Software Quality Professional Overview - March 2000 - ASQ

Software Quality Professional Overview - March 2000


Inspection has almost a quarter-century track record as a quality assessment and assurance technique. Tom Gilb wants inspection to do more. He provides insights on “Planning to Get the Most Out of Inspection” by first surveying current practice and then providing suggestions for improved performance. These range from strategy to planning to preparation, and address both entry and exit conditions. His case is that inspection needs to shift focus from clean up to sampling, measurement, and defect prevention.

Miklós Biró and Richard Messnarz report in “Key Success Factors for Business Based Improvement” on the results of a European project focused on software process improvement from the business manager’s viewpoint. Drawing upon business motivations, the authors describe leverage available from operating, production, human behavioral, marketing, and financial perspectives. Illustrated with case studies, the article concludes that the key factors include a combination of methodologies, an approach that addresses the broader business context, and a learning organization approach that views people as an asset.

Jeff Tian surveys and compares “Risk Identification Techniques for Defect Reduction and Quality Improvement.” Each technique is briefly described and illustrated with practical application examples. The techniques are compared using several criteria, including simplicity, accuracy and stability of results, ease of result interpretation, and utility in guiding defect reduction and quality improvement activities into the existing development process.

“Risk Management Supporting Quality Management of Software Acquisition Projects” presents experiences of a major global automaker as shared by Gerhard Getto. He argues for using risk management as a driver for the software acquisition process. Experiences gained in a business process reengineering project that is currently under way have shown that the risk management process in particular must be adapted to the constraints imposed by the project organization. Risk management allows one to act before difficulties turn into real problems.

Finally, John Ryan offers some “Talking Points” on “The Internet Challenge to the Quality Profession,” in which he challenges the quality community to apply its expertise to the troublesome shortcomings of that ultimate computer network. He claims that definition, measurement, analysis, and correction can be rightly applied to Internet processes for enhanced performance and reliability. His vision is the establishment of software and hardware configuration standards that will not restrict freedom of expression, but will provide enhanced service for all stakeholders.

Software Quality Professional

Taz Daughtrey
Charlottesville, Virginia

Richard E. Biehl
Data-Oriented Quality Solutions
Orlando, Florida

Paul R. Croll
Computer Sciences Corporation
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Beth Layman
Melbourne Beach, Florida

Stanley H. Levinson
Framatome Technologies
Lynchburg, Virginia

John Pustaver
Creative Data Systems
Sudbury, Massachusetts

William Tony

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