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Fully employing software inspections data

: Shull, F.; Feldmann, R.L.; Seaman, C.; Regardie, M.; Godfrey, S.


Innovations in systems and software engineering. A NASA journal 8 (2012), Nr.4, S.243-254
ISSN: 1614-5046
EISSN: 1614-5054
Fraunhofer CESE ()

Software inspections provide a proven approach to quality assurance for software products of all kinds, including requirements, design, code, test plans, among others. Common to all inspections is the aim of finding and fixing defects as early as possible, and thereby providing cost savings by minimizing the amount of rework necessary later in the life cycle. Measurement data, such as the number and type of found defects and the effort spent by the inspection team, provide not only direct feedback about the software product to the project team, but are also valuable for process improvement activities. In this paper, we discuss NASA's use of software inspections and the rich set of data that has resulted. In particular, we present results from analysis of inspection data that illustrate the benefits of fully utilizing that data for process improvement at several levels. Examining such data across multiple inspections or projects allows team members to monitor and trigger cross project improvements. Such improvements may focus on the software development processes of the whole organization as well as improvements to the applied inspection process itself.