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Software Features – Quality, Quantity and the Difference – Updated

Software quality is not necessarily measured by the sheer number of features.

The only relationship between the two is a few metrics that measure quality by the number of features or modules of code and the number of defects. In that regard, adding a few features that work (or classifying a few operations as features) improves the quality of the software because the number or percent of defects declines, assuming what you add works.

Increasing the number of features does not necessarily improve the quality of a product. For example, adding more compatible data formats only improves the quality of the software if many users couldn’t get clean data imports until these data formats were made compatible. After this point, building in file conversions is a convenience but not a necessity.

Computer aided design software must allow drafters to create 2D and 3D designs. They need to be able to create lines, shapes, surfaces and models. The ability to add surface effects, create animations and introduce lighting effects is additional features, but they do not improve the CAD software’s quality. The CAD software quality will be measured in the use of the software and details such as whether intersections are clean and without errors when 3D models are assembled together, whether parametric modeling properly sizes items and if data is never corrupted by imports, exports and multiple saves by a product development team.

What features improve software quality?

• Anything that makes the user’s life easier, from simplifying process steps to eliminating tedious data entry
• Faster performance that saves users or system administrator time
• Functionality that simplifies or automates data transfers and inputs, such as automating the imports of customer data into your MRP system or updating your accounting software with transactions downloaded from a bank website
• Functions that allow users to correct their mistakes without having to go back to a saved file and recreate the intervening steps; automatic backups and the “undo” button are good examples of this
• Time saving features based on most commonly performed tasks as long as the software’s defaults can be over-ridden; for example, flagging possible duplicate records makes record clean up simpler, but software that automatically combines likely duplicated records creates a mess when two people with the same name find their medical records mixed up in one file
• Mistake-proofing features that prevent mistakes that require time and effort to correct
• Built in help that avoids time and possibly the expense of contacting application support
• Features that ensure data accuracy and record completeness improve data quality and the software’s value to users

When developing the requirements or code for software or any other IT product, remember that quality refers to how well the product helps the user perform the IT product’s core function quickly, easily, cheaply and correctly. Everything else is simply a bonus, and it is irrelevant if the bells and whistles interfere with the product’s primary purpose.

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ESTIEM Vision Hamburg – “Maritime Food Logistics”

Moin Moin, dear readers!

We’ll let you know a little bit more about our awesome experience in Vision Maritime Food Logistics in Hamburg. After arriving by the Portuguese time (a little late in the evening), we had the chance to meet everyone while playing ‘get to know each other’ games.

Throughout the week, we had an ESTIEM presentation, where all the committees, initiatives and projects were introduce to us. We also had the first contact with harbors, their logistics and as an example, we learnt about how bananas enter Europe!

There, we visited China Shipping Company, one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation and logistics, the Hamburg Harbor, the Maritime Museum, where we pretend to be Jack Sparrow, Captain Jack Sparrow, when we controlled and CRASHED our vessel (don’t worry, it was just a simulation). Additionally, we visited Still, which provides customized solutions for intralogistics. There we visited the ground floor, observed closely their systems and production line and, at the end, we solved a case study about the Hamburg Harbour.

Ups, we forgot about the all the Parties and Leisure!! During that week, we fell in love with both days and nights of Hamburg. We visited the city, its monuments, a Brewery, the Red Light District- Reeperbahn, the Uni where we had some amazing parties and the Fish Market while it was raining cats and dogs!

It was a very amusing week, with some great people and awesome work of the organisers! If you have the chance, go to a Vision, you’ll have an unforgettable event!

In High Estiem,
Maria Afonso & Filipe Rocha, LG Porto

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ESTIEM Vision Istanbul Yildiz & Ankara METU – “Food City Logistics”

Hello industrial engineering enthusiasts,

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “food”? Do you become instantly hungry and reach for your favourite candy? Or you think about what you would make for dinner tonight…? Well, what an industrial engineer should think about is how to produce it, deliver and sell it. That makes the whole chain of activities called the supply chain and that is exactly what the group of students of Industrial Engineering and Management was thinking about during the one week in the beginning of March in amazing Turkey.

Two ESTIEM Local Groups gathered their forces in order to organise the best event possible – “Vision&businessbooster City Food Logistics”. Without high motivation of both Ankara-METU and Istanbul-Yildiz, as well as active members of Vision and businessbooster Projects, nothing would be really possible.

