SQA Lifecycle Standards
Software Quality Assurance procedures have finally been standardized and have been virtually perfected after years of planning on how to perfect the application standardization.
Through experience, the company was able to place in writing how to develop a plan for software development. Because it has been standardized, the application that was developed using SQA could be recognized worldwide because it has been made according to the standards.
Along with the standards, the metrics are also standardized. More than anything else written in the report, the clients who are looking for an efficient application looks for the numbers more than anything else. Metrics will tell whether the application has been developed according to plan and could perform when released or sold to their intended users.
IEEE (Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers) – This standard was established by the organization with the same name. This organization was established in 1963 and the IEEE standards for software development starting in 1986. There are two types of IEEE standards for Software Quality Application: the Standard 730-1989 which was developed in 1989 and the ANSI/IEEE Standard 983 – 1986 which was the original version developed in 1986. IEEE is very popular especially for SQA Planning and development.
ISO (International Standards Organization) – One of the oldest standardization organizations in the world, ISO were established in 1947 and have established itself to be the standardized company not only in software development but also in business plans. Because it was internationally recognized it has become a powerful standard for different business uses.
DOD (US Department of Defense) – The government has also developed their own standardization scheme especially for developing technology. They have evolved from ISO 9000 and developed a specialized standard on their own. There are currently two DOD standards: the MIL-STD-961E which refers to the program specific standards and the MIL-STD-962D which stands for general standardization. Both of these formats were used applied by the DOD starting August 1, 2003.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute) – Working with US-based companies, ANSI has become the bridge of small US based companies to international standards so that they could achieve international recognition. ANSI covers almost anything in the country, products technology and application. ANSI ensures that the products developed in the US could be used in other countries as well.
IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) – Stated June of 1906, the commission has dedicated itself to the standardization of electrical materials and its development. Today it is usually associated with ISO since it has become a part of technical industries. IEC is known for standardizing electronics through the International Electrotechnical Vocabulary which is used by all electronic industries until today.
EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance) – EIA is a coming together of different electronic manufacturers in US. This organization set the standards for electronic products for the country and has been accepted by thousands of companies worldwide.
SQA Management Standards
Aside from internationally recognized SQA standards, there are specific standards that were developed to cater specifically for the management of software development:
ISO 9001 and ISO 9000-3 – These certifying organizations was established specifically for software development. This standard encourages leadership and could be integrated continuously even when the product has been developed and released to its users. Good supplier relations are also emphasized as technology is not only developed in-house.
SW-CMM (Software Capability Maturity Model) – Developed in 1980, SW-CMM has become the standards for large scale software development companies. It has drawn support because this development model was established by the developers for the developers. It believes in quantitative methods to develop and maintain productivity. SW-CMM has a five-level model to gauge the applications maturity and establish a detailed plan to further enhance them. The best draw so far of SW-CMM is that it does not care about SDLC model, tool and documentation standard, promoting creativity for software development.
ISO/IEC 15504 Process Assessment Model and SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) – Aiming for international acceptance, this type of SQA supports a specific type of testing standard for a better application. Called SPICE, this application could test each part of the application. SPICE is also used to asses the performance of circuits in electronic products.
There are many forms of metrics in SQA but they can easily be divided into three categories: product evaluation, product quality, and process auditing.
Product Evaluation Metrics – Basically, this type of metric is actually the number of hours the SQA member would spend to evaluate the application. Developers who might have a good application would solicit lesser product evaluation while it could take more when tackling an application that is rigged with errors. The numbers extracted from this metric will give the SQA team a good estimate on the timeframe for the product evaluation.
Product Quality Metrics – These metrics tabulates all the possible errors in the application. These numbers will show how many errors there are and where do they come from. The main purpose of this metric is to show the trend in error. When the trend is identified the common source of error is located. This way, developers can easily take care of the problem compared to answering smaller divisions of the problem. There are also metrics that shows the actual time of correcting the errors of the application. This way, the management team who are not entirely familiar with the application.
Process Audit Metrics – These metrics will show how the application works. These metrics are not looking for errors but performance. One classic example of this type of metric is the actual response time compared to the stress placed on the application. Businesses will always look for this metric since they want to make sure the application will work well even when there are thousands of users of the application at the same time.
There are lots of options on what standard to be used in developing the plan for Software Quality Assurance. But on metrics, the numbers are always constant and will be the gauge whether the application works as planned.