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Quality in IT Projects Cheat Sheet by

Quality in IT Projects

Key quality concern for IT projects

Providing customers with systems they need
Meet requir­ements at affordable price
Requires a commitment from all parties
Costs of remedying lapses in quality great.

Quality charac­ter­istics

ISO 9126-1­:2001, seeks to define a set of standard charac­ter­istics by which software quality can be measured
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Functi­ona­lity: meet user requir­ements
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Reliab­ility: Consistent
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Usability: Intuitive, minimum training
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Effici­ency: good with resources
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Mainta­ina­bility: easy to modify
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Portab­ility: between platforms

Quality plan

Specifies standards that apply to the project
Maybe existing, new, industry, modified versions of existing, developed internally
Specifies how, when and by whom the quality control activities should be undertaken
Specifies quality assurance processes
May also include config­uration management and change control procedures

Quality process requir­ements

Entry requir­eme­nts state what must exist before the stage or activity can begin
Impl­eme­ntation requir­eme­nts define how the process should be done
Exit requir­eme­nts indicate what should be in place for a successful sign-off of the activity
Part of quality criteria

Formal inspection structure

Prep­ara­tion. The reviewers review the docume­ntation and annotating the product and recording defects
Meet­ing: discussion of potential defects, confirm or deny they actually are defects. Agree follow up of each.
Reco­rdi­ng: follow-up actions, respon­sib­ili­ties, agreement of outcome and sign-off if approp­riate
Follow up
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advising the project manager of the outcome;
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planning remedial work;
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Signing off when complete

V Model

Model in which the solid lines represent the forward progress of the project and the dotted lines represent the way in which quality control is exercised

ISO900­1:2008

specif­ically aimed at producers and suppliers of any products and services, not necess­arily software
Organi­sations are inspected and awarded ISO 9001 certif­ication by accredited auditors
ISO 9001:2008 is based on the following princi­ples:
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Customer focus: unders­tanding and meeting or exceeding the customer requir­ements
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Leader­ship: providing this for the organi­sation to give it the purpose, unity and direction to achieve quality objectives
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People: involv­ement of staff at all levels of the organi­sations involved
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Process approach: attention to individual processes which produce interm­ediate or delive­rable products
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Systems approach to manage­ment: focusing on inter-­related processes producing delive­rable products;
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Continual improv­ement
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Factual approach to decisi­on-­making
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Mutually beneficial client­-su­pplier relati­onships
 

Defini­tions of quality

A degree or level of excellence
Confor­mance to standard
Delive­rables should be fit for purpose
Reliab­ility

Quality criteria

Quality criteria must be specified at beginning, before product developed
Each product definition includes a section headed quality criteria
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Used by team to ensure fit for purpose
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Specific, measur­eable and achievable
Company should develop standards for product defini­tions for its quality procedures

Defect removal process

ID defects so you can remove them
Easy at end of project in dynamic testing
Techniques for IDing defects at begi­nning stages
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desk checki­ng: Authors, or creators, of products review what they have produced
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document review: other people read document to ensure meets QC
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peer review: The author’s co-workers (or peers) examine copies of the document and make comments about it. Answer things liek: is it feasible, is there a better way, does it conform to company standards, does it commun­icate with other parts of the system, are requir­ements covered, are there any ambigu­ities
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Insp­ect­ion Formal review of product.
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Walk­thr­ough: The author takes the audience through the documents and they feed back their comments on it
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Pair progra­mmi­ng: in agile develo­pment enviro­nments, code developers sometimes work in pairs. The pair take turns to type in code at the workst­ation while the other advises and checks on what is being entered.
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Static testing: Software tools analyse structure of code. Look at the branches and loops in a program and calculate a measure of comple­xity. More complex = difficult to maintain

Evaluating suppliers

Important to establish whether those third party suppliers have the necessary quality procedures in place to ensure that the software to be supplied is to the standard expected.
Must be recognised that the supplier and the customer have different business object­ives. Making a project a success therefore needs both parties to see the project as a joint venture

Evaluating suppliers

Important to establish whether those third party suppliers have the necessary quality procedures in place to ensure that the software to be supplied is to the standard expected.
Must be recognised that the supplier and the customer have different business object­ives. Making a project a success therefore needs both parties to see the project as a joint venture
 

Failure

Cannot guarantee software will never fail
Hardware & infras­tru­cture might also fail
Examine ways system will behave in event of various types of failure
Might need to make it ‘fail safe’ so that it will revert to a safe state

QC vs QA

The quality control framework is called the quality management system (QMS)
The QMS may be based on the ISO 9001 series of standards
The QMS includes quality strategy and quality assurance processes
Quality strategy defines QMS and includes
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procedures and standards for creating a project quality plan
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a definition of quality criteria
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quality control procedures
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quality assurance procedures
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a statement of compliance with or allowed deviation from industry standards
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acceptance criteria
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Allocation of respon­sib­ilities for defining or undert­aking qualit­y-r­elated activities
Quality assura­nce is like an audit. It is designed to confirm that proper procedures are in place and have been applied correctly
QC = Quality control
QA = Quality assurance

Dynamic testing levels

Unit
Test data for usual range of input
Functions tested
Test various comboss & sequences
Test for outliers of limits
Alphabetic fields tested longer than that which the system should permit
Mandatory fields are left blank
Ensures unit will not fail because of bad data or unusual combin­ations but will handle them in a predefined way
Record all faults
Inte­gra­tion
Links a number of system components and runs them as a whole
checks that the units commun­icate properly
Syst­ems
Final stage in testing by the develo­pment profes­sionals
Running the whole system on the infras­tru­cture that will be used when the system is operat­ional
Operat­ional, response time, workload cope, effect of high loading
User accept­ance
Can the users operate the system? Does it meet their expect­ations, not just their requir­ements?
Regr­ess­ion
Running an agreed set of test data through the system again to confirm that the original error has been corrected and no further errors have been introduced or uncovered
For each type of testing, a set of test data and a set of expected results must be produced
- Test data for usual range of input expected for system
- Functions tested

Capability maturity models

Where the organi­sation is assessed as being at a particular level of process maturity
Assessment can be internal or external
Capability maturity model (CMM) has five levels
(1) Initial. Any organi­sation would be at this level by default. Good quality work may be done, but customers cannot be sure that this is always the case.
(2) Managed. Some basic project management and other systems are in place.
(3) Defined. The way each task in software develo­pment is done is defined to enable consistent good practice.
(4) Quanti­fiably managed. Processes and their products are measured and controlled – for example, the number of errors created in each process
(5) Optimi­sing. The measur­ement data collected is analysed to find ways of improving processes.

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