Software Process Assessment
Software Development and Test Assessment (PDF) White Paper
Software Development Technologies (SDT) has worked with hundreds of firms to improve their software quality. During its Software Development and Test Assessment, SDT’s software quality experts review current development and test processes, organization and technologies against industry best practices and best-of-breed automation tools. The goal is to instill a consistent discipline across development, quality assurance and operations.
SDT’s Development and Test Assessment is an unbiased evaluation of your company’s methods, tools, practices, organizational structure, and environment used to develop and test a software product. It is designed to help IT organizations deliver high-quality applications, on schedule and within budget. The objective of an assessment is to identify the highest-priority areas for improvement and to recommend a step-by-step plan for making those improvements. The scope and formality of the assessment will depend on your organization’s size and needs.
A Process Assessment will help you:
- Improve software development and test processes
- Benchmark your company’s process against those of other companies
- Obtain a baseline for improving quality, productivity and morale
- Provide immediate and longer term improvement plans for reducing defects while meeting project schedules and budget
A typical assessment follows three steps:
- Familiarization with Existing Processes, Organization, Technology and Objectives
SDT reviews copies of all assignment-relevant process documents (e.g. test process documentation and sample test designs and plans), a description of the current company development or operating plan with stated objectives, key milestones, timelines and status, and a list of interview candidates (with assignment descriptions) for the assessment.
- Internal and External Interviews
Using SDT’s proprietary assessment questionnaire, a senior SDT consultant interviews people within the
development and/or test team (and those who are “customers” of the team; e.g. marketing, product management and customers) to understand existing people, process and technology capabilities and the issues and objectives in improving the existing environment. From these meetings, SDT will develop an overview of the client’s needs, a recommended set of critical improvements, metrics, and actions that can immediately be implemented within key project teams.
- Immediate and Long Term Improvement Plan
SDT provides feedback and suggestions to management on recommended changes and improvements, giving priority weighting to those of near term value. SDT presents its findings and recommendations to senior management and discusses opportunities for improvement in skill levels and process and technology capabilities. An overview of what’s required to achieve the client’s stated goals will be presented. SDT outlines the overall requirements and cost for doing such an effort.
Assessments are conducted by SDT’s senior consultants, who are experts in software development and testing. A sampling of SDT Assessment clients include Business Objects, Cadence Design Systems, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, Sun Microsystems, WebEx, and WellPoint Health Systems.
A comment from one of our clients follows:
“SDT came in and quickly assessed our existing development and test methods and architected a new, large-scale test process. They also designed and rolled out a new technical reviews and inspections program, resulting in greatly improved communications and earlier defect detection. These processes greatly fortified SunWay, the foundation life-cycle methodology for the construction and engineering management of complex Sun programs. These processes orchestrated the program’s alignment and integration activities across production releases giving us a quality foundation from which to manage successfully.”
Tim Townsend, Senior Director
Sun Information Resources, Sun Microsystems.