A Framework of Software Quality Evaluation

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Conference Proceeding
Product Focussed Software Process Improvement, 2002, pp. 103 - 117
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The primary objective of this paper was to propose and empirically test a theoretical model for Software Quality Evaluation based on Gutman's Means-End Chain Model. Recent studies of Gutman's Model have found it significant for software quality evaluation. As such the proposed framework introduces the first theoretical model for software quality evaluation, which considers the motivation behind the quality evaluation, and the utilization of cognitive structures to describe these relationships. The framework not only gives the rationale for the choice of characteristics used in software quality evaluation, but also introduces the possibility that the characteristics can be used to measure the capability for attaining desired consequences and sought after values. To test this proposed framework, a study of 22 commercial Australian companies was conducted and analyzed with Path Analysis. Results of the analysis provided a number of important insights and suggest several conclusions. The study showed (1) that there is support for applying Gutman's Means-end chain model as the theoretical foundation for a framework on software quality evaluation; (2) that characteristics can be used as a measure to predict the capability of the software on desired consequences and values; (3) that non-ISO9126 characteristics are also important for software evaluation; (4) that the characteristic, consequence, value relationship can be valuable to benefit the Goal Question Metric model
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