Software Quality in the Development Process

SQUID - 8436

Keywords software quality

Start Date: 01-FEB-94 / Duration: 24 months

[ contact / participants ]

Objectives and Approach

The goal of the SQUID project is to provide models, methods and tools to assist quantification and auditing of process and product quality. The benefit of SQUID to software organisations will be to ease ISO certification of the organisation. For the world at large, the main benefits will be in the improved general quality levels of software systems.

At the moment the software industry has a reputation for producing expensive, poor-quality products. ISO standards exist to assess the quality of the software development process (ISO 9001) and its products (ISO 9126). In addition. initiatives such as the Software Engineering Institute's capability maturity model (CMM) provide a baseline against which software suppliers can assess the process capability of their organisations. Software suppliers expect conformance to standards, both to establish their business credentials and to improve the cost effectiveness of their software development process. Software users expect conformance to standards to ensure that they can obtain affordable high-quality software. There is thus considerable market interest in tools that can assist software producers to obtain and maintain certification to ISO 9001 and conformance with ISO 9126 and to achieve high CMM levels.

ISO 9001, CMM and ISO 9126 all emphasise that product and process quality must be auditable and preferably measurable. For a specific project, the SQUID toolset will assist a software project manager to apply the SQUID models and methods to predict end product qualities from product and process characteristics observed during development. This will ensure early identification of potential quality problems. The tools will allow a project manager to investigate different solutions to identified problems as and when they arise. For a development organisation as a whole, the methods and tools will provide the information needed to show conformance with ISO 9001 and 9126, identify process inefficiencies and monitor the effects of changes to the process, and increase the organisation's CMM level by the use of objectively founded process improvement.

The project's technical strategy is to make use of measurement, analysis and estimation methods developed by the partners in earlier ESPRIT, EUREKA and national projects, most notably REQUEST, MERMAID, TASQUE, ENDELON and DESMET. Significant portions of the development and implementation effort of the various algorithms used in these toolsets will be reused in SQUID.

SQUID will liaise directly with the ISO committee currently developing the ISO 9126 guidelines (one of its prime project members being a member of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7/WG6), not only to ensure that the SQUID approach will support the requirement of all relevant existing and emerging standards, but also to give feedback from the SQUID experiences into the relevant ISO committees.

In order to prepare the full scale commercial uptake of the project's results, SQUID will set up an exploitation committee, consisting of market-oriented product managers of the partners, who will be responsible for all exploitation and promotional activities during the project. ENEA will interact with an end-user within the project and all partners will have close contacts with one or more end users outside of the project to maximise its industrial relevance and impact and prepare for the commercialisation of the results.


Mr Ronald W.M. Van Riet
Daltonlaan 200
tel: + 31/30-526526
fax: + 31/30-526526
email: rvriet@capints.uucp


NCC - UK - P
TUEV-N - D - P
ENEA - I - A

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SQUID - 8436, December 1993

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook