Thanks to the initiative of Jeannine Siviy of the Software Engineering Institute, we are beginning a series of articles on the application to software development of what are known as Six Sigma principles. Supplementing the features will be sidebar material Jeannine has contributed, to provide background for those less familiar with the details of this increasingly widespread quality approach.
The first contribution, Integrating Improvement Initiatives, places Six Sigma in context with several other organizational and personal improvement frameworks. Authors Gary Gack and Kyle Robison compare and contrast these various approaches and then describe how one software development organization has defined the connections between several corporate improvement initiatives currently under way or under consideration.
Optimizing the Software Life Cycle, by Jeffrey Holmes, addresses the lack of accurate and complete data on the development process. The author presents analysis of his own personal data spanning seven years on 17 industrial projects and applies the Six Sigma techniques of define, measure, analyze, improve, and control; design of experiments; and regression modeling. The techniques employed in this article could easily be applied to a project team to identify optimizations at the team level.
Wayne Woodruffs Introduction of Test Process Improvement and the Impact on the Organization describes a four-year-long sequence of process analysis and improvement activities. His software testing organization has increased productivity dramatically, as well as accuracy of scheduling and resource planning. Not least, the organization has a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
Subhas Misras and Virendrakumar Bhavsar offer Measures of Software System Difficulty that will help in predicting and monitoring the quality of products from earlier stages of development. This study of 20 different metrics applied to 30 open-source programs compares each metric to Halsteads program difficulty metric, based on cognitive complexity theories. Guidelines are presented to remind the developer of design factors that will affect program qualities.
Our usual wide selection of Resource Reviews is available, coordinated by Milt Boyd, SQPs new associate editor. Sue Carroll, who handled that responsibility so well in the past, now moves into a year of understudy as the journals editor-elect.
Volume 5 concludes with cumulative indices of the journals contents from December 2002.
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 Specialists