Quality Standards

D.Sivaraam 1. Introduction Now a days the world became smaller and smaller. Day to day new products are introduced to the market and is used by the people throughout the world. To capture the market,the producer want to establish his capability of products accepted by most of the customers, also want to have easiness at the time of production and maintenance. It can be achieved only if the producer produce goods and doing service adhering to some standard. The consumer want to ensure that the product bought by him is reliable; it is worth for the cost he/she is paying. So naturally the customer prefer the products manufactured by the companies who follow some standards or some defined process. Thus for a producer and customer the standard becomes more useful for producing and getting quality output t. Few of the standards are discussed in this article. 2. Benefits of Standards For a production industry if the components are standardized, mass production can be done, resulting in reduction of cost. In software industry if coding standard is followed, any one in the organization can replaced any where within the organization and do coding without any difficulty. Standard components can be created and used in more than one project, which will reduce the effort required to complete the program. At the time of maintenance it will be much easier to carry out the maintenance activities. The purchaser can know the standard of the product on knowing the standards used in the manufacturing organization. 3. Types of Standards The standards may be generally classified as below. a. Project Level Standards Eg. Naming Convention GUI Standards Coding Standards Error Message Standards b. Organizational Level Standards Eg. Naming Convention Coding Standards Error Message Standards c. Global Level standards Eg. ISO 9001 2000 CMM

4. Naming conventions The purpose of the naming convention is to make the designer, coder , tester, reviewer to understand easily what is referred or used where. Throughout the project a standard will be followed to mention database components, variables..etc. It will be easy at the time of maintenance also. Example TbMastUser Table Name First two letters say it is a TbTranPurchaseHdr table Next four letters say it is master table of transaction table. intUser_UserID Field Name First three letters define vchUser_UserName the data type, the next word refers the table name, the letters after the _ refers the field name g_str Variable The first letter mentions f_str the variable is global level or form level. 5. GUI Standards GUI standards are defined to make the product more users friendly. The training effort becomes less. Any user can learn and start working in the shortest time. The size of the forms, the color formats used in the forms, location of the command buttons, display of menus…etc are some of the areas where we can define standards. Normally this will be defined for each project. 6. Coding Standards: This is again for easy production and maintenance. For each language we can define separate coding standards and it may be used for the project. It is better to have Organizational wide standards for easy interchangeability of team members, handling change requests, bugs fixing and maintenance. 7. Error Message Standards The error message standard can be framed to make the user friendly interface. If some thing goes wrong because of the system or operation, the message will be displayed. Normally they will be taken from a repository. It will make the display of same error message at the time of occurrence of same errors and the user also find easy to know about the error. The icons used in the error message will be more helpful for the user. 8. ISO 9001: 2000 This is globally accepted standard. In 1970s standard come into existence, but each country has their own standard. Because of globalization of market it becomes common that product manufactured one country is used by another

country. So most of them start realizing the need of common standards. So at the end of 1979 a team is formed to define the standards, which is acceptable by all the countries. As a result in 1987 March the first version of ISO 9000 standard is published. There are 176 countries following the standards in which India is one of them. Standards are defined and all are following it. Day to day the requirements are changing. The industries are also changing their activities to meet the market requirement. So it became mandatory to revise the standards also. It is decided to revise the ISO standards once in 5 years. Based on that in 1994 the second version of ISO is released. Again in 2000 the next version is released, which is followed through out the world. At the end of 2005 we are expecting new version of ISO with minor changes. ISO9001 2000 is framed based on eight quality management principles. They are 1. Customer Focus 2. Leadership 3. Involvement of People 4. Process Approach 5. System Approach 6. Continual Improvement 7. Factual approach to decision making. 8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships. Also ISO 9001 2000 has eight main clauses. 1. Scope Divided into two sub clauses and describes the scope. 2. Normative Reference This section contains the dated references, subsequent amendments to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply…etc 3. Terms and Definitions This sections gives the terms used in the standard and definitions of the words used. The rest of the five clauses describe the major area of ISO 9001 2000 requirements. 4. Quality Management System This section says about the need of defining the processes, sequence and interaction of processes, availability of resources and information. This section also mentions about the requirements of documented procedures, the mandatory records to be maintained and the control of documents.. In addition to that it says about the Quality Manual which defines the quality system of the organization. 5. Management Commitment This is one of the main section of the ISO 9001 2000 standards. This defines the importance of Top Management’s role in implementing the

