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Software process improvement initiatives based on quality assurance strategies: A QATAM pilot application

: Winkler, Dietmar; Elberzhager, Frank; Biffl, Stefan; Eschbach, Robert

Kaiserslautern, 2010, VII, 16 pp.
IESE-Report, 060.10/E
Reportnr.: 060.10/E
Fraunhofer IESE ()
quality assurance; quality assurance strategy; best practice; evaluation

Quality Assurance (QA) strategies, i.e., bundles of verification and validation approaches embedded within a balanced software process can support project and quality managers in systematically planning and implementing improvement initiatives. New and modified processes and methods come up frequently that seems promising candidates for improvement. Nevertheless, the impact of processes and methods strongly depends on individual project contexts. A major challenge is how to systematically select and implement "best-practices" for product construction, verification, and validation. In this paper we present the Quality Assurance Tradeoff Analysis Method (QATAM) that supports engineers in (a) systematically identifying candidate QA strategies and (b) evaluating QA strategy variants in a given project context. We evaluate feasibility and usefulness in a pilot application in a medium-size software engineering organization. Main results were that QATAM was considered useful for identifying and evaluating various improvement initiatives applicable for large organizations as well as for small and medium enterprises.