12ICSQ

12th International Conference on Software Quality

Software Division of
The American Society for Quality

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Tutorial Descriptions
Tuesday Presentations
Wednesday Presentations
Tim Lister
John Musa
Alain Abran
Scott Ambler
Kevin Daily
Alec Dorling
Liz Keim
Tom McCabe
Linda Westfall

 

Technical Presentations - Tuesday, October 29, 2002:

The dynamic nature of knowledge and software evolution and usage present a pervasive challenge to system developers. Discrete attempts to create such systems often lead to a mismatch between system, expectation and a changing reality. The rationale for a Dynamic Feedback Model stems from the need to focus on a continuous and long-term perspective of development and growth in change-intensive environments. This paper makes the case for a learning and knowledge-driven view of software development and presents such a model in a way that accounts for the long-term survival, growth and evolution of software-intensive systems thereby enabling quality to be viewed as a dynamic property.

Darren Dalcher leads the Software Fornesics Centre, a specialized unit focusing on systems failures, software pathology and project failures, at Middlesex University. He gained his PhD in software engineering from King’s College, University of London. He is a member of the ACM, the British Computer Society, the PMI, the Association for Project Management and the IEEE Computer Society, where he is a member of the Engineering of Computer Based Systems Technical Committee and chair of the Forensic ECBS Special Interest Group.

  • Mary Lucy S'antana and Ana Cervigni Guerra presenting Quality of Software Process or Quality of Software Product?

The field of Information Technology research grows substantially around the world. In this context, Software plays a fundamental role and its commercialization goes beyond the territorial limits of the countries that develop them. In view of its increasing complexity and wide-ranging action, besides the financial importance for its original country, the quality of software is a concern that has mobilized in such a way both governmental efforts as well as private concerns. The norms and models used by the software organizations always  aim at the quality of software process or software product. The objective of this work is to present an integration proposal of these two approaches: the CMM® process model and the NBR 13596, a Brazilian equivalent of ISO/IEC 9126 that are concerned about quality characteristics of software product.  Activities, goals and work products, of the CMM® process areas, were analyzed searching for cases where the definitions,  guide lines and quality characteristics of software product, are embodied in ISO/IEC 9126. The contributions of this work involve the increasing efforts that are being carried out in the software quality, so as to motivate the use of Software Engineering providing an integrated vision of process and product quality, besides demonstrating a practical integration possibility. The integration proposed is the simultaneous use of ISO/IEC 9126 and the CMM® process model. The application could be in enterprise which wanted improve process and product at the same time.

Mary Lucy Sant'Ana has a Master Degree on Total Quality Manager by Mechanical Engineering Faculty of UNICAMP. She has been working for 22 years in Quality Area and, during last 5 years, involving with Software Quality Process and Product at CenPRA - Centro de Pesquisas Renato Archer.Actually, she lives in Canada.

Ana Cervigni Guerra is Doctor in Mechanical Engineering by UNICAMP. Working at CenPRA-Centro de Pesquisas Renato Archer, she has been involved in Quality Area subjects for 10 years. Actually, she works with Software Quality on Software Product Evaluation Department. At UNICAMP, Ana Guerra has been advising master graduating students on Total Quality Manager at Mechanical Engineering Faculty.

  • Session C: Project Management 

    • Kala Ranganathan presenting Turbo-Charging the Formal Peer Review Process 

Formal peer reviews are powerful tools for assessing and improving the quality of software.  There is no dearth of statistics on the effectiveness of this process in finding and reducing errors throughout the system development life cycle.   Studies have shown that a comprehensive system of reviews can lead to a ten times reduction in the number of errors reaching each stage of testing, resulting in a 50% to 80% reduction in testing costs.1   In addition, Level 3 of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) requires the peer review process to be an integral component of the software development framework.2

The formal software peer review process, with its minor variations, has been well documented in books and articles.  There are even standards that have been developed by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.3  To summarize, it is a structured and disciplined process for bringing together a small group of subject matter experts for a limited amount of time, to identify defects in a discrete body of work.  Each participant is assigned a specific role such as moderator, author, presenter, recorder or reviewer.   Managers are not allowed to attend the session as they will have an inhibiting effect on the team.   Defect resolution, although critical, is done at a later date and is not permitted during the session.  This powerful combination of group synergy and laser-like focus tends to flush out serious problems quickly and effectively.  

