Software Quality Assurance
Quality Software Development - User Centric and Cost Effective
From Inception to Completion, Stage by Stage with Right Strategy and Right Architecture
We, at datametrics, believe that the role of testers is not just to validate whether the software conform to the user requirements but to ensure that the software developed is well designed, best in quality, user centric and cost effective. Therefore, they are involved from the very start to the end of the project that is from requirements gathering, implementation to deployment. Our experienced testers are a curious lot who do not stop at anything until they get answers to their questions. They also check out all possible and unthinkable scenarios to produce clean and healthy software.We consider test cases and test scenarios to be the very backbone of software testing as it helps to discover more bugs. However, it doesn't mean that the number of test cases is directly proportional to the number of bugs discovered. An ideal test case or test scenario can do the trick what tons of imperfect test cases or scenarios can't achieve.At datametrics, test automation is an integral part of our software testing process . We maintain high quality standards while carrying out automated testing so that when new functionalities are added it doesn't break the existing features that were known to work perfectly.Our quality experts completely understand the business requirements by working in tandem with other teams so that the software developed matches the client's requirements perfectly.
Software quality assurance
Software quality assurance (SQA) consists of a means of monitoring the software engineering processes and methods used to ensure quality. The methods by which this is accomplished are many and varied, and may include ensuring conformance to one or more standards, such as ISO 9000 or a model such as CMMI.
SQA encompasses the entire software development process, which includes processes such as requirements definition, software design, coding, source code control, code reviews, change management, configuration management, testing, release management, and product integration. SQA is organized into goals, commitments, abilities, activities, measurements, and verifications.
Total quality management
Total Quality Management / TQM is an integrative philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes. TQM is based on the premise that the quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone involved with the creation or consumption of the products or services which are offered by an organization, requiring the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers, and customers, to meet or exceed customer expectations.
we have identified nine common TQM practices:
- cross-functional product design
- process management
- supplier quality management
- customer involvement
- information and feedback
- committed leadership
- strategic planning
- cross-functional training
- employee involvement
Eight dimensions of quality
Eight dimensions can be used at a strategic level to analyze quality characteristics. The concept was defined by David Garvin. Some of the dimensions are mutually reinforcing, whereas others are not—improvement in one may be at the expense of others. Understanding the trade-offs desired by customers among these dimensions can help build a competitive advantage. Eight dimensions can be summarized as follows:
Performance refers to a product's primary operating characteristics. This dimension of quality involves measurable attributes, so brands can usually be ranked objectively on individual aspects of performance. Overall performance rankings,however, are more difficult to develop, especially when they involve benefits that not every consumer needs. Performance is often a source of contention between customers and suppliers, particularly when deliverables are not adequately defined within specifications. The performance of a product often influences the profitability or reputation of the end-user. As such, many contracts or specifications include damages related to inadequate performance. The question of whether performance differences are quality differences may depend on circumstantial preferences-but preferences based on functional requirements, not taste. Some performance standards are based on subjective preferences, but the preferences are so universal that they have the force of an objective standard.
Features are additional characteristics that enhance the appeal of the product or service to the user.
Similar thinking can be applied to features, a second dimensions of quality that is often a secondary aspects of performance. Features are the "bells and whistles" of products and services, those characteristics that supplement their basic functioning. Examples include free drinks on a plane, permanent-press cycles on a washing machine, and automatic tuners on a color television set. The line separating primary performance characteristics from secondary features is often difficult to draw.
Reliability is the likelihood that a product will not fail within a specific time period. This is a key element for users who need the product to work without fail.
This dimension reflects the probability of a product malfunctioning or failing within a specified time period. Among the most common measures of reliability are the mean time to first failure, the mean time between failures, and the failure rate per unit time. Because these measures require a product to be in use for a specified period, they are more relevant to durable goods than to products and services that are consumed instantly.
Reliability may be closely related to performance. For instance, a product specification may define parameters for up-time, or acceptable failure rates. Reliability is a major contributor to brand or company image, and is considered a fundamental dimension of quality by most end-users. I.E., recent market research shows that, especially for women, reliability has become an automobile's most desired attribute.
The outcome of two example processes to show the meaning of the two approaches to conformance
The dimension of conformance depicts to what extent a product’s design and operating characteristics meet established standards. This dimension owes the most to the traditional approaches to quality pioneered by experts like Juran.
All products and services involve specifications of some sort. When products are developed, these specifications are set and a target is set, for instance the materials used or the dimension of the product. Not only the target but also the tolerance (the range of permitted deviation from the target) is defined. One problem with this approach is that there is little interest in whether the specifications have been met exactly as long as the tolerance limits are met.
