Project Management. Week 9 Quality Assurance. Quality Assurance. Lecture Overview

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1 Project Management Week 9 Quality Assurance Lecture Overview What is Quality Assurance? Do we need a quality management system for software? Impact of ISO9000 ISO9001 & ISO TickIT ISO9000 V s CMM Quality Assurance WHAT IS QUALITY ASSURANCE? Quality assurance is the term used to describe those activities which ensure that a contractually acceptable product is delivered by a project - In other words, a quality piece of software is one which, above all else, meets the customer's requirements. Quality assurance includes many of the good practices which we have already described, such as holding reviews, producing a project plan and documenting activities. It is important to point out that quality assurance is as much concerned with the processes used to create a software system as the system itself. 1

2 Quality Assurance The production of almost any piece of software requires a certain amount of communication between people, from the smallest program to the largest system. For example, imagine how much communication would be involved when a company's entire finance department and board of directors have to communicate their ideas to a software developer's project team consisting of maybe 15, 20 or even more people - Not only is there communication between the customer's staff and the developer's, but there is a great deal of communication needed within the developer's organisation between members of the project team. Quality Assurance In a high-quality product, it is imperative that communication is effective, or the developer could end up producing a product the customer does not want, or different members of the project team could end up producing incompatible program units! One of the aims of quality assurance, therefore, is to ensure that this communication is effective, i.e. to ensure that the developer, in particular the developer's project team, has understood correctly the customer's requirements. High-quality software is characterised by many other attributes which are not directly related to the customer's requirements, such as: Quality Assurance Efficiency Reliability Testability Maintainability Usability 2

3 Quality Assurance Efficiency - refers to the behaviour of a system in relation to the resources of the computer system on which it executes. Most often the efficiency of a system is described in terms of its execution speed and storage use. If a system executes as fast as was specified but consumes twice as much storage as was expected, maybe in order to achieve the performance requirement, it is likely to incur the customer's displeasure. Quality Assurance Reliability - relates to the number of errors in a piece of software, and hence is a measure of the number of times a software system fails to perform correctly - One might expect a system containing 10 errors to meet a customer's requirements more frequently than one containing 100. (However, this might not be the case; just one of the 10 may be more serious than all of the 100.) Quality Assurance Testability - refers to the ease with which a software system can be tested - For example, if a system contains program units with a large amount of tortuous logic then it will be difficult to test; if it is difficult to test its design or implementation may be poor and it may be less likely to meet customer requirements. 3

4 Quality Assurance Maintainability - refers to the ease with which a system can be changed once it is in operation - For example, it should be straightforward to replace a function in a system if its system design exhibits loose coupling and high cohesion. Quality Assurance Usability - is the ease with which the system can be used; if a system is easy to use, if it has a consistent and clear model of how it should be used, then it is less likely to be misused. This characteristic has much to do with the human-computer interface which is a topic in itself. It is not just a matter of aesthetics or taste since misuse could result in financial loss, environmental damage, or loss of life. Quality Management Systems For Software Quality System: the organisational structure, responsibilities, procedures, processes and resources for implementing quality management; Quality management: that aspect of the overall management function that determines and implements the quality policy. Quality: the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs. 4

5 Quality Management Systems For Software A quality system is the organisational structure and so on that controls and influences the quality of a supplier s products and services. Quality is what makes your customer happy - virtually everything in a software development organisation influences quality, so in practice the quality system is the means for managing the software development. Quality Management Systems For Software Some examples of what may be parts of a quality system for software: Schedule and agenda for executive meetings; Assignments of authorities and responsibilities in the company; Procedures for project management / Templates for documents; Procedures for reviews and tests / Procedures for handling customer complaints / Records of employee training; Procedures for internal audits; Procedures for handling changes to specifications and program / The central product library for software. Quality Management Systems For Software The basic requirement of a quality system is that it works. If an eternal editor can see that your quality system works, he or she would probably only be able to find minor things to criticise. 5

