My first experience with a quality framework in a software environment was life-changing.
We sold medical software. We had a team of about 12 developers, 3 testers, and several BA's. Our senior developers doubled as DBA's.
Our environment had the typical amount of chaos. For every week we spent collectively working on our project efforts, probably about 30 percent of our time was devoted to putting out fires in one form or another. Support needed assistance with a certain customers database, a programmer was busy helping isolate a root cause of another new problem a customer reported. We were busy building a special patch for the pediatrist module to help those clinics with a bug that only effected them.
After a while we noticed we were rolling along on a wave of hot fixes, that was strangely consistent. I remember thinking if the business sponsors would just back off a little bit, we'd have enough time to fix all these problems and get back to 100% bandwridth on our project efforts.
Somebody on the team came up with a creative idea. What if we budgeted time going forward for unknown problems that we'd have
to deal with in the futue, because that's what we've become accustomed to? We know we'll have them, because we've had them in the past for as long as we can remember.
So we did. We budgeted a 30% slot for unknown fire-fighting going forward and we bullseye'd it. When the next few weeks came and went, we looked back and gloated that we had correctly anticipated the amout of chaos we'd need to deal with.
I was so happy about his I bragged to the president of the company. And I didn't get the reaction I expected.
He said, "I've seen these problems before. We need a quality framework." We spent the next year working with two quality consultants and they changed our lives.
After some education, and them some systematization, we started making fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes led to more bandwidth to focus on our project tasks. Soon we found ourselves in an environment with no production problems to hot-fix.
It was, in a word, stable.