Software Quality (Function) Deployment

Article

Zultner, Richard E.   (1989, ASQC)   Zultner & Company, Princeton, NJ

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3621    May 1989    pp. 558-563
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Article Abstract

This paper presents a practical framework for applying Quality [Function] Deployment (QFD) to software projects based on the experiences of several projects at different firms. Originally developed in Japan as a way of improving the product design process, QFD is a powerful approach for improving the analysis and subsequent phases of software development. In addition to improving the ability of software engineers to hear the "voice of the user" more clearly, it offers a basis for continuous improvement in defining technical requirements.

QFD was developed in Japan over ten years ago as an integrated set of quality techniques to go beyond the mastery of the production process that statistical process control and just-in-time had provided. In order to improve market research and product design, it was necessary to improve the approach to listening to the customer. The tools and techniques of QFD were developed and organized into a powerful framework. In recent years leading U.S. firms have discovered this approach, and use it to improve their products and processes.

Many of the problems of software development can be traced to the difficulty of defining user requirements during the analysis phase of a project. Structured techniques have been developed in an attempt to deal with this, but still further improvement is necessary. A basic software engineering framework for requirements definition is presented, summarizing the established approach to analysis. This is the foundation for Software Quality Deployment.

Software is significantly different from hardware and manufactured products. This requires several adaptations to QFD for software. Material and material-based costs, are replaced by data and time. Some structural changes are also required. The result is SQD - a revised quality deployment framework suitable for software.

Keywords

Software quality


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