6 Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software So why bother with a quality system? Well, there are a few possible reasons: You may want to modify the software; Your customers may require that your software works; You may have to convince your customer beforehand that you will be able to deliver a suitable product; You may have to hire programmers who have families and private lives, and who are not prepared to work day and night for three years; The original whiz kids may quit and start a business of their own; You may even have product liabilities. Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software If you want to know what you'll get and when you get it, you had better have a quality system of some sort. An intelligent application of the requirements in ISO 9001 will make a software supplier better, the operative word here being intelligent. Many of the principles of quality management can be usefully applied to software development, provided the particular features of software quality problems are borne in mind. Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software The problems of software are not unique. User requirements are often highlighted as the worst problem area. Juran highlighted this area in manufacturing 40 years ago - complexity requires careful management in all contexts, but software cannot claim a monopoly here as quality problems of software development represent a particular blend of problems, rather than something completely different. 6

7 Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software It is suggested that there are four principal aspects to a QMS for software development: Development procedures. This includes the use of design and development methodologies and tools, testing and associated staff training. Quality control. This includes many activities for the monitoring of quality during development, e.g. planning, progress meetings, user sign-off, configuration management, change control, documentation control, design reviews, code walkthroughs, error reporting, system testing and acceptance testing. Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software Quality improvement. This includes all activities aimed at establishing a human quality culture amongst the staff, such as quality improvement teams, quality circles and so on. Quality assurance. Where a quality system is in place, QA becomes the monitoring of the system itself to ensure that it is being carried out correctly. Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software A quality system is designed to move maintenance to earlier in the lifecycle - this will lead to a reduction in both time and effort. All these benefits must be shown to happen in practice - Once quantified in financial terms, the benefits must be weighed against the cost, which may be considered in two stages. First there is the cost of introducing a quality management system - Once established there are specific costs associated with certification. 7

8 Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software In 1988 the cost of introducing a QMS to a typical supplier (a company with employees and turnover of 3,000,000) was estimated at 230,000 a year - In addition, set-up costs were estimated at 120,000. Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software Standards are generally defined in terms of a model of best practice, against which all others may be compared. The role of standards is not to build the proverbial better mousetrap, but to ensure conformance to the standard. The standard never improves quality directly nor ensures perfection - It should, however, ensure that the correct procedures are in place and being carried out. The standard provides a model, and the accreditation (audit) procedure the incentive to ensure that things are done directly. Quality Audits An audit is an evaluation of your quality system and documentation - Your organisation may undergo several types of audits: First-party audits Second-party audits Third-party audits The first-party audit is an internal quality system audit performed by the supplier (your organisation) on its own quality system. The second-party audit is a quality system audit performed by your customer on the (supplier & your organisation). 8

9 Quality Audits The third-party audit is a quality system audit performed by an auditor on the supplier in order to achieve certification for one of the ISO 9000 Standards - The third-party auditor must be independent of both the customer and the supplier - as Third-party audits cannot be performed by the customer or the supplier. Quality Audits What does the auditor look for when performing a third-party audit? Standard Do your documents conform to the requirements of the Standard? On-going to the operation Qsuality records Do your operations conform documents? Do your records show past conformance to your documents? Controlled Documents Do We Need A Quality Management Systems For Software The accreditation (audit) process provides the number of potential benefits to the supplier: it provides external validation to see whether the investment made in the QMS is being effective; it gives the supplier and their quality system external credibility; it allows the supplier to sell to those customers who insist on accreditation as a condition of tender; it qualifies the supplier to be included in buyers guides compiled by the accreditation bodies and circulated to potential customers. 9

10 The Impact of ISO9000 The cost of creating a satisfactory QMS to one of the ISO 9000 series standards is small in relation to the cost of setting up the QMS in the first place. The figures for a typical supplier in 1988 were estimated at 10,500 initially, with a further annual cost of 4,500. The advantage of third-party over second-party accreditation (audits) is that the supplier only has to satisfy one accreditor/auditor (rather than, say, to have to justify one s quality practices to six different customers). ISO 9001 and ISO The ISO 9000 standard with which we are concerned is ISO 9001, since it applies to quality assurance in design, development, production, installation and servicing. This standard was written for the manufacturing industry, and this poses some problems when applying it to the development and maintenance of software. The Impact of ISO9000 In manufacturing (for example, kettles), design is a relatively minor activity - Instead, the cost for each manufactured item is notable, so when a few items have been produced, production is by far the major part of the activity. Therefore, when we talk about quality or productivity problems and improvements in manufacturing, we tend to focus on production. Software development, however, is nearly 100% design. Production means to copy executable code to diskettes, tapes, or ROMS, and is performed and checked automatically. So, when talking about quality & productivity, we focus on design. 10

11 The Impact of ISO9000 The functionality and complexity of software and complex electronics are many orders of magnitude greater than those of ordinary appliances. Thus the need for control is greater in software development than in those of other appliances; at the same time, that control is more difficult to define and apply. ISO 9001 covers design, but it focuses on production - even for a production expert the text in the standard is brief and needs explanation - to apply it to software development the standard must be interpreted and explained still further. The Impact of ISO9000 In 1991 ISO published a guide for this purpose ISO , Quality Management Systems Part 3 Guideline for the application of ISO 9001 to the development, supply and maintenance of software. The guideline is organised into three main groups: General requirements on the company and its management; Requirements on projects and the maintenance phase; Requirements on supporting activities (those activities independent of phases); Software engineers complain that ISO does not tell us how to develop quality software. - It was never intended to. The Impact of ISO9000 The standard is aimed solely at being a tool for the customer. Basically ISO 9001 makes the supplier implement the basic management of software development, and the standard then enforces visibility, so that the customer can see what the developers are doing and judge it. In practice, ISO9001 and can be used as guides for the supplier s management, helping them to control development and gain insight into what is really going on. 11

12 The Impact of ISO9000 By the end of the 80 s the ISO standards had become quite popular in Europe - Manufacturers were certified to the ISO standards in increasing numbers. Some had considerable computer departments developing software for internal use and the certification of these departments varied depending on the auditors competence and the attitude of the certification body. Companies with software as part of their products started to join in, and soon pure software houses joined in. Industry was becoming apprehensive about ISO 9001 certification of software development and maintenance. The Impact of ISO9000 It was feared that different certificates might have very different values that the standard was nonstandard. The British software industry, together with the British Department of Trade and Industry, launched an initiative to amend the situation and called it TickIT. The goal was to establish effective and unified certification of software development and maintenance. TickIT TickIT is a system for certifying software development organisations to ISO It comprises of 6 elements: An interpretation of ISO 9001 for software; A standard set of requirements on the competence and behaviour of certification auditors; A standardised training course for certification auditors; A registration scheme for certified auditors; A system for accrediting certification bodies for conducting TickIT certifications; A logo to be used on certificates to show TickIT certification. 12

13 TickIT The British National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies is the only national authority issuing accreditation to certification bodies. Even companies in Sweden and the USA are accredited by NACCB. TickIT Auditors What's really special about TickIT certification is the auditors. TickIT auditors are registered by the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) in London. TickIT auditors come in three levels: Provisional 'TickIT Auditor, Senior TickIT Auditor, Lead TickIT Auditor. The Impact of ISO9000 In order to become one, you have to fulfil several requirements: You must yourself have worked for at least three years in software development, including all different types of work. You must have successfully concluded an approved oneweek TickIT auditor's course ending with a formal examination. You must have experience as a manager. To become Senior or Lead TickIT auditor, you must have experience in conducting and leading, respectively, TickIT certifications. There are further requirements regarding your personal attributes. 13

14 The Impact of ISO9000 IRCA shows 0 signs of taking the requirements for TickIT auditors seriously. In 1993, it was reported that 15% of the applicants for registration as TickiT auditors were not called for an interview, and of those interviewed, 25% failed. All this means is that when you apply for TickIT certification you know that your software development and maintenance procedures will be judged by welltrained auditors with personal experience in software development. Maintaining The Certificate The certificate you just received and put up on the boardroom wall is valid for a certain period of time, usually three years. After that time, you will have to apply for certification and do it all over again - Hopefully, the process will be much simpler this time. So when you have received your certificate the auditors will be back soon - In your contract with the certification body, it is stated that they will do regular audits twice a year during the time of the certificate. The Impact of ISO9000 Often an organisation is kept on its toes until the certification is done, but then the reaction comes, and the disciplined of working is replaced with the usual sloppiness. This is the reason why the certification body will be back to check that your company is not one of these organisations. These regular surveillance audits are less comprehensive than the certification audit, and usually the auditors concentrate on different areas of your quality system each time. 14

