Quality Management

16 04 2015

Have you ever heard of

Never change a running system.

The saying, it is presumed, (awkwardly) comes from German IT-experts. What they mean is:

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

In my humble opinion companies or people following this belief are doomed.
Why? Because just like cars, IT systems need regular service and maintenance in order to run smoothly over a long period of time. Hardware components usually either fail right from the start or at the end of their lifecycle. Operating systems as well as apps are faced with different hard- and software configurations, and so they need updates.

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The Bathtub Curve

  • 1 decreasing failure rate
    known as early failures
  • 2 constant failure rate
    known as random failures
  • 3 increasing failure rate
    known as wear-out failures

applied to IT systems, shows us:

The older a system gets (I’m talking about my iPhone 4S), the more likely its failure becomes. In addition to that you have to take into account that over time hardware spare parts might become scarce and vendor support for software might run out.

So instead of relying on your battle-proven system running for years without incident and change, you should regularly patch and update. Of course this bares risks because there are lots of developers who do a pretty poor job when it comes to concentrate on writing fault-tolerant, robust code and intensive testing. Testing is what developers definitely don’t like. The UI should be as simple as possible but the underlying code then is most likely quite complex.

Quality Management means …

Get your enemies on board.

Their single target is always to let your developments crash.

Apple has rigorous testing policies regarding hardware products. The lab in Cupertino contains an array of different testing equipment. Apple’s head of engineering Dan Riccio said:

As we add more and more features, we have to find out a way to break them before customers do.

According to Apple, 15,000 separate tests were conducted on both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

This fussy approach is what I actually miss if it comes to iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.

It’s not as fault-tolerant as the predecessors and developers seem to have their problems with keeping their apps to run with an acceptable stability. Sometimes it’s nerve-racking.

Troubleshooting …

If your mobile device causes trouble there are just a few possibilities to fix problems: restart, restore, and recovery. There is no need to read tons of knowledge base articles, thankfully.

I don’t want to install dubious third-party apps on a computer (which I do not have because I already moved into the Post-PC era), so, dear Apple developers, I would like to see a revamped backup/restore procedure which allows the restore single apps and its data. Apple’s ecosystem is nearly perfect but it definitely lacks with the iTunes dinosaur and the atavistic backup/restore procedure.

Anyway,

at the end of the day, steady maintenance is much less of a hassle than standing next to your broke car on the highway not knowing if you will ever get it to work again.

Mobile Device Testing …

The devices are small but the effort to test them is higher than that of a grown-up computer. Smartphones and tablets have lots of micro machines on board and the operating system has to seamlessly communicate with them.

Mobile Device Testing assures the quality of mobile devices, like mobile phones, tablets, etc.

The testing will be conducted on both hardware and software. And from the view of different procedures, the testing comprises R&D testing, factory testing and certificate testing.

Mobile Device Testing involves a set of activities from monitoring and trouble shooting mobile application, content and services on real handsets. Testing includes verification and validation of hardware devices and software applications.

See the visualized summary of mobile device testing in this mind map:

2015/01/img_3788.png

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Advantage Apple …

It’s all about fragmentation.

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Developing applications for the Android platform is a complicated business. You have to test with multiple operating system versions, hardware vendor interface layers, hardware configurations, and network capabilities. The testing matrix for Android-based applications can be a serious challenge, impacting your product’s quality, time-to-market, and in the end, profitability.

Related links …

About Apps

Apple Support

Troubleshooting

The Pareto Principle

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