Define your software’s aim
What are the objectives of your software firm? Is it more important to focus on customer satisfaction, sales growth, or shareholder value? This should be the criterion by which you evaluate program quality. Focusing on those areas that drive profitability and growth is a vital element in every business, so make sure you specify why it’s necessary to start monitoring software quality before you spend a lot of time trying to do so! If there isn’t a clear link between these measures and your business aim, it will be difficult to justify further investment.
2. Figure out how you’ll evaluate your software’s success
Now that you’ve defined your software objectives, it’s time to consider how you’ll assess software quality. There are a variety of items that can be measured, including:
Productivity is defined as the number of faults or issues discovered per unit of software-generated, usually per day or per hour.
Test Coverage – The quantity testing has been done in your codebase for each feature and area?
Surveys of user satisfaction – Do clients enjoy using your software? What features are the most useful to them? Which would they choose if there were no other options on the market at the time?
These figures should help you figure out if your software is up to the task at hand. Software quality, on the other hand, isn’t only about features; it can also be about ensuring that software works in the actual world.
● Is your program prone to crashing? What do users have to say about it? Both quantitative (monitoring or logging) and qualitative (support requests/user surveys) data should be considered. People will rapidly switch to something else if they aren’t utilizing your product because it is too buggy!
● Can you keep track of how long it takes software to load on different devices and networks? This will assist you in gaining an understanding of where optimization opportunities exist so that clients get the best possible experience regardless of the device they use. There are occasions when having some feature bloat improves software, so don’t automatically assume that software is better once it has been cut. This is why it’s critical to have a diverse collection of controls in place so that your program is well-rounded rather than just full of bells and whistles for the sake of it!
● Is the software you’re using safe? Is it compliant with industry standards such as OWASP or PCI DSS? Customers may be vulnerable to attack if security features are not up to date, which will eventually cause them to go elsewhere!
There are many more questions, but perhaps this gives you an indication of where we’re going with software quality measurement… It’s evident that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because each company’s aims and objectives are unique.
3. Determine which software quality metrics are critical
It’s time to consider what metrics are vital for your firm after you’ve specified software goals and figured out how the process works. What exactly do you want them to demonstrate? What role will they play in achieving software objectives? Here are some examples of items that should be measured:
● The fewer flaws identified per unit (also known as defects) in a given period of time/per feature, etc., the better! This should ideally never go beyond zero, but if it does, make sure you understand where the problems originated so that improvement efforts may be focused on high-priority areas first.
● Test coverage — When assessing software quality, the percentage of code covered by tests is typically employed as a metric. More test coverage, in principle, implies fewer software bugs. However, because software testing isn’t flawless and testers miss things all the time, an overall test coverage % isn’t always reliable; it’s more important to know which parts of your codebase are covered by tests (e.g. all major features) than the precise figure!
● Load time – How long does it take for the software to load? If a customer has a slow software experience, they may be tempted to look for something that works better/faster or locate a different solution… Even something as basic as serving stylesheets from the wrong server can have a major influence on performance, therefore it’s important to keep an eye on it!
● Time spent in support — If properly measured, the time spent by people reporting concerns via various channels such as support tickets/email can be an indicator of program quality. You wouldn’t want to see, for example, that software is frequently reported as crashing, and that a lot of time is spent in support resolving these issues! Recurring errors indicate that the software is not of good quality. However, because this clearly relies on the sort of software and its intended use, there aren’t always hard and fast rules concerning what happens when software is defective…
● Security – What level of security is required for your software? Varied industries have different compliance needs, thus where security elements are placed within a solution should be determined by them. Because OWASP recommended practices are widely acknowledged, most organizations would benefit from implementing them. However, because every business has different demands, security measurements for one customer may not necessarily apply to all use cases.
4. Select an easy-to-implement and-understand test metric
This is a really crucial phase. You should now have a good concept of what software quality goals are and what that includes, as well as what metrics are critical for your product to function successfully. Then it’s time to pick a single measure to use as a starting point for monitoring software quality and keeping it under control. What should you measure and how should you measure it?
● Choosing the simplest solution, whether it’s utilizing Google Analytics (GA) or Mixpanel to track website load speed or collecting data via support tickets/email, is a smart place to start. You don’t want your measurement attempts to take up too much time, so keep things basic at initially! With just these examples, there are a variety of techniques to test software quality depending on business goals, but GA is the one that comes up most frequently in software development talks.
● Once you have a measure of software quality, it’s not only a matter of gathering data; it’s also a matter of ensuring that this data can be correctly evaluated so that trends/changes over time can be discovered and addressed swiftly. This may seem simple, yet many measurements aren’t always captured accurately or published in a way that allows for useful analysis… Someone using Google Analytics to analyze software load speed can notice poor responses from some portions of their site, but there’s no way to compare these places to other crucial pages or other areas of the site, making identifying ways to enhance performance extremely tough to maintain!
● Keep in mind that software metrics don’t have to be complicated! It all depends on the software’s objectives and quality criteria.
● When building new software components/modules, etc., run analyzers on code repositories to get a decent understanding of overall test coverage before releasing them into production settings. You can also run these tests against current live software on a more regular basis as part of a bug-hunting strategy.
● Initially, keep software test metrics minimal and only collect enough data to perform useful analysis.
● Keep quality assurance in mind to ensure that software measurements are accurate so that trends and changes over time may be swiftly noticed and addressed.
5. Set up a mechanism to track this test metric’s data over time
Set up a method for collecting data on this software metric overtime after the software is out in the world. Depending on the tools being used and how much work needs to be done upfront, this could entail building software to upload data straight into your chosen analytics tool every day, but it could also be as simple as sending email reports/information from support tickets, etc. If you’re using Google Analytics (GA), there may already be plugins available that can do all of this for you without requiring any further code changes!
● Create software that will automatically upload data to your preferred analytics tool on a daily basis.
● When necessary, send email reports or utilize other automated procedures to ensure that software measurements are not missed; for example, if someone only uses software on a laptop at work, no information will be automatically uploaded… However, this software user may still be valuable, so consider ways to collect data for them as well.
● Take software measurements on a regular basis over time.
● Wherever possible, automate software measurement collecting — it’s more reliable! Before releasing new code into production environments, use software analyzers like Sonarqube to gain an estimate of overall test coverage. You can also run these tests against current live software on a more regular basis, such as after a software update – just keep in mind that software measurements don’t have to be flawless!
● During the development phase, conduct a software analysis.
6. Analyze the results to see if there are any quality trends
This could include using Google Analytics to check at software load speed data and see if there are any issues as users access your website or app. Or perhaps you’ll notice that mobile clients aren’t loading software components as quickly as they should be and decide to investigate how to fix this? There may be automated analysis tools available for code repositories.
Customer satisfaction is also a fantastic approach to gauge software quality. Customers can be interviewed and asked about their experiences with the product, including whether they were satisfied or disappointed. You might then inquire about any issues that arose during the production process in order to improve it for future products.
Now it’s your turn
It’s important to remember how important high-quality software is. As a result, you should pay more attention to obtaining quality measurements, which will allow you to constantly regulate new programming faults. At the moment, the quality of software items on the market outweighs their quantity. Don’t forget to keep track of new user input on software requirements and demands.
If you require assistance with software development, please contact us.