15 The Impact of ISO9000 During the term of the certificate, you can still lose it - In some situations, the certification body has the obligation or authority to withdraw your certificate. Examples include: If you fail to correct within the prescribed time a non-conformance found in a surveillance audit; If you use the certificate improperly in your marketing (e.g. indicating that this is a certificate of the quality of your products); If you don t pay the bills from the certification body. The Impact of ISO9000 Summary of ISO 9000: It is concerned with what you do in software development, not how you do it; It provides some direction, however, not necessarily sufficient direction; It is predominantly a tool for software buyers, not builders. One of the most promising current methods of managing the development of high quality software systems can be found in the work of the American Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University; The SEI has worked for a number of years to set a standard for managing American software development from all over the world to American industry. 15

16 (CMM) provides a graduated set of software development process goals, a scale for assessing the maturity levels of existing software processes, and a programme to drive process improvement. The underlying principles of the CMM stand behind all current approaches to software development process assessment and improvement, especially ISO. for Software for Software describes the principles and practices underlying software process maturity and is intended to help software organizations improve the maturity of their software processes in terms of an evolutionary path from ad hoc, chaotic processes to mature, disciplined software processes. The CMM is organized into five maturity levels - A maturity level is a well-defined evolutionary plateau toward achieving a mature software process. Each maturity level provides a layer in the foundation for continuous process improvement. The Five Maturity Levels The following characterizations of the five maturity levels highlight the primary process changes made at each level: 1) Initial The software process is characterized as ad hoc, and occasionally even chaotic. Few processes are defined, and success depends on individual effort and heroics. 2) Repeatable Basic project management processes are established to track cost, schedule, and functionality. The necessary process discipline is in place to repeat earlier successes on projects with similar applications. 16

17 The Five Maturity Levels 3) Defined The software process for both management and engineering activities is documented, standardized, and integrated into a standard software process for the organization - All projects use an approved, tailored version of the organization's standard software process for developing and maintaining software. 4) Managed Detailed measures of the software process and product quality are collected. Both the software process and products are quantitatively understood and controlled. 5) Optimizing Continuous process improvement is enabled by quantitative feedback from the process and from piloting innovative ideas and technologies. Key Process Areas Except for level 1, each maturity level is decomposed into several key process areas that indicate the areas an organization should focus on to improve its software process. Key process areas identify the issues that must be addressed to achieve a maturity level - Each key process area identifies a cluster of related activities that, when performed collectively, achieve a set of goals considered important for enhancing process capability. The key process areas and their purposes are listed below - The name of each key process area is followed by its two-letter abbreviation. By definition there are no key process areas for level 1. The key process areas at level 2 focus on the software project's concerns related to establishing basic project management controls, as summarized below: Requirements Management (RM) Establish a common understanding between the customer and the software project of the customer's requirements that will be addressed by the software project. Software Project Planning (PP) Establish reasonable plans for performing the software engineering and for managing the software project. 17

18 Software Project Tracking and Oversight (PT) Establish adequate visibility into actual progress so that management can take effective actions when the software project's performance deviates significantly from the software plans. Software Subcontract Management (SM) Select qualified software subcontractors and manage them effectively. Software Quality Assurance (QA) Provide management with appropriate visibility into the process being used by the software project and of the products being built. Software Configuration Management (CM) Establish and maintain the integrity of the products of the software project throughout the project's software life cycle. The key process areas at level 3 address both project and organizational issues, as the organization establishes an infrastructure that institutionalizes effective software engineering and management processes across all projects, as summarized below: The key process areas at level 3 address both project and organizational issues, as the organization establishes an infrastructure that institutionalizes effective software engineering and management processes across all projects, as summarized below: 18

19 Organization Process Focus (PF) Establish the organizational responsibility for software process activities that improve the organization's overall software process capability. Organization Process Definition (PD) Develop and maintain a usable set of software process assets that improve process performance across the projects and provide a basis for cumulative, long-term benefits to the organization. Training Program (TP) Develop the skills and knowledge of individuals so they can perform their roles effectively and efficiently. Integrated Software Management (IM) Integrate the software engineering and management activities into a coherent, defined software process that is tailored from the organization's standard software process and related process assets. Software Product Engineering (PE) Consistently perform a well-defined engineering process that integrates all the software engineering activities to produce correct, consistent software products effectively and efficiently. Inter-group Coordination (IC) Establish a means for the software engineering group to participate actively with the other engineering groups so the project is better able to satisfy the customer's needs effectively and efficiently. 19

