On a scale of fist to five, I'm at a ten.

On a scale of fist to five, I’m at a ten.

Quality is partly about the number defects delivered in a piece of software and partly about how the stakeholders and customers experience the software.  Experience is typically measured as customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is impacted by all three aspects of software quality: functional (what the software does), structural (whether the software meets standards) and process (how the code was built).

Surveys can be used to collect customer- and team-level data.  Satisfaction is used to measure if products, services, behaviors or work environment meet expectations.  (more…)


Software quality is a nuanced concept that requires a framework that addresses functional, structural and the process of the software delivery understand.  Measurement of each aspect is a key tool for understanding whether we are delivering a quality product and whether our efforts to improve quality are having the intended impact. However, measurement can be costly. To balancing the effort required to measure quality versus the benefit, you first need to understand the reasons for measuring quality.  Five of reasons quality is important to measure include: (more…)

Attributes are like buttons, lots of control and lots of complexity.

Attributes are like buttons, lots of control and lots of complexities.

At its heart, the defect management approach to defining software quality is focused on identifying, categorizing and counting defects.  Quality attribute models expand the definition of quality from the occurrence of defects to a framework of attributes.  For example, ISO/IEC 25010:2011 describes an attribute model comprised of eight quality characteristics. The characteristics are:

  1. Functional suitability
  2. Reliability
  3. Operability
  4. Performance efficiency
  5. Security
  6. Compatibility
  7. Maintainability
  8. Transferability

In the ISO model each of the characteristics can be further broken down into sub-characteristics to provide additional depth to the definition of quality.  All quality attribute models are based on a broader framework than the defect management approach. Using a broader framework provides teams and organizations with more information than simpler models due to the sheer number of attributes in the model. However, more information comes at a cost.  Quality attribute modes are less easy to implement, require more data collection, and often require more effort from the development team. (more…)

Listen to the Software Process and Measurement Cast 318

SPaMCAST 318 features our interview with Rob Cross.  Rob and I discussed his InfoQ article “How to Incorporate Data Analytics into Your Software Process.”  Rob provides ideas on how the theory of big data can be incorporated in to big action that provides “ah-ha” moments for executives and developers alike.

Rob Cross has been in the software development industry for over 15 years in various capacities.  He has worked for several start-up businesses including his current company, PSC.  These companies have been focused on providing software quality, security and performance data to organizations leveraging state of the art technologies.  Rob’s current company has analyzed over 8 billion lines of code as an independent software assessment company on products ranging from military systems, medical devices, satellite systems, video games to Wall Street exchanges.

Rob’s email: rc@proservicescorp.com

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After we finish the current re-read will need to decide which book will be next.  We are building a list of the books that have had the most influence on readers of the blog and listeners to the podcast.  Can you answer the question?

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First, we will compile a list and publish it on the blog.  Second, we will use the list to drive future  “Re-read” Saturdays. Re-read Saturday is an exciting new feature that began on the Software Process and Measurement blog on November 8th.  Feel free to choose you platform; send an email, leave a message on the blog, Facebook or just tweet the list (use hashtag #SPaMCAST)!


Why Are Requirements So Hard To Get Right? IT projects have been around in one form or another since the 1940’s. Looking back in the literature describing the history of IT, the topic of requirements in general and identification of requirements specifically have been top of mind since day one.

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