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Chapter 13. A Managed Process > Who Owns Product Quality?

Who Owns Product Quality?

When everyone has responsibility for product quality, nobody is responsible for product quality. It is far too easy to assume that your colleague will solve the quality problem while you work on something else. The programmers are solely responsible for eliminating all bugs from the code. The sales staff is solely responsible for closing deals. The marketers are solely responsible for packaging and positioning. At the present time, though, no one is responsible solely for the quality and appropriateness of the product. Sometimes they lack the tools to locate and solve the problem. Sometimes they lack the skills to communicate the solution. Sometimes they lack the authority to have their solutions implemented.

As we have seen in the previous chapters, coding compromises the programmers' ability to address users' goals. Product managers already have plenty of work to do, and they cannot focus on the details of a product's behavior. Marketers' lack of a technical background weakens their ability to communicate technically, which undermines their credibility with the programmers. Without a thoroughly documented design, there is little hope of getting it implemented properly and effectively.


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