Rob Hendriks, Erik van Veenendaal, and Robert van Vonderen open this issue with a case study from the industrial development of copier/printer controller software. "Measuring Software Product Quality" presents their method of using risk assessment to identify the most important quality characteristics and then to measure those software characteristics in a standard format. The result: a more rigorous process for making the decision to release a given product, based on more than simple defect counts and the subjective perception of stakeholders.
Next, Pieter Botman and Ray Schneider have collaborated to
present a special feature: an
extended review of eight books in the "Extreme Programming (Members Only)" series. In these volumes extreme programming is explained, explored, examined, and planned, as well as installed, applied, put into practice, and questioned (as the titles of the books indicate). Some of the books are more reference works, while some have a more practical bent. Through it all, our two reviewers provide their understanding of the viewpoints, utility, and relative strengths of these treatments.
"Soft Factors Affecting Software Quality (Members Only)" by Fred J. Heemstra and Rob J. Kusters addresses the influence of behavioral and organizational factors on the quality of business software. Quality drivers such as motivation, commitment, experience, working conditions, and organizational culture are considered. Their article may be seen as a plea to learn from other disciplines and to pay more attention to what are regarded as the soft factors in the hard software world.
What is the purpose of a "Defect
Tracking and Management Process (Members Only)?" David Fern offers
his experiences in a Practitioner Notes article by that name.
He tracks the process from defect detection and reporting
through defect evaluation and finally to defect repair, retest,
and closure. His organizations use of the tools and
procedures described provided status accounting and allowed
defects to be triaged and properly addressed in a systematic
As usual, we conclude with a wide range of reviews of books that span the body of knowledge established for the ASQ Certified Software Quality Engineer.
Software Quality Professional
James Madison University
Cary, North Carolina
Paul R. Croll
Computer Sciences Corporation
King George, Virginia
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Stanley H. Levinson
Framatome ANP, Inc.
Leigh Ann Klaus
Digital Production Specialist