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Quardev's Jon Bach gave a keynote at QAI's 27th annual Software Testing Conference in November

How Much Quality is Enough?

See the slides from Jon's talk

Testers perform all kinds of testing using all kinds of approaches that use all kinds of techniques, but in the final analysis, it comes down to a group of stakeholders sitting in a room, deciding on what to fix and what not to fix. How do they decide what the quality bar is? Furthermore, how can you help them decide what it should be? There is a framework to help decide when anything (software, people, goods or services) has sufficient quality. It is based on the work of Herbert Simon -- a Nobel Laureate economist in 1947 -- and it goes like this:

If the object ...

Has sufficient benefits Has no critical problems Has benefits that outweigh the problems and all things being equal, more improvement would be more harmful than helpful...

... then it is "good enough" to ship. The thing is, the term "good enough" has a stigma to it which is associated with "mediocre" or "substandard". I will dispel that myth with several examples of software that shipped with bugs, but still meets (or exceeds) most user's expectations.

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