In the second part of the blog series based on a paper that Rik and I presented in the 6th World Congress for Software Quality we start our journey to shift left with some thoughts about the foundation of our approach – Sogeti & Capgemini’s PointZERO® vision.
THE POINTZERO® VISION
The PointZERO vision is aimed at increasing business success by parallel and step-by-step improvement across the application lifecycle, to shorten time to market, avoid and reduce cost, eliminate risk, and reach fit for purpose quality. 
PointZERO refers to doing things right from the very first moment, the “point zero”. This helps to avoid wasting effort on rework that can be prevented by addressing quality from the earliest moment in the application lifecycle: ‘right first time’.
This shift of focus towards early quality measures in the application lifecycle activities is visualized in the following figure.
Figure 1 “Shift left”: frontload the lifecycle with quality measures 
Implementing quality measures is an activity of quality assurance. Commonly this broad term is used but we would like to differentiate between three areas of quality assurance :
- Analytical quality assurance: An information system’s (and its intermediate products’) quality is checked against defined criteria, e.g. through reviews or testing. If the desired values are not met, appropriate actions will be taken (most likely rework).
- Constructive quality assurance: Constructive quality assurance includes all methods which provide assistance in constructing error-free software beforehand. Good examples are programming guidelines and the use of templates.
- Organizational quality assurance: Organizational quality assurance’s task is to provide an environment in which quality assurance can be established. Organizational quality assurance includes e.g. a quality management organization, training courses, requirements management and development processes.
These three areas of quality assurance must be approached in a holistic way to make sure that all measures taken support each other. Organizations that have a low maturity mainly focus on analytical quality assurance, the PointZERO improvements strive to expand this with constructive and organizational quality assurance as well, by frontloading the application lifecycle with quality measures.
In the process of creating and maintaining business solutions using this holistic approach towards quality assurance, managers should adhere to three key principles  which align with the ideas of the “Shift Left” concept mentioned in the previous blog post.
These principles are:
- Fit for purpose: The goal is not perfection in quality but to achieve the quality which is fitting within the product strategy and satisfying the needs of the users of an IT system.
- Right first time: Faults in the intermediate and end products should be prevented by implementing constructive or preventative quality assurance activities.
- No faults forward: Since people are fallible, faults will occur, but no fault should progress into the following activity within the application lifecycle. This is achieved by starting quality assurance activities as early as possible in the lifecycle.
These principles are combined with a holistic view on quality across the application lifecycle, which is called “Quality Supervision”  in the PointZERO terminology. We define quality, as the degree to which the expectations of the stakeholder are satisfied within the agreed time and budget, with a controlled risk. Quality Supervision, which is the total of activities to control and direct quality across the application lifecycle, takes all these dimensions into account. This means that this method is able to provide more benefit than traditional quality assurance.
Recent research on quality (e.g. Capers Jones’ survey on quality in 2012 ) shows a significant improvement in quality using a balanced and holistic approach on quality assurance.
This integrated approach on software quality improvement using a “Shift Left” strategy based on the PointZERO vision will be elaborated in the following blog posts.
If you want to know more you can order your copy of our book “The PointZERO vision” here, or contact Rik Marselis or me via Expert Connect.
 Marselis, Rik and Ewald Roodenrijs, The PointZERO vision, Sogeti Nederland B.V., 2012
 Controlling and Steering Software Quality (online), Liebniz Universität Hannover, http://www.se.uni-hannover.de/pages/en:projekte_quality_gates
 Balemans, Arno and Rik Marselis, Quality Supervision, Sogeti Nederland B.V., 2013
 Jones, Capers, Software Quality in 2012: A survey of the state of the art (Online), available at http://www.sqgne.org/presentations/2012-13/Jones-Sep-2012.pdf