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Software process improvement directed to errors reduction

Objective

ETRA's main business are complex turn-key control systems (including software, hardware, sensors, and telecoms) in the domains of traffic, transport and public services (lighting, etc.). The company's concern on quality and improvement, particularly in what concerns Software Production, makes absolutely important continuing the stepped process successfully started with ESSI 10493 MACRO project. There is a special interest in reducing maintenance and errors costs between 15 and 20% by getting a detailed definition and implementation of Test, Installation and Maintenance phases as well as of Configuration Mgmt. Requirements Mgmt. and Errors Mgmt.

THE EXPERIMENT

ETRA's products typically have a long life cycle, of the order of five to ten years. This fact, together with their complexity, make Maintainability, Errors Management (EM), Tests, Configuration Management (CM) and Requirements Management (RM) crucial issues. Up to now, none of these issues have been satisfactorily tackled.
The pilot application to be used in SPIDER as the Baseline Project (BP) to carry out the PIE will be the kernel of ETRA's Traffic Control System.
The User Requirements, Analysis, Design and Coding of the BP will be revisited, and the processes and documentation standards defined in MACRO will be applied.
The testing, installation and maintenance phases will be formalised and the corresponding procedures defined, so that they are implemented, in co-ordination with the user of the system, within the frame of the BP.
In parallel with the above, it will be carried out the definition, and implementation of the processes of EM, RM and CM. Special attention will be put to measurement of cost effectiveness and level of errors reduction.

ETRA employs 70 people, 25 of which are involved in the development unit.

EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE

- To extend an Improvement Culture throughout the group of companies of which ETRA is the head. The development of a mechanism to incrementally improve all the phases of the life cycle on the base of the feedback provided by the errors analysis.
- Improving the profile of the Software Department, facilitating a future ISO 9000 certification.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

Electronic Trafic. SA (Etra)
Address
Tres Forques 147
46014 Valencia
Spain