Capability quality is the ability to for customers and users complete tasks in reasonable and expected ways. Capability quality derives from functionality, which is formed from the interactions (inputs and outputs) users have with the software. For many software applications that serve as social or cognitive prostheses, capability is the ability to actual complete the task from beginning to end and is the base to which all other software quality dimensions are built upon.

Capability is usually prioritised by project stakeholders as it’s seen as the main way value is delivered and threatened. If capability quality is the only dimension that is prioritised by stakeholders it means they “don’t care how it does it, so long as it can do it”.



Flexibility: The ability to complete tasks in multiple different ways.



Key supporting metrics may include:

  • Whether key interactions can be performed (binary yes/no) in completion of a task. This type of metric lends itself well to automated checking as part of a continuous integration and delivery pipeline, as any “no” result could mean the underlying functionality required to complete a task could no longer be working.



An inbuilt side chat feature for a software product, system or service would be valuable for any team members working remotely, however the same feature would have little to no value for a single user or team members working in the same location. Testers evaluate capability quality when they make a strong case for why users can’t use the software program to complete a task or help solve a problem within a certain context.

Examples of threats to capability value include:

  • Missing or incomplete features or functions
  • Errors that prevent a user performing or completing a function
  • Functions not working as expected or giving unexpected outputs
  • Software not fit for the task under certain circumstances
  • Not being able to complete a function in a way that a user wants
  • Not being able to open or log into the software product, system or service

Some famous capability bugs include:




Heuristics to test for capability quality may include:

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