Quality Is Dead. Resuscitate It. II
He’s discussing the problems with how we perceive quality, and finally gives his own view:
"A product is a dynamic arrangement, like a garden that is subject to the elements. A high quality product takes skillful tending and weeding over time. Just like real gardeners, we are not all powerful or all knowing as we grow our crop. We review the conditions and the status of our product as we go. We try to anticipate problems, and we react to solve the problems that occur. We try to understand what our art can and cannot do, and we manage the expectations of our customers accordingly. We know that our product is always subject to decay, and that the tastes of our customers vary. We also know that even the most perfect crop can be spoiled later by a bad chef. Quality, to a significant degree, is out of our hands."
Sounds a lot like how Agile takes care of business. But notice the last sentence. I’ll simplify what I’m reading here: Quality is dead because it’s not in our hands. I’m sure James doesn’t mean that because it’s not in our hands, there’s no need to put effort in making what we perceive as quality products.
It comes back to what I wrote, about responsibility and commitment by everyone on the team, leading to Integrity. With more tests you write, code integrity will rise. With team members standing up to their word, team integrity will rise. And using these tools, we’ll get to excellence (which quality embodies).