On the first day in Ankara-METU as one of 25 participant, I was totally surprised how huge and exciting METU is. The campus itself looked like a small city in Ankara and I was amazed by everything – a public transport within campus and students hitchhiking from one place to another to get to the lectures on time, a downtown called Çarşı and stadium called Devrim (which means Revolution) and the fact that there is a pool in the middle of the campus as well as many other facilities and activities organised by students or for students.

Lecturers provided by professors and company representatives were well prepared and focused on the mentioned topic. On the first two days we had opportunity to get to know more about warehousing, material flow and warehouse layouts, to face the real logistics problems and to discuss about heuristics and optimal routing. Mile, a colleague of mine who was also participating in the event, and I had just passed the exam in Computer Integrated Manufacturing and all the story behind warehousing sounded so familiar to us (yes, we know what carousel is!).

The most interesting part was the visit to the Efes brewery, its production line and control centers of the factory. All of that represented city of Ankara as a city of industry, growth and hard working people.

On the third night and right after hammam, crazy Turkish bath and the all-night-long ride, we finally reached stunning and crowdy Istanbul. Yildiz was expecting us and selfie responsible was doing her job very carefully!

What Yildiz provide us, entrepreneur enthusiasts would kill for. All the lecturers and experienced trainers had shown us that being an entrepreneur is the best job one can have. They tried (and succeed?) to convince us how great it is by teaching us how to finance a startup, how to turn a startup into a business, how to be a great leader and shown us the real examples. All the stories based on their own experiences were great motivation and a push to start thinking – “why not?”.

Also, we had a chance to visit Sodexo that provided us with a lecture how to organise daily deliver of catering, where future o logistic will lead the existing companies and told us many more interesting examples of daily business.

After this event I came home happy – experience that I got was unforgettable. In METU we got inspired and in Yildiz we got tips how to proceed to the success. One fact I cannot forget is that Turkish people know how to enjoy life. Starting from food – delights, kunefe, çiğ köfte, çay and kahvesi, to the hammam and water pipe till that unique sound of music and hospitable friends in both Ankara and Istanbul, left me truly amazed.

Just so you know, guys, I’ll be back!

Jovana Arsenijevic – LG Belgrade

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Cupcakes, Handcuffs and IT – Updated

I saw a fascinating chart on the three main types of organizations: customer inward, interaction and organization outward.

Customer Inward

Customer inward organizations have service propositions that have benefits for engaging. Customers follow a journey, though they may join at different states. Changes occur at the transition points, and customers must have on ramps to join the process. Customer inward organizations can be likened to handcuffs, because they have tight restrictions on what customers can do and how they interact with the product.

IT could be considered a customer inward organization. The customer benefits by adopting a software application in the form of efficiency by automating tasks, better record keeping, streamlined business processes by eliminating redundant data entry or automation.

IT customers face transition points like the first installation of the tool or upgrading it, assuming that task doesn’t happen in the background. They have on-ramps when they first sign up for a cloud service, set up their online backups or migrate their data from one application to another.

Interaction

Interaction organizations bring value through memorable experiences. They have concise guidelines for how people interact with the brand no matter where they do so or how they do it. Changes occur in the interaction, and the end result is the customer’s relationship and its state at the end of each interaction.
In my opinion, schools fall under this category. Children enter at different ages and abilities. There are set guidelines in the form of the curriculum and measurements in the form of testing. The customer, the student and/or his family, is altered by the experience.
The only IT functions that count as interaction are training, which you need to make memorable so that your users remember it. Selling someone the upgraded version or extended licensing agreement may be an interaction, but that doesn’t count as IT for this discussion.

Organization Outward

Organization outward companies are based on generating business value when the customer does something the organization considers beneficial. The core components of the organization and their relationships are the same no matter where the customer comes into the flow. Change is tightly planned new interactions that balance scope with delight. Organization outward groups are considered to be cupcakes. The intent is to wow the customer, within constraints like budget and available inventory. Giving a customer an extra dollop of cream or a personalized design is encouraged for this type of organization as long as it doesn’t interfere with serving the next person in line in a timely manner.
While IT rarely counts as organization outward, online marketing, groups working on gamification in education and even online ad placement and development may count as a form of outward organizations.

Looking for Feedback

Which of these three types of organizations do you consider software providers to fall into today? Where would hardware fall in this list? And where would you like to see software vendors move to?