Given its stellar credentials, why is this type of review not widely used on projects?  As a process consultant running these reviews in many corporate environments, I saw first-hand why the process is difficult and painful.   Let’s fact it - reviews are as much fun as a visit to a dentist.   Very few people enjoy exposing their work to the harsh glare of perceived criticism.   In addition, the final product is a list of defects, which can be disheartening to a development team. 

Out of sheer frustration, I began factoring in human psychology into these reviews, to counteract their negative impact, while leaving intact its structural integrity.  The final turbo-charged process was rolled out at different sites, and was used to review telecommunications, pharmaceutical, document imaging and third party vendor software projects.  The process proved successful regardless of what was being reviewed -  whether it was a marketing proposal, a requirements document, design specifications or code - based on feedback collected at the end of each review through a detailed questionnaire.  Not only did the participants seem to enjoy the sessions, but more importantly,  they perceived the process as adding  real value to the project. 

Kala Ranganathan is an Independent Management Consultant.  Her previous positions included Senior Management Consultant - Process and Quality Assurance, Systems Engineer, SQA Group Manager, SQA Project Manager, Team Leader, Senior Systems Analyst, Systems Analyst, Programmer Analyst, Programmer.  Kala was the co-recipient of the "Best Technical Paper/Presentation"  at ASQ’s 11 International Conference on Software Quality in Pittsburgh in October 2001.

  • Robert S. McKeeman presenting Early Warning Signs of IT Project Failure

Billions of dollars are wasted every year on IT projects that are canceled before completion.  At the same time, careers and personal lives are damaged by failed IT projects.  Experience and many published studies show that most IT projects do not deliver promised functionality, on time, on budget, with acceptable performance and reliability.  Failure is so common that it is not unexpected.  This presentation describes 13 early warning signs of IT project failure drawn from the author’s 20+ years of IT project management experience in a variety of industries for software projects with cost ranging from $50,000 to $125,000,000, and work with the University of North Texas Information Systems Research Center.  This presentation also describes escalation theory, and why organizations continue to fund and even increase funding for “runaway” IT projects.  Once a project begins, there is strong institutional and personal bias to continue the project even if the project is clearly on a path to failure.  This presentation discusses the issue of escalation bias, and how early identification of IT projects that are likely to fail can help overcome escalation bias.

Robert McKeeman is a Research Fellow with the Information Systems Research Center at the University of North Texas.  He is Certified Software Quality Engineer #1016 with the American Society for Quality and Project Management Professional #2130 with the Project Management Institute.  He graduated from Georgia Tech with High Honors and obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School.  He has 20+ years of IT project management experience as Vice President of Information Systems for Equitable AgriBusiness, Andersen Consulting, and as President of Change Management Consulting.  Clients include Atlanta Gas Light, Bank of America, Citizens Telecom, Consumers Energy, Contel Telephone, Federal Home Loan Bank, Georgia Department of Education, Southern Company, West Teleservices, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Robert is a dual US and Irish citizen, and is based in Orlando, Florida.

  • Session D: Networking 

    • Carol Dekkers & Patricia McQuaid presenting Demystifying Networking -- Communication Skills for Project Success (An Interactive Session)

      The key to software quality lies in getting the right requirements and getting the requirements right, and it all boils down to effective communication with users and your project team.  While testing, programming, configuration management and other technical topics are commonly taught through workshops, it seems to be “assumed” that effective team management and communication skills will be gained by climbing the project management or QA Manager ladder.  NOT SO! .... In this interactive session, participants will learn how to feel comfortable (and make others feel comfortable) in a room full of strangers, how to make great project and team connections (and keep them), and tips to make your team sizzle.  Get ready for a non-technical session (taught by two experienced "networkers") where you'll make immediate connections with your fellow ICSQ attendees, and learn new techniques (by doing them!) that will inject new life (and fun) into your project team.  

      Whether you are the social coordinator or a shy wallflower in your office, you are sure to pick up new ideas, and have fun gaining confidence with new communication skills.  The number of participants in this interactive session is limited, so be sure to sign up soon.

