Software Engineering

How to Improve Software Quality

11.02.2016
How to Improve Software Quality

Software program bugs have been around for a long time, but can still prove to be a huge headache for businesses. There isn’t any easy or proven way to get rid of them, but it is incredibly important to address issues both before the release of new software and during the life of the software program throughout its different updates and versions. The business management climate today demands that software be developed and deployed very quickly, but that shouldn’t mean that you have to forsake quality in your work. Software should always meet the requirements of companies, offer a satisfying and appealing user experience and have few, if any, defects. If improvements can be made to achieve these goals, the software stands a much better chance of helping a company move forward and remain successful. That’s where software quality improvement comes into play.

Importance of the Process of Improving Software Quality

Software management is at the core of nearly all business operations and it is essential to make sure you improve it so that it is operating as efficiently as possible at all times in order for a business to succeed. Software will always have bugs that need to be addressed and fixed, especially as new work is added and updates are made over time. Teams need to make progress on improving the quality of their code and to target the main issues that plague app developers in order to improve it and cut down on costs and work for companies.

In order to improve software quality, you have to take measures to address bugs and other technical issues. It’s very important for software program quality control to be a part of the ongoing process of development and management work in an organization, rather than one step taken at the end of the systems process before the software is released. Improving quality control should be a crucial part of the entire software development life cycle, from the moment the software comes into existence all the way through to its implementation. This means that the software development manager needs to learn to have pragmatic systems practices in place during any project to make sure that software quality control testers have the necessary guidance they need to ensure a high quality product.

Main Goals and Strategies of Improving Software Quality

In order to ensure that software quality is as high as possible in any given project, an organization should follow these steps recommended by the Forrester Report.

Define Quality

Make sure to clearly outline your goals for the software and what high quality means for a particular project. You want the software program to meet business and systems requirements, and to offer a satisfying user experience with no problems. The app development team should set realistic expectations for what the software can achieve given the time, resources and budgets that have been allocated.

Define Metrics

Outlining highly visible metrics makes it possible for quality to stay on top of mind for the whole team throughout a project and makes it easier to highlight defects and other issues as they arise.

Keep Quality a Part of All Team Goals

Make sure that quality assurance is a part of every team member’s goal throughout the entire process. Team members need to learn to keep problem reduction and quality improvement as a part of their work goals in order to meet their performance goals.

Set Requirements Early

Getting the requirements for a software product laid out early on in the project will help ensure that there is less rework and less retesting, which can cause higher expenses. This approach means fewer cycles of work and higher quality with minimized effort.

Conduct Smart Tests

Testing is the most crucial part of improving software quality. You want to focus on testing the most at-risk areas to ensure that you improve bugs in the highest traffic areas of the software – that way the ones that slip through the cracks are probably in less problematic areas.

Use Simple Design

Using simple design in a project to reduce the risk of problems is a great approach to lessen the risk of bugs. Simple, clean designs often feature simple code that is much easier to test and rework in order to ensure higher quality.

Use Testing Tools

Testing tools help to automate the testing process and free up software testers for more cerebral parts of the project instead of mundane and repetitive problem testing. That way you can get the small bugs out of the way more easily and focus on the high-priority tests in order to improve quality.

Advantages of Completing Improvements in Software Quality

Improving your software product quality early on has many benefits. Fixing bugs early on in a project can help cut development time by a huge margin, saving huge amounts of expenditures. Improving quality also helps you to evaluate and refactor your software in order to maximize efficiency and better understand which methods worked well and which you could forego on the next round of development.

In order to quantify the effect of improving software quality, take a look at the following three factors:

  • Time the development team has to work on real value of the product after the problems and possibilities of failure have been minimized
  • Effect on clients who are pleased with having a better product
  • Times saved by reducing problems in the complexity of the codebase to allow for quicker enhancements in work

Examples of Significant Gain Achieved Following Improved Software Quality

A study paid for by the United States Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology found that software defects cost the U.S. economy almost $60 billion annually.

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