Guerilla SQA

[article]
Conquering the Land a Bit at a Time
Summary:

This paper suggests how to introduce software quality assurance (QA) and measurement practices where they might most easily be accepted without taking mainstream development tasks head-on. The paper begins by describing an in-the-small, limited resource ("guerrilla") approach and the context in which it is applied. QA and measurement practices are recommended which support one another and encourage data-centered decision-making. Implementation behaviors to avoid are noted to reduce the resistance faced when introducing such practices flow.

Adequate resources and senior management commitment are oft-cited prerequisites to successful process/quality improvement activities. What if you have neither? The metaphor of guerrilla fighters seems appropriate for the inch-by-inch "underground" effort which can characterize in-the-small process/quality change attempts.

This paper suggests how to introduce software quality assurance (QA) and measurement practices where they might most easily be accepted without taking mainstream development tasks head-on. The paper begins by describing an in-the-small, limited resource ("guerrilla") approach and the context in which it is applied. QA and measurement practices are recommended which support one another and encourage data-centered decision-making. Implementation behaviors to avoid are noted to reduce the resistance faced when introducing such practices flow.

About the author

Scott Duncan's picture Scott Duncan

Scott Duncan has 27 years of software development and quality consulting experience in publishing, law and public safety, agricultural R&D, commercial software, finance, and telecom. The last seven of these he has worked with line staff and management, from organizations of 20 to 600 people at a time, to meet quality and improvement goals, including lifecycle-based software quality assurance and measurement/estimation and ISO 9001 (TickIT) registration and CMM Level 3 assessment. Mr. Duncan participates in ISO/IEC standards work; is standards chair for ASQ’s Software Division; has been a speaker, seminar leader, and program committee officer at national and international user groups and conferences; has spoken and/or taught at colleges, universities, and companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe; and has helped organize and serve in various officer roles in local chapters of the ACM, AITP (DPMA), ASQ, and IEEE CS.

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