      Carol A. Dekkers is the President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc. and specializes in software quality, fact based management (using measurement), process improvement and IFPUG Certified Function Point training.  She is known internationally as a presenter and authority on quality and measurement, and she holds designations as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS), a P.Eng. (Canada) and an Information Systems Professional (ISP).  Ms. Dekkers is an ISO project editor (software engineering standards), and is active in organization leadership in PMI, ASQ, IFPUG, and other industry organizations. In 2000, ASQ’s Quality Progress Journal named Carol as one of their 21 New Voices of Quality for the 21st Century.  Carol is one of the authors of the forthcoming ASQ Software Quality Engineering Handbook (ASQ Quality Press).

      Dr. Patricia McQuaid is an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at California Polytechnic State University. She has taught in both the Colleges of Business and Engineering. Her research interests include software quality management, project management, software process improvement, software testing, and complexity metrics.  She served as the program chair for the Americas for the Second World Congress for Software Quality, held in Japan, 2000 and will do so again for the Third World Congress to be held in France in 2005. She has a doctorate in Computer Science and Engineering, an MBA, and an undergraduate degree in accounting. She is a member of IEEE, and a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ).  Patricia is one of the authors of the forthcoming ASQ Software Quality Engineering Handbook (ASQ Quality Press).  She was also a contributing author to the recently published Fundamental Concepts for the Software Quality Engineer (ASQ Quality Press).

    Session E: Advanced Topics

    • Xu Zhiwei presenting A Rule-Based Fuzzy Classification for Software Quality Models 

Software quality models can predict early in the development process those components of the software system that are likely to have faults or need high development effort. This paper introduces a rule-based fuzzy classification (RBFC) technique as a method for identifying fault-prone software modules in the early stage of software development life cycle. The objective of the this technique is to minimize the cost of misclassification. This model is based on software metrics and a new kind of rule generation technique applied to extract fuzzy rules from numerical data. It also provides a convenient way to modify rules according to the costs of different misclassification errors.

One case study of full-scale industrial software system compared RBFC models with nonparametric discriminant analysis model. We found that RBFC models give management more flexible reliability enhancement strategies than nonparametric discriminant analysis models, and in these case studies, RBFC yielded more accurate results than corresponding nonparametric discriminant analysis.

Zhiwei Xu received the B. S. degree in electrical engineering from Wuhan University of Technology, China in 1994, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Guangxi University, China, in 1997, and Ph. D. degree in computer engineering from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, in 2001. He is currently a Lead Engineer in Software and Systems Engineering Research Lab, Motorola Labs, Motorola Inc, Schaumburg, IL. His research interests include software quality modeling, software measurement, software reliability, neural network applications, fuzzy logic applications, and machine learning. Dr. Xu is a member of the IEEE Computer Society

Taghi M. Khoshgoftaar received the M.S. degree in applied mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, the M.S. degree in computer science from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and the Ph.D. degree in statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. He is a professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL USA. He is also the Director of the Empirical Software Engineering Laboratory at Florida Atlantic University. His research interests are in software reliability and quality engineering, software complexity metrics and measurements, software engineering, computational intelligence, computer performance evaluation, multimedia systems, and statistical modeling. He has published more than 150 refereed papers in these areas.

  • Evelyn Richardson presenting Software Quality in Web Application Transactions

Microsoft’s ASP.netTM  (Active Server Pages) expansions in creating web-enabled transaction processing allow Developers to create standard objects for class libraries to connect to a back-end SQL database.  The SQLConnection classes, once set, act as ‘read only’ connectors to pass query driven datasets from the SQLServer to created XML (Extensible Markup Language) pages on the web.  ODBC (Object Database Connectivity) connectors act as traffic regulators to ensure that XML pages receive and send data to target elements.  Once established, the data elements and ODBC connectors receive testing from the Developer, primarily verification and validation of the data streams and their appearance on the web pages.  The creation of test scripts from a website, XML/ASP code and a database require quality techniques to communicate to development and test teams.  A transaction web page, XML and ASP sample code and a small database and customer satisfaction necessitate test and evaluation techniques.  Transaction procedures for design considerations, data constraints, and transmission controls require examination using OO/UML (Object Oriented/Unified Modeling Language) tools.

Evelyn V. Richardson has experience in requirements engineering, information systems, database programming and system maintenance. She is QAI certified in Software Test and Evaluation Engineering and ASQ certified in Software Quality Engineering. She holds a Masters Degree in Computer Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of South Australia. Ms. Richardson is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI).

