This is a short book intended to present elements of software quality systems. Correctly called a primer, it depicts and discusses multiple areas that need to be understood by Information Technology specialists and managers. The appendices, most of them IEEE Standards, point out the usefulness of IEEE work and documents in the standards and quality-assurance areas.
Review By: Mark D. Flores 02/27/2005Quality is a crucial concern for everyone involved in software production. As the title suggests, this book is a primer to developing an ISO-compliant software quality management system. Each chapter is devoted to a major component, supplemented by appendices to illustrate documentation criticality.
The author, the accomplished Dr. John W. Horch, identifies ten basic elements essential to a software quality management system. The first chapter summarizes his view of the ideal elements of a quality system. Chapters 2 through 9 discuss each of the elements, their application and importance.
Chapter 10 delves into documentation; a key area tracking the evolution of the software as it progresses through the software development life cycle, providing an audit trail of the past, and a road map to the future. Management’s strategic plan is captured here, along with requirements, project plans, resource needs, and also documentation of the software quality system itself.
Chapter 11 considers the actual implementation of the software quality system, and points to remember in the deployment or improvement of the system.
It’s important to note that this book was not intended to be a step-by-step, how-to cookbook on quality system implementation. It is a description of the major software quality elements and how they may be used in combination to form a solid program.
At the end of each chapter, guidance is offered on additional authoritative references to augment each chapter’s subject matter. Dr. Horch diligently avoids the use of technical jargon, and even includes a glossary in the first chapter
This book is recommended as an introductory text for organizations seeking to establish a software quality system. Supplemental materials will be needed to fine-tune the implementation of any major elements.
Junior professionals and entry-level managers will find this book helpful in expanding their basic knowledge. They may use it to ensure that their organization is complying with generally accepted concepts and using industry standard terminology.
College interns may use this book to take an accelerated course on quality engineering. Most students have preconceived notions of quality, and their exposure is usually limited to peripheral textbook references. If you find yourself in charge of an intern at some point, have them read this book and then present an outline to your staff. They will gain an understanding of quality management, and your team will benefit from the fresh perspective and review of quality principles.
Candidates for professional certification may use this guide to augment their current study strategy. This book will help them clarify key concepts, and expand their responses to the exam’s essay questions.
Those managers already well versed in quality concepts should reference the “Next Step” and “Additional Reading” sections for further in-depth study. These sections will be useful to larger organizations where application of the major elements will be more sophisticated and elaborate.
The book can be used as a stepping-stone to understanding the ten major software quality elements and how they combine to form an effective software quality management system.