Independent Quality Audit. Part I
We are going to describe three variants of such an audit. In the first case we consider the situation where the customer seeks to verify the quality of their own quality assurance system and a software product created.
This is a fairly frequent situation, since the programmers and testers produced a certain view of the product, preventing an objective assessment of software quality. View from the outside always identifies problems and inconsistencies, which inexplicably slipping out of sight of the testing department. It is proved that a complete objective testing program is impossible, so the human factor plays a key role.
Exhaustion, monotonous work, low motivation of testers and other factors lead to the fact that much of the defect remains undetected. In this case, the independent quality audit comes to help.
The most suitable time for an independent quality audit is the completion of software development. It is assumed that the product is tested and ready for delivery to the customer. In this case, the test agency will be able to check most of the functionality of the product and evaluate the quality of its execution. But we should not expect that the testers will check comprehensively the business logic of the product - this is usually not enough time. Rather, they will direct its efforts on those properties of software testing which is often overlooked of testing department and focused on testing the core functionality. These annoying software bugs often leave the customers bad impression about the product as a whole.
An alternative approach is the defining of the most important software functions by the customer. It is assumed that the quality of the product as a whole will be judged on the quality of the implementation of some specific functions that are used in 80% of cases. This is particularly true for systems with large numbers of rarely changing settings. Thus, the tester will test key business processes in the system and make their conclusion about the suitability for use.
Upon completion of the audit it is usually prepared an extensive report about the test results. It can contain raw data such as the list of detected defects and calculated values of the various quantitative indicators, and deep analysis of the overall situation with the quality of the product and production process. The report may include recommendations for changing certain processes, such as adjustment of testing techniques. The content and scope of analysis by the test agency should be agreed in advance.