  • Exhibitor Track 

    • The Westfall Team presenting 12 Steps to Useful Software Metrics 

This presentation defines a practical process for establishing and tailoring a software metrics program that focuses on goals and information needs. The process provides a practical, systematic, start-to-finish method of selecting, designing and implementing software metrics. It outlines a cookbook method that the attendee can use to simplify the journey from software metrics in concept to delivered information. There are multitudes of possible software metrics.  The first four steps defined in this presentation will teach the attendee how to identify their metric customers and then utilize the goal/question/metric paradigm to select the software metrics that match the information needs of those customers.  Steps 5-10 walk the attendee through the design and tailoring of their selected metrics including definitions, models, counting criteria, benchmarks and objectives, reporting mechanisms and additional qualifiers.  The last two steps help the attendee solve implementation issues including collecting data and minimizing the impact of human factors on their metrics.

The Westfall Team provides Software Quality Engineering consulting services and training.  We partner with your software specialists to define and improve your software quality and engineering systems, processes and metrics.  We also offer a broad range of training courses to help improve the knowledge and skill levels of your software professionals.  

  • Exhibitor Speaker Opportunity - Slot 2

Alec Dorling is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Software Quality Management, Process Assessment and Improvement. He has held key posts at international research institutes that include the Centre for Software Engineering in Sweden, the European Software Institute in Spain and the National Computing Centre in the UK. He is a chartered engineer with over 30 years experience in the IT industry gained both in real-time and commercial systems environments. He has been involved with most of the key UK government's initiatives in software engineering and software quality.

Perry R. DeWeese is a member of the Senior Staff at the Lockheed Martin Engineering Process Improvement Center.  He is responsible for the planning and coordinating the strategic direction on deployment and implementation of integrated engineering processes, methodologies, environments, assessment methods, reuse and quality management at Lockheed Martin Companies.  He provides consulting services within the Lockheed Martin Corporation on the integration of engineering processes, establishing a common engineering process environment, and achieving corporate goals related to CMMI and continuous process improvement.  Mr. DeWeese is the current Project Editor of ISO/IEC 12207, Software Life Cycle Processes and he is the Lockheed Martin Primary Representative of the U.S. TAG to ISO/IEC JTC1.

  • Session H: Project Management

    • Kent Lacy presenting Organizational Project Management Maturity:  An Assessment and Improvement Model

Currently, most organizations have implemented some level of project management capability. Over the past decade, project management has proven itself as a value-added discipline. Now organizations are preparing to take it to the next level. Often, this begins with the utilization of a Project Management maturity model. Project Management maturity models measure capabilities and progress toward reaching desired levels of Project Management expertise. This model is based on years of experience, lessons learned, industry best practices, and the work conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Additionally, this unique model incorporates selected key process areas from the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model and the Baldrige National Quality Program (2002). The model utilizes five levels of Project Management Maturity, similar to the steps in the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). This model also utilizes general capability categories. Each category represents an assessment point used in determining fit within the maturity levels. This step-by-step process begins with an assessment methodology, followed by capability maturity mapping, capability gap analysis, and finally recommendations and improvement planning.

Kent Lacy is a Certified Quality Manager, Certified Software Quality Engineer, and Project Management Professional (PMP) with 18 years experience in the Software Industry. Currently, he works for DBI Consulting where he serves as the Practice Lead for the Project Services practice. He has a degree in Information Systems Management, an MBA, and is currently working on a Doctorate in Organization Development at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. Kent is an experienced public speaker, who presented at the 10th International Conference on Software Quality, in additional to several Sterling Software and Project Management Institute Conferences.

  • Mike Ze'evi presenting Using Earned Value to Track Software Projects

This paper describes an alternate approach to tracking the status of software development projects. The use of earned value in the tracking of the software project allows for a more comprehensive understanding of what the project’s status is. Accordingly, the status is also known at all stages of the development process, and not just discovered a few days before delivery. The project can only be controlled if management knows the actual status and can make intelligent decisions based on this status.

Successful software development projects must reflect good planning (effort estimation and scheduling) and close tracking of the functional progress. We have seen that software project managers plan what they think they need and not what can be tracked.  If the planning does not reflect the tracking, then the software project managers have a problem (and, accordingly, so do the customer, corporate management, etc). 

