What Makes Software Quality Different?

ASQ SV Section 2003

Quality models for software are often based on hardware parallels or assembly line concepts. Although these models may be convenient for people coming from other industry segments, they ignore significant differences that can lead to counter productive processes, metrics, and controls. The talk discusses some of the reasons software quality assurance is different, for example:

  • Software is developed, not manufactured
  • Software development processes vary tremendously
  • Software is easily modified
  • Side effects of software changes are not well understood
  • Change control and version management frequently aren’t rigorous
  • Quality records are easily modified and rarely secure
  • Standard MTBF and MTTR types of measures don’t mean the same as with hardware

What Makes Software Quality Different (Slides)