On the one hand, this can lead to the so-called “tolerance stack-up”. When two or more parts are to be fit together, the size of their tolerances often determine how well they will match. Should one part fall at a lower limit of its specification and a matching part at its upper limit, a tight fit is unlikely. The link is likely to wear more quickly than one made from parts whose dimensions have been centered more exactly.
In service businesses, measures of conformance normally focus on accuracy and timeliness and include counts of processing errors, unanticipated delays and other frequent mistakes.
Durability measures the length of a product’s life. When the product can be repaired, estimating durability is more complicated. The item will be used until it is no longer economical to operate it. This happens when the repair rate and the associated costs increase significantly. Technically, durability can be defined as the amount of use one gets from a product before it deteriorates. After so many hours of use, the filament of a light bulb burns up and the bulb must be replaced. Repair is impossible. Economists call such products "one-hoss shays" (Oliver Wendel Holmes poem).
In other cases, consumers must weigh the expected cost, in both dollars and personal inconvenience, of future repairs against the investment and operating expenses of a newer, more reliable model. Durability, then, may be defined as the amount of use one gets from a product before it breaks down and replacement is preferable to continued repair.
This approach to durability has two important implications. First, it suggests that durability and reliability are closely linked. A product that often fails is likely to be scrapped earlier than one that is more reliable; repair costs will be correspondingly higher and the purchase of a competitive brand will look that much more desirable. Second, this approach implies that durability figures should be interpreted with care. An increase in product life may not be the result of technical improvements or the use of longer-lived materials. Rather, the underlying economic environment simply may have changed.
Serviceability involves the consumer's ease of obtaining repair service (example: access to service centers and/or ease of self-service), the responsiveness of service personnel(example: ease of getting an appointment, willingness of repair personnel to listen to the customer), and the reliability of service (example: whether the service is performed right the first time). Competence and ease of repair is the speed with which the product can be put into service when it breaks down, as well as the competence and the behavior of the service personnel.
Consumers are concerned not only about a product breaking down but also about the time before service is restored, the timeliness with which service appointment are kept, the nature of dealings with service personnel, and the frequency with which service calls or repairs fail to correct outstanding problems. In those cases where problems are not immediately resolved and complaints are filed, a company's complainthandling procedures are also likely to affect customer's ultimate evaluation of product and service quality.
Important attributes for serviceability dimension are: service warranty, parts warranty, parts availability, number of reasonable distance to dealer service centers, distance to service parts center-dealer, distance to service parts center individual, length of wait for service appointment, schedule of preventive maintenance, employees listen to customers, information regarding repairs, courteous service centers, sepaired correctly first time, service time relative to other dealers, warranty claims handled without argument, average repair cost/year, extended warranty, underestimation of service cost and provision of loan car.
The aesthetic properties of a product contribute to a company's or brand's identity. Faults or defects in a product that diminish its aesthetic properties, even those that do not reduce or alter other dimensions of quality, are often cause for rejection. Aeshetics refers to how the product looks,feels,sounds,tastes or smells.It is clearly a matter of personal judgement and a reflection of individual preference.Nevertheless,there appear to be some patterns in consumers' rankings of products on the basis of taste. A recent study of quality in 33 food categories,for example,found that high quality was most often associated with "rich and full flavour,tastes natural,tastes fresh,good aroma,and looks apetizing". The aesthetics dimension differs from subjective criteria pertaining to "performance" in that aeshetic choices are not nearly universal.Not all people prefer "rich and full" flavor or even agree on what that means.Companies therefore have to search for a niche.On this dimension of quality,it is impossible to please everyone.
Perception is reality. The product or service may possess adequate or even superior dimensions of quality, but still fall victim to negative customer or public perceptions. Consumers do not always have complete information about a product's or service's attributes; indirect measures may be their only basis for comparing brands. A product's durability for example,can seldom be observed directly; it usually must be inferred from various tangible and intangible aspects of the product.In such circumstances,images,advertising and brand names-inferences about quality rather than the reality itself-can be critical.For this reason,both Honda-which makes cars in Marysville,Ohio-and Sony-which builds color televisions in San Diego-have been reluctant to publicize that their products are "made in America". Reputation is the primary stuff of perceived quality.Its power comes from an unstated analogy:that the quality of products today is similar to the quality of products of yesterday,or the quality of goods in a new product line is similar to the quality of a company's established products.