1. What is the expansion for ASQC?

American Society for Quality Control

2. What does 6 Sigma represent?

Meaning 99.999997% perfect; only 3.4 defects in a million.

4. Someone complains that during system testing the application often crashes. What likely process problem does that indicate?

Systematic failure to carry out proper unit testing. OR inconsistency between the development/unit test environment and the system test environment. AND ALSO management failure to respond promptly to the situation with corrective and preventative action.

5. What real-life experience have you had with Software Quality Assurance and/or Software Quality Control?

I developed a software quality methodology for Texas Instruments Software, which included Software Quality Assurance and Software Quality Control, with a particular focus on software projects using CASE tools. I conducted quality training, quality planning, process assessment/improvement and other consultancy assignments using this methodology

6. What are the most likely quality consequences of choosing an inappropriate life cycle model for a software project?

The most likely consequence is that the project will not deliver anything at all. Not because the lifecycle couldnt be made to work technically, but because it will fail to contain the political tensions between stakeholders.

7. What in your opinion is the role of SQA personnel with respect to inspections or testing?

Formally, the role is to make the inspection process or testing process visible, both to the participants (so they can see what they are achieving, how effective they are being) and to management (so that they can assess progress and risk). In practice, SQA personnel often need to act as facilitators or coaches. They are often regarded (wrongly) as the owners or custodians of the inspection or testing process, or even as the owners/custodians of the whole software process. Part of the training and mentoring for SQA personnel should address the difficult dilemma of how to be adequately engaged in the software process without being landed with the responsibility for it.

8. You were given a chance to implement either walkthroughs or inspections. Based on your personal experience which one would you choose? Please share your reason?

It would depend on the culture and prior history of the organization, as well as the nature and source of the demand for software quality, but I have usually found it easier to get started with walkthroughs. In some cases, there is already a formal (but lapsed) procedure mandating either walkthroughs or inspections. In such cases, the first task is to unpick the reasons why the previous attempts have failed. Typically, past inspections have inspected the wrong things at the wrong times, using the wrong criteria at the wrong level of detail.

9. What in your opinion are the most significant fundamental differences between SEI SW-CMM and ISO 9000-3?

The main difference is what the two models tell you. ISO 9000-3 gives you a yes/no answer, whereas SEI SW-CMM gives you a more complex assessment. This implies different ways of using the models for SQA and process improvement.

10. What advice would you give to someone who asked you where to start to introduce to their company a metrics and quality reporting program?

Use the GQM approach to derive relevant metrics from personal and corporate goals. Select a small number of key metrics that will be directly relevant to project managers and/or software engineers. Put the metrics into the hands of the workers, as a tool for personal performance improvement.

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