Using weekly open defect reports as an indicator for software process efficiency -- Theoretical framework and a longitudinal automotive industrial case study

Mellegård, Niklas
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Conference item

Well-defined, informative and cheap indicators are important in any software development organization that needs to evaluate aspects of its development processes and product quality. This is especially true for large organizations and for organizations developing complex products; for example automotive safety functions where mechanical, electronic and software systems need to interact. In this paper we describe defect backlog profiles as a well-defined, cheap and informative indicator. We define defect backlog profiles in terms of ISO/IEC 15939, provide a theoretical framework for interpretation, and finally present an evaluation in which we applied the indicator in a longitudinal case study at an automotive manufacturer. In the case study, we compare the software integration defect backlog profile for the active safety component released in 2010 to the profile for the following generation of the same component released in 2015. The results are then linked to a number of process and product changes that occurred between the two product generations. We conclude that defect backlog profiles are cheap in terms of data collection and analysis, and can provide valuable process and product quality information although with limitations.

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Proceedings of IWSM/Mensura '17, October 25–27, 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden (MENSURA’17)