interpreted and analyzed. Information is raw material when you manipulate the raw material in meaningful ways, which give you business insight to interpret and utilize, then you have established a value.

Software/Project/Product Quality: Software can be subjective; it means various things to the different roles: As the product owner - quality may mean how many features you can deliver that is not buggy and how long does it take. This probably holds true for the customer as well. Software quality begins with the quality of the requirements. It is impossible to deliver an acceptable application to a business without a clear understanding of what is to be delivered. This is a simple idea, but capturing requirements at the level necessary to get it right the first time is difficult and potentially expensive. A better user interface can make high-quality software, even more, qualified, many times, lack of user adoption is one of the issues to fail new software apps. And what you measure gets cared about and only focus on defects is too limiting, perhaps the good approach is to measure the 'health' of software projects, trending the well-defined metrics to see how you're managing rework, defects, automation, documentation and customer satisfaction, to name a few. So the measure is not about counting defects. Knowing what the quality of the product to be delivered will be, and take action if that quality will be insufficient early at lower costs.

People quality: People are always the weakest link in organizations. Therefore, high-quality people should also improve the quality of products, services, and overall organizational maturity. Quality employees are the ones who can work independently, have excellent problem-solving skills, well disciplined, have a "customer focus," and bring positivity and wisdom to the workplace. High-quality leaders or employees are great in attitude, aptitude, and altitude -a winning mixture composed of character, intelligence, and competence in a humble frame of self-esteem which makes aware of his/her quality without needing to show them. They must be anchored to a full professionalism; also made of personal qualities such as, independent judgment, critical thinking, and the sense of responsibility and balance through which it becomes possible to earn the role of trust and guiding the organization in which they work, the respect and trust of others. and become a value constructor. Quality leaders and employees demonstrate both intellectual understanding and emotional maturity.

Quality is defined by a number of factors, and to effectively lead an organization into good practices to focus on quality attributes takes work and a level of credibility within the organization. From an information management perspective, if IT focuses on obtaining information and not just data for data's sake, the business decision making would be more relevant and informed; from a measurement perspective, it is having that capability to capture real metrics that often drives quality improvement initiatives; from talent management perspective, if performance management not just focuses on quantitative numbers, but also qualifiable factors via the lenses of innovation or customer centricity, IT can bring high-quality products/services/solutions to satisfy customers and improve its business competency and maturity.


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