Most of the big companies are now aware of quality matters and invest time and money in improving their products and services. Some of them have created their own reference models but most are using standard models developed by international organizations. The models that are now available can be applied to almost any field of industry: there are software improvement models for every particular life cycle or type of product. The most well-known and widespread software quality standards are CMM (Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University) and SPICE (ISO/IEC 15504).
However, those available models are rather unusable for very small businesses as they are much too complicated and too expensive to implement. Therefore, taking previous experience with small companies into account, we have decided to look for a solution to that problem and have implemented a software improvement approach that can be used by very small development structures (from 1 to 50 people in charge of software development).
At the first stage, a very simplified questionnaire called the Micro-Assessment is used to collect information about the current software practices in small structures and to make people sensitive to the importance of software quality aspects. This questionnaire covers six key axes selected as the most pertinent and the most prior to the targeted organizations on basis of former experience with SME evaluation. These axes are Quality assurance, Customers management, Subcontractors management, development & Project management, Product management, and Training and Human Resources management. The Micro-Assessment concerns one person in the evaluated organization. This person must either have sufficient knowledge of software quality matters or already be in charge of software quality.
This very light assessment can be repeated on a regular basis (every 6/8 month) and clearly underline the improvement or status quo among key axes.
Interest : you want to quickly analyse the current status of software practices in your organization? You want to identify your strengths and weaknesses? You want to improve your software practices with a quick ROI?
Goals : Global assessment of software practices in terms of :
Results obtained from the Micro-Assessment :
Results highlight current strengths and weaknesses and identify practical improvement solutions.
The Micro-Assessment can also be used to analyse some practices in much more details.
Practical Information :
|Phone Call <= 1 hour||List of open questions covering the six key axes|
|Results analysis||Results are analysed by CETIC Software Quality Team by using a rigorous analysis matrix.|
|Report - 15-20 pages||Summary of each axe ; Strengths/Weaknesses ; Opportunity/Risks; Conclusions|
|Graphical representation of results||2 graphs (See images below),|
|Follow-up||Micro-Assessment can be reproduced on a regular basis to monitor software practices improvement|
Confidentiality : All collected informations are kept confidential. Results are only communicated to the contact person in the company. The statistics published by CETIC are completely anonymous.
The software quality team have apply Micro Evaluation in more than 50 companies.
Please contact CETIC.