Software Quality: An Issue of Skillset or Toolset or Mindset?

Software Quality has two primary dimensions: Internal Quality and External Quality.

External Quality is an attribute that relates the end-user experience. External Quality can be assessed and improved through defect prevention as well as black box testing. Internal Quality is visible to various groups in the development team such as designers, developers, maintainers and technical reviewers.

Great focus on acceptance testing or black box testing by means of well-documented test cases, test automation, multiple rounds of rigorous testing, defect fixing and defect verification is mandatory for successful deliveries. However, lack of focus on Internal Quality could pose serious consequences in the form of unexpected naive defects, technical issues and maintenance nightmares. Poor Internal Quality encompasses the root causes for issues related to External Quality. Thus, in order to improve Software Quality, Internal Quality must be improved.

The objective of this session is to present the role of Skillset, Toolset and Mindset in producing high quality software. I have seen project teams run all regular ceremonies such as Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-up, and Reviews and Retrospectives go through a long and steep learning curve in implementing sound engineering practices. After multiple Sprints or iterations, architecture, design and code quality issues affect their projects. My intention is to explore these three dimensions – Skillset, Toolset and Mindset, and put forth some guidelines on how Software Quality can be improved in Agile projects.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

1) Introduction

2) Quality Issues/Escalations/Pain Points in Agile Projects

3) Reaction of Governance Teams to Quality Issues

4) Mindset - What it is, and how it can be nurtured

5) Toolset - The advantages and pitfalls, Do's and Don'ts

6) Skillset - Why skillset is not a big deal and how it can be developed

7) Software Quality: What is important? Execution or Innovation?

8) The role of Skillset, Toolset and Mindset in bulding high quality software

9) Parting Thoughts

Learning Outcome

Attendees of this session will get an opportunity to connect with the basics and understand

1) The role of managers, leaders, Scrum Masters and the likes in nurturing qulaity

2) Simple but important things that we often ignore when we initiate agile projects and move from iteration to iteration

3) The importance of systematic focus on code quality, design qulaity etc.

4) How assumption and ignorance result in serious software quality issues

5) Why agile teams must think and practice beyond any specific methodology that is signicantly heavy on management practices


Target Audience

Agile team members, Scrum Masters and the equivalent, Delivery Managers, Product Owners, Senior Management

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

Public Feedback

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  • Steve Ropa
    By Steve Ropa  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Raja,

    Thanks for the submission.  I like the way you call out the three different "...sets".  I wonder, what is it that makes this an advanced talk as opposed to intermediate?

    • Raja Bavani
      By Raja Bavani  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply


      As this session is about the three different "...sets" with a good coverage on skills and tools and discussion on mindset, I have classified it as 'Advanced' - also, a hidden aspiration of making it 'advanced' is to pull more Scrum Master, and senior leaders above them into this session, in addition to everyone else who is part of a typical Agile team. 

      Depending on the list of sessions we idenitfy under this theme, and their classification of such sessions, if we have more advanced sessions, if a session like this goes under intermediate, I am ok with that.



  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Raja,

       Thanks much for the submission.  I am intrigued by it.  For your learning outcomes, could you provide me some examples? i.e. with the 'Simple but important things we often ignore' - what are some of those?

    Also - is this a purely technical submission or are their external qualities (product) that you explore?



    • Raja Bavani
      By Raja Bavani  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply


      Examples for 'Simple but important things we often ignore' are identifying and implementing steps that can nurture 'Quality Mindset' such as 'Visioning' - including quality parameters or expectations, leading by demonstration, building awareness on bad quality versus good quality, etc -  as against depending entirely on tools or peer reviews. 

      This is not purely a technical submission. This will include technical, people and other non-technical aspects as well.