ISO/IEC 25040

ISO/IEC 25040 provides a process description for evaluating quality of software product and states the requirements for the application of this process. The evaluation process is composed of five activities.

Activities of ISO 25040

Activity 1: Establish the evaluation requirements

The first step in the evaluation process is to establish the requirements of the evaluation.

Task 1.1: Establish the purpose of the evaluation

The goal of this task is to document the purpose for which the organization wants to evaluate the quality of the software product (decide on the acceptance of the product, decide when to release the product, compare the product with competitive products, select a product from among alternative products, etc.).

Task 1.2: Obtain the software product quality requirements

The goal of this task is to identify the stakeholders of the software product (developer, acquirer, independent evaluator, user, maintainer, supplier, etc.) and to specify the software product quality requirements using a quality model.

Task 1.3: Identify product parts to be included in the evaluation

All product parts to be included in the evaluation shall be identified and documented. The type of software product to be evaluated (e.g. requirements specification, design diagrams and test documentation) depends on the stage in the life cycle and the purpose of the evaluation.

Task 1.4: Define the stringency of the evaluation

SThe evaluation stringency shall be defined in order to provide confidence in the software product quality according to its intended use and purpose of the evaluation. The evaluation stringency should establish expected evaluation levels which define the evaluation techniques to be applied and evaluation results to be achieved.

Activity 2: Specify the evaluation

In this activity the evaluation modules and the decision criteria for quality measures are specified.

Task 2.1: Select quality measures (evaluation modules)

In this task the evaluator shall select quality measures (evaluation modules) to cover all software quality evaluation requirements. Measurement procedures should measure the software quality characteristic (or subcharacteristic) they claim to be measuring with sufficient accuracy to allow criteria to be set and comparisons to be made. Standards in the ISO/IEC 2502n division can be helphulp in this task.

Task 2.2: Define decision criteria for quality measures

Decision criteria shall be defined for the selected individual measures. Decision criteria are numerical thresholds or targets used to determine the need for action or further investigation, or to describe the level of confidence in a given result. Users may use benchmarks, statistical control limits, historical data, customer requirements or other techniques to set decision criteria.

Task 2.3: Define decision criteria for evaluation

The evaluator should prepare a procedure for further summarization, with separate criteria for different quality characteristics, each of which may be in terms of subcharacteristics and quality measures. The summarization results should be used as a basis for the software product quality assessment.

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