Quality starts with me

Monday, March 12, 2012
Outside the main dining hall at Volvo Cars R&D headquarters there is some information about ongoing quality work under the heading "Quality starts with me". A quick google search shows this sentence is not something unique to Volvo Cars, but it got me thinking.
To start with: For software (or any product I guess) quality can be seen from to viewpoints:
  1. Free from defects
  2. Appropriate according to the needs of the user
In many cases one obviously wants to achieve both these objectives, but the actions to reach them vary. Bad case is when one uses an action/method/principle that supports the first objective while believing it is the second one.
Let's say that I review a software specification if all requirements are SMART requirements (insert alternative acronym if desired). Does this support quality of type 1 or 2 above?

When it comes to reviewing or auditing I think it can be applied towards both objectives above, but it requires a lot more of the reviewer if it is the second objective that is the goal of the audit.