Very few software development projects meet the success criteria – finishing on time, within the budget, with the functionality required and with the quality required (Standish, 1995). The question that should be asked is – why is this so? The functionality and quality are set by the customer (of course it is negotiated by the developer, but the customer has his demands which, as far as he is concerned, are mandatory). What are left to chance are the schedule and the budget.

We feel that the two major factors that should be dealt in the software development project are estimating the development effort and tracking the progress of the project. The schedule plan is an outcome of the estimated budget (effort divided by persons over time) and, accordingly, it is a secondary factor.

Assuming that the software team knows how to estimate the software costs, the major problem is tracking the status. As stated above, this paper presents an alternate approach to tracking the status of the software project. This approach relates to the type of work done in the software project and does not follow standard project management techniques blindly.

Mike, with 25 years experience, is a leading consultant in Israel in the combined field of software project management and software quality assurance.  He has led a number of software development groups in the military industry and has proven that non-conventional project management techniques work. He is very involved in software V&V for medical devices as well as military and telecommunications equipment.  He is a member of the ASQ, IEEE/CS, PMI and ACM.

  • Session I: Metrics & Measurement

    • David L. Brown presenting Standardized Defect Statuses

Many companies struggle with defect statuses, the stages that a defect goes through on its path to final resolution.  Ambiguous and overlapping categories cause arguments, inefficiency, inaccuracy, and failures to handle defects properly.  Based on measurement principles and best practices observed while consulting, the author has derived a solution to this problem.  This paper provides a complete set of easy to understand, non-overlapping statuses and a full explanation of the reasoning behind them.  It covers the valid reasons for withdrawing a defect and provides a state transition diagram of normal status changes.  Don’t keep reinventing this wheel.  Adopt these standardized defect statuses and spend your time more productively fixing defects and finding more of them.

David Lile Brown, Ph.D., CSQA, CSQE is an independent consultant who teaches courses and seminars on software quality assurance and consults with management on implementing quality assurance.  Dave has worked on both the business and information technology sides of major corporations, leading business process improvement teams, developing corporate quality assurance methodologies, and creating and teaching numerous courses on quality.  Dave holds a B.S. from Tufts University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.  He is a member of ASQ and its Software Division, the Quality Assurance Association of Connecticut, and the Quality Assurance Institute.

  • Khaled El Emam & Dave Zubrow presenting Getting More out of Your Inspection Data: Using Capture-Recapture Models for the Reinspection Decision

This presentation shares the results of using capture-recapture models on the mature inspection processes at the Space Shuttle software project.  The ability of capture-recapture models to predict remaining defects in software modules after they have undergone an inspection was examined.

This analytical technique was used to predict remaining defects and assist practitioners in determining whether a code module should undergo re-inspection. The results potentially allow decisions about reinspections and corrective actions to be considered earlier in the lifecycle.  The presenters will discuss the approach for analyzing the data, applicable models/methods, how the techniques were applied, key observations, lessons learned and the value for applying these analytical methods.

Dave Zubrow is Team Leader for the Software Engineering Measurement and Analysis (SEMA) group within the Software Engineering Institute.  His areas of expertise include empirical research methods, data analysis, and data management.  He is authorized by the SEI as an instructor for Implementing Goal-Driven Software Measurement, Introduction to the CMM, and CBA IPI Lead Assessor Training courses.  Dave serves on the Technical Steering Group for the DoD Practical Software Measurement Project and the Executive Steering Committee for the Data Analysis Center for Software.  He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Software Quality Professional. Dave also participates on the Software Division Council of the American Society for Quality and is an ASQ Certified Software Quality engineer and a senior member of the Society.  Dave earned his PhD and MS from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Session J: Advanced Topics

    • Claire Horgan presenting Measuring Software Size for Continuous Improvement

There has been much research carried out to investigate how to control software development projects. This has been due to a history of poorly controlled projects that have been late, over budget and of poor quality. Software has now become a critical component to all business in the major economies of the world. Efficient and effective management of software projects is of tremendous economic importance. Project managers from all disciplines agree that in order to control a project one has to be able to measure it. Just because software is an intangible product doesn’t mean it should be treated any different. It may be harder to measure but not impossible. The one issue that keeps reappearing in relation to software projects is that in order to be able to control it, it is necessary to be able to measure the size of the project.

