One of the biggest concerns of the CTO at any enterprise stepping into realm of software development, is how to ensure that they will get the features required within the final product. This is especially true for projects where functional safety is an issue; this would include mission critical software for medical devices, the automotive industry or for aviation, where injury or loss of life can occur if things go wrong. These examples are all subject to rigorus safety standards that dictate how things should be done.
CTO: How can we know for sure that everything is done correctly according to standards?
Software Quality Assurance (SQA or just QA) prescribes a set of activities that should ensure the quality of software engineering processes used, and that the standards in question (often industry specific) such as ISO9000 or upon a maturity model such as CMMI or Automotive SPICE are used effectively so that ultimately, the product does meet the clients expectations.
Software Quality Assurance covers processes throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC) including Software Quality Control (SQC or QC) which is focused on the detection of defects in products (product focused) through testing.
The Human aspect is the wild card, despite all the rules and regulations, if a malicious or incompetent developer does something they shouldn’t, it may not be detected at all in testing and slip through to the final product where the issue could potentially leave your business open to liability if something should go wrong.
CTO: This is what insurance is for right?
Right! If you are outsourcing your application development, one of the first questions that should be asking any supplier is how they are insured and to what level, get a copy of the insurance contract with all the caveats. If developing internally with an embedded software development team, insurance can be purchased tailored for business requirements.
OK, so you have your supplier / own team and the project is insured, and heaven forbid, if there is a dispute with the supplied features or a critical bug is detected and your business decides to activate the insurance policy. The first thing the insurance company will do is investigate what happened, what were the circumstances in which the failure happened and ultimately who was at fault. The whole time they will be looking for ways to avoid paying, or ways to pay less. Ultimately leaving your business to pick up the bill and deal with an AT fault PR nightmare along with any fines imposed by legal authorities.
Software Quality Assurance with codeBeamer ALM software
codeBeamer ALM provides that extra peace of mind that you will know who, where, when and why the failure happened enabling the identification of a clear cause and the circumstances surrounding the event so that you know your potential liability, as well as irrefutable evidence of the cause before any claim is made. Evidence that the insurance provider will require in the event of a substantial claim.
Of course, the greatest value of codeBeamer ALM is that it is likely to prevent the failure from happening in the first place, this is simply because it ensures transparency throughout the entire development process. From start to finish codeBeamer ALM reduces the risks associated with software development projects.
Can you afford not to have codeBeamer ALM?