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Software Quality Management | What & Why it’s Important?

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What is Software Quality Management And why is it important
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What is Software Quality Management?

Software quality management is a systematic process of ensuring that software meets the highest standards in terms of functionality, reliability, and user satisfaction. It is a disciplined approach to overseeing and enhancing all aspects of software development, deployment, and maintenance to ensure the final product meets or exceeds user expectations. It encompasses processes, standards, and practices that focus on functionality, performance, reliability, and user satisfaction, ultimately creating high-quality software products. 

Software Quality Management (SQM) is the process of constant improvement of product quality, integrated into the development process until the expectations are achieved. Software quality management aims to create a working environment where quality is the responsibility of everyone on the team. 

Simply put, the idea behind software quality management is delivering software that not only meets expectations but exceeds them, ensuring that users can rely on your software to perform flawlessly and provide value.

Many teams and people might have to collaborate and work together to fulfill their roles and responsibilities to make this process successful. This will also demand you collaborate closely with your product development team to ensure that you meet your quality goals.

Why Software Quality Management is Important?

Software Quality Management is important because it helps to identify and correct errors in software, which is essential for the effective implementation of a project. The quality of the software is simply the measurement of how well the product has been able to fulfill your needs. 

It is measured by how often errors are found and repaired, how well the software works under different conditions, and how easily software can be maintained. 

Software quality is determined by comparing actual results against the expected results. If a project fails to meet its objectives because of poor quality, then the project will be a failure. Software quality can include a large variety of factors such as degree of completeness, efficiency, usability, correctness, and reliability. 

What are Software Quality Management Metrics?

Software quality management metrics are quantitative measurements used to assess the various aspects of software development, deployment, and maintenance processes. These metrics provide objective data that help evaluate the quality of software products, processes, and teams. They offer insights into the effectiveness of quality management efforts and enable informed decision-making. The main focus here is to understand the quality, complexity, software improvement, and development speed.

How Important Are Software Quality Management Metrics?

Metrics highlight the health of your product, processes, and project with actionable insights. With all the right data, you can easily:

  • Build better strategies to guide you throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Identify all the areas that need attention.
  • Make decisions driven by strategies and business information.

You can clearly see how these metrics serve several crucial purposes that contribute to the success of software projects and the overall business goals.

5 Aspects of Software Quality:

Software quality can be measured in terms of its ability to perform its required functions and meet its specified requirements. The five aspects of software quality are:

  1. Performance: Performance refers to how well a system performs its functions or meets user requirements.
  2. Usability: Usability relates to the ease with which users can use the system and understand it.
  3. Reliability: Reliability relates to the ability of a system to continue operating without breakdown or failure.
  4. Maintainability: Maintainability refers to how easy it is to understand and modify code so that changes can be made easily when necessary.
  5. Interoperability: Interoperability refers to whether a system will work with other systems or programs without difficulty or incompatibility issues.

How to Adopt Software Quality Management?

Test at the right time 

Effective software quality management means knowing when to test. You must know what would be the right time to test the software products so that you can get maximum outcomes from it. This means you need to have a good understanding of what the user needs and what their expectations are, and then plan your testing accordingly.

You should always try to do things in a way that’s easy for users, as well as for yourself and that makes sense within your organization. If you’re doing an e-commerce site, for example, then testing before launch might be difficult for you because there won’t be enough time or resources to fully test everything before release. But if you have the resources, then there isn’t any excuse enough to not conduct the user tests. 

Improve testing organization

This means creating a team that can effectively test the software and deliver results so that they can be analyzed and analyzed again. It also means designing the QA testing process so that it can be automated and using tools such as defect tracking systems to improve communication between testers and developers.

Here is a guide that talks in detail about automated testing

Learn more

While it’s important to have a good testing organization, it’s also important to have an effective developer organization. If you want your team to produce high-quality software, you need to provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs well.

Innovation leads to improvement

The more innovative you are, the better your software will be. It’s not enough just to have good ideas; you also need to be willing to take risks and try new things so that you can improve your product over time.

Keep reviewing

Keep reviewing your code as you write it. There will be plenty of times when you think you’ve finished the job but then find out something was missed. Or perhaps the code doesn’t do what you thought it would do after all. Having someone else read over your work before committing it is not only good practice; it also helps identify issues early on, saving time later on in the project.

