7

Tracking Quality

WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Understanding what to measure.
  • Tracking and resolving bugs and tasks.
  • Creating and running test cases.
  • Using Microsoft Test Manager.

Quality is generally easy to understand and observe. It's extremely subjective, but people can discern good quality from poor quality. A car that reliably starts and drives quietly down the road is good quality; one that requires a screw driver to start and sputters as you drive is clearly bad. Clean, fresh air is good quality; smog is bad.

Just as it's easy to understand quality, it's often easy to measure it. Measuring the loudness of engine noise is straightforward, using decibels as the metric. Measuring air pollution is also pretty simple, using parts per million as the metric. Both of these measurements involve sampling the system as its running, whether it's a combustion engine or the wind, and then counting the results. Samples can be taken under varying conditions, such as sampling engine noise at varying speeds and sampling air quality at different locations.

Once samples are measured, they can then be classified into something people care about. In the case of engine noise, quiet, average, and loud are simple categories. With air quality, good, average, and bad are well understood.

Finally, after quality is understood, measured, and classified, you can take action. You can choose to buy a quiet car or ignore the noise and go with a fast car. Knowing that the air quality is poor, you can choose ...

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