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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

How gamifying the quality audit process helped us improve our quality score

Games can help you do serious things better. Agree?

 

Software development and Quality audit are both serious businesses. During software application development, you need to make sure that not only are you developing a great piece of code but also quality audit it enough to ensure that each piece performs optimally. We at Clarion Technologies believe that each piece of code written by a developer is his/her art that should be owned and managed entirely by the developers themselves. The ownership of testing the code, therefore, also rests with the developer. In software development too, the artist, that is the developer, should have complete control and ownership over the code to make sure that it behaves in the manner that it should. The developers at Clarion are committed to building the right code from the word ‘go’. This philosophy is ingrained deep within the culture of the organization…well within its DNA and all the developers working here understand that and follow this with dedicated commitment.

That being said, we do acknowledge that someone else having an independent run of the application also has its own benefits. It helps in having third party views and also identifying the flaws which might have got missed by the developer. But rather than going by the traditional way, we thought of making the overall application process interesting - we decided to gamify it!

When we talk about gamifying, we do not mean to imply that we use the gamification design on quality audit. What we did do was take some of the aspects of gamification, the idea behind what makes it work, and applied it to our audit process. In the end, we noticed that not only did our quality audit skills become better but also saw developers take a more than active interest in testing to get favorable outcomes.

Here is how we do it. Clarion has a Quality Audit team developed by the developers on a weekly basis. Based on the audit, it gives a score to the developer, which we have termed as ‘Quality Score’. Developers with high scores are rewarded accordingly. These Quality Scores of all the developers and teams are displayed publicly on the boards for everyone to see. It offers instant recognition, a sense of progression, immediate feedback, motivation, and clear calls to action for everyone involved. The spirit of competitiveness that emerges because of this encourages the developers to write and then test the code thoroughly so that they get high ratings.

The ball does not stop at checking the quality score once during the development process. When a project is going on, this quality team checks the quality of the application multiple times. The quality audit team also ensures that it gives feedback on the overall health of the project so that timelines can be maintained without impacting quality.  This exercise also helps us identify the common mistakes that developers make during development and testing. The Quality Audit team also implements the Root Cause Analysis process for each defect. It has also helped us in the design and development of the training materials and training programs.

 

By adopting this process, we saw that the quality of code our developers wrote improved dramatically. Our clients too are happy as they receive bug-free applications And as for us…well, let’s just say that we’re happy to have found a way for our developers to assume complete ownership of their work and deliver high-quality and error-free products at all given times.

 

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