How Does Software Quality Management Work?

There are a series of steps in software quality management that ensure the delivery of high-quality software products. Here’s an overview for you:

  • Defining Quality Objectives: Establish clear quality objectives that align with the project’s goals and customer requirements.
  • Requirements Analysis: Thoroughly understand and document the software requirements. This step ensures that the development team has a clear understanding of what needs to be built and what quality standards should be met.
  • Quality Planning: Develop a comprehensive quality plan that outlines the strategies, processes, and methodologies to achieve the defined quality objectives. This plan includes details about testing, review processes, quality checks, and performance benchmarks.
  • Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks that could impact software qualit and develop mitigation strategies to address them, ensuring that potential quality issues are managed proactively.
  • Quality Assurance: Implement processes and practices that ensure adherence to quality standards throughout the development lifecycle. This includes conducting reviews, audits, and inspections to identify defects and inconsistencies.
  • Quality Control: Execute testing procedures to identify defects and verify that the software meets the specified requirements. This involves various testing types, such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitor the software development process to track progress, identify deviations from the quality plan, and address any issues promptly.
  • Metrics and Measurement: Collect and analyze relevant metrics to assess the software’s quality, performance, and progress to get insights into the effectiveness of quality management efforts.

Benefits of Software Quality Management

Properly working on software quality management means leading your software toward a successful release. And here’s all the benefits you can claim:

  • Improves product quality.
  • Adds to customer satisfaction.
  • The software meets user needs and expectations and generates more value, leading to increased user adoption and potentially higher revenue.
  • Helps bring down the cost of rework as defects are detected early in SDLC. Read here about – cost of software quality
  • Assists in making credible and reliable product development decisions and test management strategies.
  • Increases productivity.

Software Quality Management Tools

There are two categories of software testing: functionality testing and performance testing. Here, we are going to discuss a few tools you can use to conduct tests in both categories. 

Top Functionality testing tools  

Testsigma 

Testsigma is a cloud-based test automation platform that enables you to create, manage, and execute automated tests for your web, mobile, and desktop application as well as APIs. With Testsigma, writing automated tests is as easy as writing sentences in English.

Here are some more features of Testsigma that you should know about: 

✅ Start automating your tests in minutes

✅ Save time on your test maintenance with AI-supported built-in features

✅ Easy and efficient test execution on the cloud

✅ Debug with the help of screenshots, videos, and logs easily

✅ Get reports that you can customize according to your needs

✅ Setup all your review and collaboration processes on the cloud

✅ Easily integrate with CI/CD tools

✅ Access your tests from anywhere anytime

✅ A helpful support that is there for you 24×7

Automate your tests for web, mobile, APIs, and, desktop, 10x faster

Explore Testsigma

Let’s talk about other software testing tools below: 

Selenium 

Selenium is an open-source automation tool that allows you to test your site for most web browsers on most operating systems. This is a tool made to enable cross-browser test automation.

Tricentis Tosca

Tricentis Tosca is a complete automation tool for online, API, mobile, and desktop testing. You may run various tests, including exploratory and system integration tests. It uses a novel model-based testing methodology that enables users to scan an application’s UI or APIs to produce a model known to the business for the creation and upkeep of tests.

Key features:

  • High reusability of test components and codeless test generation with the model-based approach
  • Service virtualization helps promote and build realistic testing environments
  • API scanning with strong API technology support
  • Testing in parallel and across platforms
  • CI/CD system and other testing framework integrations

Top Performance Testing Tools

Apache JMeter 

Apache JMeter is a Java-based, distributed performance testing tool that can be used to test the scalability, reliability, and performance of a software application.

It’s very flexible and powerful, which makes it an ideal tool for performance testing. JMeter’s capabilities include:

  • Load testing: Simulate user traffic/load for a specified period
  • Performance testing: Test how the system performs in different conditions for eg. The system should not break under the expected load. The system should not be unexpectedly slow at any point in time, the system should not break when there is a spike in usage.
  • Waits: Wait for browser sessions to complete or responses to be received before proceeding to the next step in a test case.
  • Gauges: Monitor metric values over time or compare multiple values across multiple requests.
  • Monitors: Record key events on your system as they happen (e.g., thread dumps).

