How do Colombian software companies evaluate software product quality?

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2020
Full metadata record
Software developers confuse product quality with process quality, leading them to think they are measuring product quality when they are not. This is the main finding of this study of software developers in young small to medium companies in Colombia. Software product quality reflects two perspectives: conformance to specifications, and satisfying expectations when it is used under specified conditions. Measuring product quality still remains a problem for software development companies in relation to factors such as cost, effort, time and competitiveness. There are few studies that show the current state of software product quality in companies, how companies evaluate product quality, and which measures they use to develop and launch products that meet high-quality criteria. This research presents a study of software product quality in seven young software development companies in a developing country. The candidate used a qualitative research approach to understand, through their experiences and knowledge, how 20 employees—developers, testers, and project managers—and their companies evaluate software product quality, and which measures they apply in their companies. The results demonstrate that software process quality is better understood, and applied, by these software companies than software product quality. A greater difficulty is that most study participants ‘overlaid’ the idea of product quality with process quality, i.e. they talked about product quality as if it were process quality. This confusion leads them to think that they are measuring product quality when they are not. These findings have implications for companies that wish to increase competitiveness and productivity as they must develop a working knowledge of software product quality that is not confused with software process quality. It also has implications for educators, to ensure that the distinction between process and product quality is explicitly taught.
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