Software Quality

Software Quality

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3185-2.ch001
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Abstract

The basic aim of software quality (fault) is to identify error prone tasks as the cost can be minimized with advance knowledge about the errors and this early treatment of error will enhance the software quality. Today quality is critical for survival and success. Customers demand it. Software is now a global business and organizations will not succeed in this global market unless they produce quality products/services and unless the organizations are also perceived by customers to produce quality products and services. I need measures of the characteristics and quality parameters of the development process and its stages, as well as metrics and models to ensure that the development process is under control and moving toward the product's quality objectives.
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Introduction

Since quality is the first step for improvement in anything, to achieve an improved state of affairs, quality must be precisely defined and appropriately measured. But very often in quality engineering and management, the term quality is misunderstood on account of its ambiguous characteristics. The ambiguity aspect of quality owes its origin from the following (Kan, 2012);

  • Quality being multi-dimensional with dimensions of entity of interest, the viewpoint on that entity and the quality attributes of that entity gets interpreted differently depending upon the situation and interpreter.

  • On the basis of conceptualizing quality, it may be referred either in its broadest sense or in its precise connotation.

  • Being an element of our everyday language, quality may be interpreted differently depending upon the uses – popular or professional.

However, as the focus of this book will be around the quality of software which is a sort of the professional use of the concept quality as against the popular use of the same, the third point mentioned above duly makes it very clear how quality in popular view is quite different from quality in professional view and hence it draws our attention to take care.

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Quality in popular connotation highlights the ordinal dimension of the concept discarding the cardinal one, as per which;

  • Quality is an elusive attribute that can be felt, talked about and compared but cannot be quantified or measured.

  • Quality means opulence, class and taste, i.e., expensive, elaborate and more complex.

In the former sense, if I use two different brands of a product or service, I can feel which one is better, but I won’t be possible to express by how much one is better or worse than the other. In fact, under this viewpoint, psychological inclination will be there towards one brand among a group of brands depending upon the liking of the user towards that particular brand. Thus, this assessment will be subjective as it varies from person to person. Accordingly, generalizing whether a brand is qualitative or not is exceedingly tough and rewarding the brand as per the quality is rather tougher. In the latter sense, quality is limited to an undersized group of elegant products or services with sophisticated functionality and items that have a touch of class.

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Quality In Professional Connotation

Quality in popular connotation, as I experience, invites delusion and imprecision. Still quality has been and is being treated as the focal point for any firm to have an edge over other competitors. However, the fallacies of the popular connotation of quality no way help the quality up-gradation efforts in the industries. In fact, to develop strategic quality improvement efforts for the betterment of the organizations, quality must be defined in a very professional way. To that extent, the definitions given by Crosby (1979), and Juran and Gryna (1970) seem to be appropriate and hence being used by many quality professionals. While Crosby defines quality as ‘conformance to requirements’ Juran and Gryna defines it as ‘fitness for use.’

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