Software Quality Professional Overview - September 2000 - ASQ

Software Quality Professional Overview - September 2000


We are delighted to have completed two years of publishing Software Quality Professional. This issue contains author and subject indices for the past four quarterly issues, beginning with December 1999.

Another annual tradition is the posting of the full contents of this issue at our Web site. As in the past, we have also posted supplemental material (in this instance, 10 additional diagrams for Drabick’s article) not found in the print version of SQP.

The lead article, “Software Configuration Management for Project Leaders,” offers the experiences of Tim Kasse and Patricia McQuaid. One of the eight areas of the Body of Knowledge for the ASQ Certified Software Quality Engineer, software configuration management is not only one of the most essential functions in software development but also one of the least appreciated. The authors discuss the purposes, components, and applications of processes for managing the inevitable changes in any project. They present practical suggestions on which techniques promise the project leader the visibility and control necessary for success.

A Process Model of Software Quality Assurance” is Rodger Drabick’s contribution to estimation, project management, and training. Using Input-Process-Output techniques to graphically represent “the way software quality assurance (SQA) is done here” can be the first step in SQA planning, estimating, and tracking. His elaboration of a highest-order data-flow model into a wide range of subprocesses demonstrates how broadly the SQA function can contribute to development and evaluation activities. By identifying and defining such interrelations, this technique provides insights for both novice and experienced practitioners.

Pat O’Toole offers some talking points on “Making Effective Use of the CMM in an Organization.” His advice as a CMM lead assessor: “Keep your eye on the prize” of improving the conduct of projects, not simply achieving a given maturity level. He claims that management must specify project “success” explicitly enough to allow the optimization of processes, which in turn will improve predictability and credibility.

We look forward to an increasingly helpful Resource Reviews section under the leadership of our newest associate editor, Sue Carroll. This time, in addition to introducing Carroll, the section features insights into two books. Steve McConnell’s After the Gold Rush charts the path he envisions from the “occupation of computer programming” to the “profession of software engineering.” The Deadline, by Tom DeMarco, is an exploration of project management techniques written with the flair of good fiction and the ring of authenticity.

Visitors to the journal’s Web site have the opportunity to respond with ratings and comments on the contents of this issue and on the journal in general. We report on these comments this time in our renamed “Feedback” section. Please take advantage of this mechanism to help us improve the journal.

Software Quality Professional

Taz Daughtrey
Lynchburg, Virginia


Sue Carroll
SAS Institute
Cary, North Carolina

Paul R. Croll
Computer Sciences Corporation
King George, Virginia

Beth Layman
Melbourne Beach, Florida

Stanley H. Levinson
Framatome Technologies
Lynchburg, Virginia

John Pustaver
SwQuality, Inc.
Sudbury, Massachusetts

William Tony

Kristen Johnson

Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Cathy Schnackenberg

Mary Uttech

Michael Andes
Jill Zimmerman

Michael Andes

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