Scope of the experiment is to define a verification process in terms of activities, methods, tools, measurements integrated with the development phase of our CAD software products. The experiment will be applied to our main business product for three-dimensional design called Eureka, on which we will measure the benefits in terms of quality attributes: functionality and reliability (as required by the customer), maintainability and portability (for the organisation). The PROVE idea was born out of an assessment of the guideline ISO 9001: the study pointed out that the definition of a verification process is a primary need for the improvement of the product quality and the benefits on the whole development process. The high complexity of our process of software development, due to the technical contents and of the continuous and crucial adaptation to the technological evolution, creates in fact the necessity for a verification process parallel to the software development phase (design, code writing, porting), which includes testing and product inspection.
The verification process will be structured as follows:
- identification of the quality characteristics and their measurable attributes
- sub specification classification (checklist) for each subsystem of the baseline project.
- definition of the verification activity (testing, code inspection, etc..) to ensure these characteristics
- analysis and evaluation of acquisition and/or customisation of automated testing instruments
- definition of metrics and criteria for the evaluation of the results
The final step of PROVE, will be the institutionalisation of the defined practices (documentation of standards, test operating manuals, etc.), necessary to the dissemination by the internal quality function.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The benefits expected from the PROVE project are: to design the quality together with the product, removing the conception that the verification process has only a limited final check purpose, to foresee the releases with a higher degree of accuracy by monitoring the failures with the adoption of suitable software metrics, a higher reliability of the released product, with the reinforcement of the product on the market with respect to the competition, and a consequent improvement of the organisation image, a decrease in the number of corrective maintenance releases with the consequent lower production costs and reduced stabilisation time for a higher customer satisfaction. Upon completion of the experiment, PROVE will be translated into a series of practices repeatable and transferable to other subsystems and products, with a high degree of generality and usability. All software development organisations which wish to guarantee a high quality grade of their products, can benefit from the adoption of a verification process like PROVE.