Certifying Software Products, Processes, Personnel

Article

Daughtrey, Taz   (1992, ASQC)   B&W Space & Defense Systems, Lynchburg, VA 24506

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9782    May 1992    pp. 1070-1076
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Article Abstract

Just like other manufactured products, software needs to be evaluated according to its fitness for its intended use along the classic line of quality control (process), quality assurance (product) and quality management (personnel). These concerns can be united via certification (having a certified person working with certified processes create a certifiable product).

Start by inspecting software for possession of specified characteristics such as the existence and formatting of documentation, compliance with computer syntax and style appropriate to the programming language, and satisfaction with performance. Quality metrics (quantitative elements) can be used to measure product fitness. Certification of process can begin with assessing the company's process maturity according to any of a number of benchmarking criteria (such as SEI's questionnaire). Personnel qualifications can follow specifications like ASQC's certification, or that offered by the Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals.

This effort matches assurance efforts with risk -- with different certifications eligible for different projects. It also provides a self-regulation mechanism since certified professional tend to assume responsibility for their work more readily. Certification furnishes a rational basis for customer risk assessment.

Keywords

B&W Space & Defense Systems,Certification,Quality assurance (QA),Quality control (QC),Quality management (QM),Software


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