Software Quality Professional Overview - March 2002 - ASQ

Software Quality Professional Overview - March 2002


Pankaj Jalote reports on "Use of Metrics in High Maturity Organizations," drawing on the experiences of a number of Indian developers. He discusses the use of metrics in project planning, in monitoring and controlling a project, and in the improvement of the overall process. Jalote finds that most of the organizations he studied collect similar metrics (effort, defects, size, and schedule) and have similar metrics infrastructures in place. These companies are typically able to set and measure achievement against quantifiable improvement goals.

"Software Processes in Very Small Companies (Members Only)" offers Ita Richardson’s study of four small Irish software houses, in two of which she intervened while the other two served as controls. The improvement technique used is based on an assessment of each current software process, followed by management evaluation of future expectations and significance to the business. Success in process change management, according to Richardson, depends on leadership and vision, capable people, and effective rewards.

The complementary strategies of specification-based testing and code-based testing are sometimes referred to as “black box” and “glass box” approaches. In his article "Test Vector Generation: Current Status and Future Trends (Members Only)," Selim Aissi provides a historical perspective on testing and then treats each approach in turn. He specifically elaborates on existing tools to automate each strategy. While recognizing a number of research efforts, the author finds few commercial products available.

The Practitioner Notes feature addresses the persistent difficulty of estimating tasks, building schedules, and then meeting those schedules. Steven R. Rakitin attacks the problem with “yellow stickies” and describes successful team communication techniques for "Creating Accurate Estimates and Realistic Schedules (Members Only)." By following an approach that differentiates “must haves” from “wants,” he shows how organizations can under-commit and over-deliver.

This issue’s Resource Review section begins with a look at two classics from Weinberg and from De Marco and Lister, then examines 10 other books ranging from problem structuring to craftsmanship, from the philosophical to hard data. The provocative area of extreme programming is also introduced, with a more detailed exposition available only in the journal’s online version.

Software Quality Professional

Taz Daughtrey
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Associate Editors
Sue Carroll
Cary, North Carolina

Paul R. Croll
Computer Sciences Corporation
King George, Virginia

Beth Layman
Melbourne Beach, Florida

Stanley H. Levinson
Framatome ANP, Inc.
Lynchburg, Virginia

John Pustaver
SWQuality, Inc.
Sudbury, Massachusetts

William Tony

Manuscript Coordinator
Dave Nelsen

Copy Editors
Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Production Administrator
Cathy Schnackenberg

Graphic Designer
Mary Uttech

Digital Production Specialists
Jen Czajka
Jill Zimmerman

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