This paper looks at how the size of a software product can be measured. It discusses current sizing methods, Lines of Code and Function Point Analysis. It highlights the problems which makes these methods insufficient in today’s software development environment.

The new COSMIC-FFP method is discussed. An overview of the method is given which discusses the components of the model , the mapping phase and the measurement phase of the process. The discussion highlights how this method works in today’s complex software development environment to measure the size of any software product.

This paper investigates the use of the COSMIC-FFP method with past, current and future software design methods. If COSMIC-FFP is to be of real use then it must work with all of these methods to allow an organisation’s process to mature. The main traditional software design method used is Data Flow Diagrams. The current design method used in industry is the Unified Modeling Language. Future design methods look like they will take an Agile Method approach. Each of these methods is investigated to see if it will map to the COSMIC-FFP model.

The findings of this paper are that there is a clear and logical mapping between these methods and the COSMIC-FFP model. This is of major importance to the software community as it allows for greater control of projects. It means that software projects can be better estimated and managed. The value of benchmarking is greatly increased if the projects are all measured or normalised using the same size measure.

This paper shows why  COSMIC-FFP is a powerful tool and will become the sizing method of the future for software products. It appears to works in all given development scenarios. There are still some restrictions on using it as there is currently no published “backfire” information that allows conversion of LOC and FPA figures to COSMIC-FFP.  However I believe that this situation will be resolved shortly and COSMIC-FFP will become the accepted measurement standard for software products in the near future.

Claire Horgan is a Lecturer in Computing at ITT.  Previously she was a Project Manager at Motorola Inc. in Cork Ireland.  Claire has also worked as a Software Engineer for Motorola and Kindle. 

  • Alain Abran presenting An Integrated Graphical Assessment for Managing Software Product Quality

Assessing software product quality has become more and more relevant and important to managers, even though it is still challenging to define and measure the detailed quality criteria and to integrate them into quality models. Software engineering standards can help establish a common language for these detailed criteria and, in parallel, implement a model of quality from its high-level concepts down to its lowest level of measurable details; in particular, the revised ISO/IEC 9126 suite of standards represents a useful taxonomy and framework for specifying software product quality. Several frameworks and techniques are being built on the basis of these standards. In particular, the GDQA (Graphical Dynamic Quality Assessment) framework and the QF2D (Quality Factor through QFD) technique have been proposed to tackle software product quality analysis and measurement. This paper examines the structure of both and integrates them into an Integrated Graphical Assessment of Quality (IGQ) technique supporting quality assessments and related improvements through the full software lifecycle.

Software Quality Assurance – what is it, and how do we do it at CMMÒ Level 3 (SEI, 1994) in United Defense’s (Armament Systems Division (ASD)? Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a planned and systematic approach to the evaluation of the quality of the software products and adherence to software product standards, processes, and procedures.  SQA includes the process of assuring that standards and procedures are established and followed throughout the software acquisition/development life cycle.

This paper first introduces the reader to ASD, then discusses the differences observed in the Armament Systems Division  of United Defense as both an SEI CMM Level 2 and Level 3 organization, the evolving role of Software Quality Assurance during the maturation of ASD, and the methods ASD is using to implement consistent Software Quality Assurance oversight across the software projects in the division.

Each ASD Program with software projects has their own SQA Group; each group varies in size relative to the size of the program they support.  Each group is organizationally independent of the program’s Software Development Manager, and each group is managed independently from the others.  Yet, they operate in a consistent, coordinated manner.  The majority of this paper describes the organizational elements, methods, and tools ASD has used to develop its Level 3 implementation of SQA.

Donald Starr is currently a member of the Organization’s Software Engineering Process Group and is process owner for the SQA process area for the Armament Systems Division of United Defense, Limited Partnership (UDLP).  He functions as the Architect for the Organization’s Defined Process (ODP) for Software Development.  His current duties also include mentoring project teams in use of the ODP, conducting ODP training classes, and serves as SEPG liaison to the Software Quality Review Board.  Donald has a Certificate in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, a BS in Computer Science.

