“Quality is value to some person(s) who matter“
Now, i do like this statement. It’s not as complex as many other definitions on quality. It’s easy to explain to someone. However, like i’m doing now, it’s still debated by many bloggers. It’s time i started my first blogpost and address what’s on my mind, instead of trying to squeeze everything in a 140 character Twitter message.
To me, there are some vital components missing in this definition. For this blogpost i want to address at least two of these components which, i think, add more value to this definition:
- What is valued
The value according to something/someone is depending on the actual context. We need a context to actually value something. While modeling a context, we are all making a whole load of assumptions around the context that you probably didn’t realize. When something alters this modeled context, the value to some person(s) might also be altered.
In addition, in his blog Markus Gärtner added the time element to the definition of quality. I agree with him that the time factor is also important for quality. But basically this is also an element related to the context.
Next, we can’t value thin air (well, actually we can, but metaphorically speaking). The value has to apply to something or someone. What is/are the person(s) that matter valuing? Are they valuing a specific piece of software? Are they valuing someone’s opinion? The “what” isn’t addressed in this definition.
My suggestion for an improved definition of quality:
“Quality is contextual value of something or someone, to some person(s) who matter“
Any additional thoughts are welcome. Feel free to reply…