Total Quality Management in Software Development Process
Eldon Y. Li, California Polytechnic State University, USA Houn-Gee Chen, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan Waiman Cheung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, PRC
Abstract This paper discusses the essences of total quality management (TQM)concept and identifies the principles of successful TQM implementation. It contrasts the Quality Seven (Q7) and the Management Seven (M7) tools commonly used in the TQM process. It also describes the Deming's quality management concept and his fourteenpoint management method. It briefly explains the similarities between software development process and product development process. Finally, itdiscusses how to instill Deming's TQM method in software development process and provides recommendations to TQM prospects or participants for avoiding pitfalls and ensuring success during TQM implementation. Keywords: Total quality management, continuous process improvement, statistical process control, software development processes, Deming's management methods. six-sigma measurement. Suchmeasurement focuses on the degree of non-conformance in stead of customer satisfaction. Quality is achieved through intense product inspection. Such inspection consumes much of the corporate resources. If a product fails the inspection, it needs to be reworked or scraped. Some defects are allowed if a product meets minimum quality standards. This implies that customers are willing to pay for a “buggy” yetworking product. Quality is a separate function and focused on evaluating production. It is assumed that the production group will welcome such independent quality function. Workers are blamed for poor quality. However, replacing a worker does not mean improving quality. Furthermore, poor quality may come from the supplier side. Supplier relationships are short-term and cost-oriented. There is noway to control the quality of raw materials or parts delivered by the suppliers.
1. Introduction The total quality management (TQM) concept represents a fundamental change in the definition and treatment of quality in product development. Traditionally since the beginning of the industrial revolution, US industries had a product-focused mentality. The philosophy of “if I make it, someone willbuy it” was prevalent among U.S. manufacturing companies. A noticeable follower of this philosophy was the U.S. auto industry during the oil crisis back in the late 1970's. Many US auto manufacturers were hit very hard because they continued to manufacture large inefficient cars that people could not afford to drive it. Smaller, more efficient foreign cars flooded the market, cutting in on USautomakers who believed Americans would continue to buy American cars despite the rapidly rising gasoline price. Their unwillingness to satisfy customer needs had cost them billions of dollars. Under this traditional philosophy, the view of quality is as follows [Strickland, 1988]: 1) Productivity and quality are conflicting goals. Improving quality consumes additional corporate resources that areneeded to maintain productivity. Therefore, quality can be improved only at the expense of productivity. 2) Quality is defined as conformance to specifications or standards. Such conformance pays no attention to incorrect specifications or obsolete standards that are prevailed in most companies. 3) Quality is measured by degree of nonconformance. It is usually measured by the defect count in "partsper million"— the famous 1
This view of quality has taken a dramatic turn since the emergence of TQM concept in the early 1980's. In fact, TQM is by no means an overnight invention. It is a combined teachings of various quality experts. The concept germinated in the 1920’s when Walter Shewhart [1931, 1939] of Bell Labs introduced statistical controls to combat and...