Quality Management System. It is the Top Management’s responsibility to communicate the organization about the importance of meeting customer as well as statuary and regulatory requirements. Establishing Quality Policy, Quality Objectives, Conducting management reviews are also part of Top Management’s responsibility. Also it mentioned about the interest of the management on customer focus. Every thing is defined. To execute it, follow it some resources with responsibility and authority should be made available. Top management appoints a person to follow all the activities of implementation of Quality Management System and update the management about the happenings in the institution. For effective implementation the communication is an important one. Management will also do it .All these are followed by management review meeting called by the Top management at defined intervals. 6. Resource Management This sections defines the requirements are providing right resources at right places. The resource allocated to a particular task should have competence to do the task and has awareness about the function. If necessary training is to be given to upgrade the resource. This clause also tells about the Infrastructure and the work environment, in order to give a quality output. 7. Product Realization This is another important clause, which tells about the product. Here Planning is done to get the quality product, As the product is directly related to customer, this clause says about the customer related processes. The method of recording customer requirement, handling the changes in the requirements, review of the requirements and the communications made with the customer are addressed in this clause. Next comes the design of the product. In some case the customer gives design, some times design is done by the producer. It also talks about development inputs, output, verification and validation. Purchase is also considered here. This defines the method of purchase of the materials. Traceability, preservation of product, handling customer property and controlling of measuring and monitoring devises are addressed in this clause. 8. Measurement, analysis and improvement. In this section Customer Satisfaction is taken to measure the products ability. Internal Quality Audits are taken to know the effectiveness of process implementation. It also defines about the control of Non confirming product and analysis of data. Generally this is not specific to Software alone. It is a standard to be followed for any industry making products or doing service.

9. Capability Maturity Model This is initially defined to meet the requirement of the suppliers of US defense ministry. In Nov 1986 the US Department of defense initiated this activity. The first version of CMMv1.0 is released on 15th Aug 1991. CMM is a common-sense application of software or business management and quality improvement concepts to software development and maintenance. It can also be called as a commonly developed guide for evolving towards a culture of engineering excellence, model for organization improvement. Structure of CMM

CMM Comprises of five maturity levels. Each Maturity Level is composed into several Key Practice Areas. Each Key Practice area is organized into five sections called common features. Common Features are 1. Commitment to perform 2. Ability to Perform 3. Activities Performed 4. Measurement Analysis 5. Verification and Implementation Levels of CMM Level 1 – Initial In this level company the software process is characterized as ad hoc, and occasionally even chaotic. Few processes are defined, and success depends on individual effort and heroics. Few processes are defined, and success Level 2 - Repeatable

In this level, the basic project management processes are established to track Cost, Schedule and Functionality. The necessary process discipline is in place to repeat earlier successes on projects with similar applications The Key Practice Areas are Requirement Management, Software Project Planning, Software Project Tracking and Oversight., Software Subcontract Management, Software Quality Assurance, Software Configuration Management. Level 3 – Defined In this level the Organizational Level Process are defined both for Management and Engineering activities, Process Documents, Standards are created. All projects use only approved documents. The Key Practice Areas Covered in this level are Organizational Process Focus, Organizational Process Definition, Training Program, Integrated Software Management Software Product Engineering, Inter Group Coordination, Peer Reviews. Level 4 - Managed In this level the effectiveness of the process are measured. Quality of the product are measured, both the software process and products are quantitatively understood and controlled. The Key Practice areas covered in this section are Software Quality Management, Quantitative Process Management Level 5 – Optimized This level consists of two Key practice areas Process Change Management and Technology Change Management.

Reference: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmm/ http://www2.umassd.edu/SWPI/processframework/cmm/cmm.html

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