A Practical Approach to Quality!
If your software andsystems development team is under 10 people, including coding, testing, andproject management, then your projects may not experience huge difficulties associatedwith traceability -- i.e., the discipline that links requirements to test caseand test results. But for larger teams of 30 or more, where even a medium-sizeproject involves 5,000 requirements and 10,000 testcases, the complexity can feel overwhelming.
Considerthis: If it takes 20 minutes to link the appropriate test artifacts for eachrequirement, then a project of that size requires 10 person-months to createthe traceability links between requirements and test cases. While industryregulations and compliance requirements make this a mandatory part of theprocess, it also represents a massive drain on productivity
A question of risk
It’s helpful to thinkabout the complexity in terms of risk. In software development, whethertargeted to the IT space or the systems engineering space, there are two kindsof risk we have to worry about: first is the risk of poor quality; second isthe risk of missed opportunity, where you lose out to a competitor who gets aproduct to market ahead of you.
Some organizations manageprojects to avoid quality problems at all costs (software targeted for medicalapplications, or air traffic control systems, for example). Other companies manageprojects as if time to market is all-important, knowing that customers arelikely to forgive glitches, for a while at least, as long as they have thelatest offering from their supplier.
Save time, ensure quality, improve ROI
But there is another way.In a new paper, IBM Rational qualitymanagement guru Moshe Cohen describes how a risk-driven approach to softwareproject management can save time without sacrificing quality. Moreover, heexplains: “By gradually implementing quality managementbest practices with the potential to deliver a positive ROI within a relativeshort amount of time, you can justify risk reduction measures from not only aquality standpoint but also a pure financial standpoint.”
Inexplaining this approach, Moshe guides the reader through concepts such as traceability,illustrating the use of test cases and improved mapping techniques tocost-saving scenarios.
If you arepart of a quality team, or if you are a project manager who’s looking forimproved traceability methods to implement across the lifecycle, this paper isa great place to start. And even if you’re not a testing engineer, this paperprovides a helpful introduction to quality management practices and itsbusiness impact without taking you too far into the technical weeds.
It’s goodreading! Find it here.
And take alook at all the other new papers we have for you on our updated “Leading Innovation” page.
About the author:
Mike Perrow works as a writer and editor for the brand strategy team within the IBM Rational organization. His current focus is assisting thought leaders and subject matter experts as they explain the business value of Rational products and services through white papers, journal articles, and other forms of the written word. Prior to this position, he served for eight years as the founding editor of The Rational Edge ezine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org