WebLOAD

WebLOAD enables you to conduct stress and load testing on any internet app. This testing tool is easy to use and comes with features like JS scripting language, automatic correlation, and DOM-based recording/playback. WebLOAD is also flexible enough to be integrated with various technologies and testing tools. 

LoadRunner 

LoadRunner helps you collect all the necessary information related to the performance and infrastructure of the software product. Its offerings include a Load generator and analysis, controller, virtual user generator, and more. 

What are Software Quality Management Best Practices?

1. Separate the security testing and performance testing teams

It is not the responsibility of the security testing team to measure the performance of the software. The reason is that there are many methods to improve performance, but they may lead to security vulnerabilities. 

2. Use a bug-tracking tool for quality management in software

A bug-tracking tool is a great way to track software bugs and quality issues. The tool is also useful for keeping track of changes and improvements.

A bug-tracking tool will help you keep track of all your bugs, both known and unknown. It allows you to organize the information into different categories such as severity, priority, and resolution. 

In addition, it will help you find out when was the last time someone fixed a particular bug, which helps in determining whether it has been fixed or not. Also, you can use your bug-tracking system as a benchmark for measuring progress on other projects that are similar but have different requirements or complexities.

3. Collaborate closely with your product development team

Collaborating closely with your product development team is essential for a successful SQM. This means that you must be able to communicate effectively with them regularly throughout the project lifecycle. It also means that you need to make sure that they understand what it takes to meet your quality standards and why they must do so.

In addition, you should ensure that they have all the resources they need to do their jobs well, including time, money, and equipment. If necessary, you may have to provide additional funding or buy new equipment or software licenses for them as part of your quality management plan.

4. Try to simulate the end-user environment

You are just developing a product, it will be the end-user who is going to use it. Therefore, you should try to simulate their usage as much as possible while writing and testing your software.

A way of simulating real usage is by using tools like user testing or usability testing. Such tests can offer some real-world feedback that is incredibly helpful to the developers and testers to fix the bugs in the codes before the product is launched in the market. 

5. Make use of the two-tier test automation approach

The two-tier test automation approach is one of the most popular and effective ways to develop software quality. The two-tier approach is a combination of manual testing and automated testing, which can be performed in parallel to ensure the whole process is completed within a given timeframe.

6. Run regression tests

The most important software quality management technique is regression testing. Regression testing ensures that software can still be used after changes or new versions have been implemented.

Regression testing is a way to test whether the functionality of a program still works as intended after the software has been modified or upgraded. A user must be able to access the functionality and perform tasks without having their previous experience invalidated by a change in a program.

7. Test Early

One of the most important principles for quality management in software is the ‘Test Early’ principle. It states that you should test your software early in the development process before investing a lot of time and effort into implementing it. 

It also helps you to ensure that your product meets your users’ needs as well as your expectations, providing an early indication of whether or not there are any problems with the design or functionality. If you find an issue while testing, you can rectify it before it becomes a major issue and fix it before it causes any problems for users.

Read here about a practice that promises to elevate software quality to unprecedented levels – Deep Testing

Summary

If you want to develop software that end-users love to use then you have no choice but to implement software quality management best practices. It will not only help you deliver a top-notch quality product to the customers but also help you grow your business as well. Because as you know, the more refined the gold is, the more valuable it is. 

Similarly, the more quality your product has, the more users can enjoy it. And that raises the chances of them coming back to you for more. But to achieve high quality, you need to come up with a reliable testing strategy. If you think you can’t create one on your own you can always ask the software development and software testing companies to guide you through the process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of software quality?

Software quality is considered equivalent to success because if you maintain the quality standards of the software then it can provide you with many benefits like increased productivity, reduced costs, enhanced user experience, increased profits, client confidence, and many more. 

How do you maintain software quality management?

You can maintain the quality of the software using the SQM best practices we discussed in this article. You can also regularly update your software and check it out for any new bugs or viruses. 

What are the required Software Quality Management metrics?

There are many metrics that you can consider to measure the quality of your software system. Their usage varies based on your requirements but the most common quality management metrics include cycle time, lead time, defect count per sprint, Meantime to Recover (MTTR), application crash rate, team velocity, and first-time pass rate. 

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