I got this snippet from another contributor in LinkedIn discussion and I like and agree to the contributor and then decided to post on my blog.
.A few years ago I was part of a panel discussion on "What Is Quality?". After nearly an hour of multiple people trying to define it, I took a different approach, and answered the question "What is a LACK OF Quality?" The answer to that question was simple "Surprise".
Yes, "Surprise" was the key indicator of a lack of quality.
Consider the following: You are SUPRISED because:
1) A delivery will not be made on time.
2) An effort will significantly exceed budget
3) A "release" turned over to the QA department has (previously unknown) "bugs"
4) Users find additional bugs after the QA team vets the product
5) Users cant figure out how to use the product due to documentation issues.
6) The program not not meet performance requirements once deployed.
I could go on with this list for quite some time, but this should be sufficient…
On the other hand, being able to predict outcomes, and when something starts to deviate have sufficient notice that a remediation plan can be proactively put in place (or expectations adjusted) DOES require a good quality environment.