  • Session M: Project Management

    • Steven R. Rakitin presenting Creating Accurate Estimates and Realistic Schedules Using the Yellow Sticky Method

The ability of an organization to accurately estimate tasks, build realistic schedules, and then meet those schedules is critical. Yet few organizations have demonstrated the ability to do this consistently. As a result, many software development and QA groups have little or no credibility when it comes to estimating and scheduling. There are many reasons why organizations are deficient in this area. Some of the most common reasons include lack of training, inability to manage commitments made to customers, poorly written or non-existent requirements, and lack of management support. Some organizations believe project management tools can improve their estimating and scheduling abilities. Unfortunately, tools can't solve this problem. Identifying and implementing best practices can. This paper introduces an estimating and scheduling technique called the Yellow Sticky Method that has proven to be a very accurate method for estimating and scheduling the work required to develop and test software products. This paper was published in the ASQ Software Quality Journal Vol. 4, Issue 2, March 2002.

Steven R. Rakitin has over 25 years experience as a software engineer and software quality manager. He has written several papers on software quality and a book titled: Software Verification & Validation for Practitioners and Managers. BSEE from Northeastern University and MSCS from RPI. Certifications from ASQ include CSQE and CQA. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the ASQ Software Division, and is on the Editorial Review Board for the ASQ Journal Software Quality Professional. As President of Software Quality Consulting Inc., he helps companies establish a more predictable software development process.

  • Session N: Certification

    • Eric Patel and Darin Kalashian presenting Certification a Win-Win Investment for Employees and Employers

Have you every considered enhancing your career through professional development activities?  Most of us say that we’re too busy to do our day job let alone anything in addition to it, but what if by doing some “extra” things you could make your job easier, faster, and increase your job satisfaction (and maybe your paycheck)?  Certification is one value-added activity.  It’s commonly defined as formal recognition by an institution that an individual has demonstrated proficiency within and comprehension of a specified body of knowledge at a point in time.  Certification is a tool and when utilized to its full potential, can define career paths, contribute to a company’s bottom line, and drive product quality and customer satisfaction upwards.

Eric Patel is Chief Quality Officer at RapidSQA, a first-of-breed Quality Service Provider (QSP) specializing in software training and consulting.  He is co-founder of the Nokia Quality Forum (NQF) Boston and the QAI Boston Federation Chapter.  Eric is a frequent speaker at testing conferences and holds three certifications.  As Deputy Regional Councilor for the ASQ Software Division Region 1, Eric maintains active memberships in ASQ as well as IEEE, IIST, and NESQAF. Published in Software Quality Professional (SQP) and STQE, he also serves as a reviewer for SQP and The Journal of Software Testing Professionals.

Darin Kalashian is an ASQ Certified Software Quality Engineer and Certified Quality Manager who enjoys teaching and mentoring other software professionals to be proactive in their implementation of tools and techniques that focus on problem prevention as a means for driving product quality. Darin is currently working through Northeastern University’s High Tech MBA program.

  • Session O: Standards

    • Scott P. Duncan presenting Making Sense of ISO 15504 (and SPICE)

ISO 15504 was initiated in 1993 as the SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) Project, then formally moved into ISO/IEC as JTC1/SC7’s Working Group 10.  The first draft appeared around June of 1995 and the second, around October of 1996.  Several ballot and comment periods followed and ISO 15504 was issued as a Technical Report (TR) in 1998.  Immediately thereafter, work was begun to plan the implementation of changes deemed needed to move the TR to full International Standard (IS) status.  This work continues today and, during this time, activities under the name “SPICE” have continued as well such as a series of trials, which have used various versions of ISO 15504, including the TR.  Though SPICE activities are not under ISO/IEC auspices, many of the people involved in the ISO 15504 standards effort are also associated with SPICE activities.

This presentation describes the work which has been going on to move ISO 15504 from a TR to full IS status including reducing the document set from 9 to 5 documents and removing the Process Dimension from the standard in favor of Process Reference Models. 

Scott Duncan has over 28 years of experience in internal and external software product development with commercial and government organizations, including over 14 years in the Telecom Industry.  The last 6 years, as an internal/external consultant, he has helped organizations achieve various quality/process registration and capability assessment goals.  Scott is Standards Chair for the ASQ’s Software Division and is a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7 software engineering standards as well as the IEEE CS Software Engineering Standards Committee’s Executive Committee. Since 1985, Scott has provided corporate training sessions on auditing/assessment standards, conducted public seminars in managing software development through metrics, and been a speaker at national and international conferences and user groups.

  • Exhibitor Track - TBD

  • Exhibitor Speaker Opportunity - Slot 5