20 Peer Reviews (PR) Remove defects from the software work products early and efficiently- An important corollary effect is to develop a better understanding of the software work products and of the defects that can be prevented. The key process areas at level 4 focus on establishing a quantitative understanding of both the software process and the software work products being built, as summarized below: Quantitative Process Management (QP) Control the process performance of the software project quantitatively. Software Quality Management (QM) Develop a quantitative understanding of the quality of the project's software products and achieve specific quality goals. The key process areas at level 5 cover the issues that both the organization and the projects must address to implement continuous and measurable software process improvement, as summarized below: Defect Prevention (DP) Identify the causes of defects and prevent them from recurring. Technology Change Management (TM) Identify beneficial new technologies (i.e., tools, methods, and processes) and transfer them into the organization in an orderly manner. Process Change Management (PC) Continually improve the software processes used in the organization with the intent of improving software quality, increasing productivity, decreasing the cycle time for PD. 20

21 Common Features For convenience, each of the key process areas is organized by common features - The common features are attributes that indicate whether the implementation and institutionalization of a key process area is effective, repeatable, and lasting. The five common features, followed by their twoletter abbreviations, are listed below: Common Features Commitment to Perform (CO) Describes the actions the organization must take to ensure that the process is established and will endure - Includes practices on policy and leadership. Ability to Perform (AB) Describes the preconditions that must exist in the project or organization to implement the software process competently - Includes practices on resources, organizational structure, training, and tools. Common Features Activities Performed (AC) Describes the roles and procedures necessary to implement a key process area. Includes practices on plans, procedures, work performed, tracking, and corrective action. Measurement and Analysis (ME) Describes the need to measure the process and analyze the measurements. Includes examples of measurements. 21

22 Common Features Verifying Implementation (VE) Describes the steps to ensure that the activities are performed in compliance with the process that has been established. Includes practices on management reviews and audits. ISO 9001 Vs CMM Clearly there is a strong correlation between ISO 9001 and the CMM, although some issues in ISO 9001 are not covered in the CMM, and some issues in the CMM are not addressed in ISO The levels of detail differ significantly: chapter 4 in ISO 9001 is about five pages long; sections 5, 6, and 7 in ISO comprise about 11 pages; and the CMM is over 500 pages long. There is some judgment involved in deciding the exact correspondence, given the different levels of abstraction. ISO 9001 Vs CMM The clauses in ISO 9001 with no strong relationships to the CMM key process areas, and which are not well addressed in the CMM, are purchaser-supplied product (4.7) and handling, storage, packaging and delivery (4.15). The clause in ISO 9001 that is addressed in the CMM in a completely distributed fashion is servicing (4.19) - The clauses in ISO 9001 for which the exact relationship to the CMM is subject to significant debate are corrective action (4.14) and statistical techniques (4.20). 22

23 ISO 9001 Vs CMM The biggest difference, however, between these two documents is the emphasis of the CMM on continuous process improvement. ISO 9001 addresses the minimum criteria for an acceptable quality system. It should also be noted that the CMM focuses strictly on software, while ISO 9001 has a much broader scope: hardware, software, processed materials, and services [Marquardt91]. ISO 9001 Vs CMM The biggest similarity is that for both the CMM and ISO 9001, the bottom line is Say what you do; do what you say. The fundamental premise of ISO 9001 is that every important process should be documented and every deliverable should have its quality checked through a quality control activity. ISO 9001 requires documentation that contains instructions or guidance on what should be done or how it should be done. ISO 9001 Vs CMM The CMM shares this emphasis on processes that are documented and practiced as documented - Phrases such as conducted according to a documented procedure and following a written organizational policy characterize the key process areas in the CMM. The CMM also emphasizes the need to record information for later use in the process and for improvement of the process - This is equivalent to the quality records of ISO 9001 that document whether or not the required quality is achieved and whether or not the quality system operates effectively. 23

24 ISO 9001 Vs CMM This statement is controversial in itself. Some members of the international standards community maintain that if you read ISO 9001 with insight (between the lines so to speak), it does address continuous process improvement. There is faith that weaknesses will improve over time, especially given regular surveillance audits - Corrective action can be interpreted in this way, although that may not be consistently done today - This will undoubtedly be one of the major topics for the next revision cycle for ISO Lecture Overview What is Quality Assurance? Do we need a quality management system for software? Impact of ISO9000 ISO9001 & ISO TickIT ISO9000 V s CMM 24

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