The September 2015 issue of the Quality Progress magazine, edited by ASQ, features the article “A Hard Look at Software Quality”, which describes how AQC Lab and AENOR conducted a pilot program to evaluate, improve and certify the quality of software products taking the ISO/IEC 25000 series of standards as a basis. A summary of the article is presented below, and through this link you can find an excerpt from the article provided by the laboratory AQC Lab.
Since software quality is a key element for organizations because of its impact on final costs, evaluating and controlling it is becoming more and more important, especially when it takes direct evidence of a product’s own attributes as a basis.
The standards in the ISO/IEC 25000 series provide a framework for the evaluation of software product quality. This family of standards was used in a pilot program for the evaluation, improvement and certification of software product quality conducted by AQC Lab, AENOR, and several development companies from Spain.
The evaluation followed the process defined in ISO/IEC 25040, and the quality model defined in ISO/IEC 25010 was taken as a basis. Among the quality characteristics defined in ISO/IEC 25010, the pilot program focused on Maintainability, and its evaluation was carried out by means of several quality properties of the source code, such as cyclomatic complexity, code documentation, code structure, duplicate code, or violation of coding rules.
To evaluate the maintainability and its quality properties mentioned above, AQC Lab used a framework consisting of a set of measurement tools, an evaluation tool that integrates and aggregates the values provided by the measurement tools, and a tool for visualizing the results of the evaluations.
The software product quality certification process takes the evaluation carried out previously by the laboratory as an input. After checking the results of the evaluation and visiting the interested organization, the certification body issues the certificate if applicable.
The development companies that took part in the pilot program highlighted the reduction in maintenance effort and costs, the improvement in the execution and load speed of applications, and the incorporation of quality evaluations in their development life cycle as positive results from the experience.