Saturday, March 22, 2008

Better Faster Audit

I've recently been asked to outline the structure for our process audit service offering at xProcess Europe. The product is called the "Better Software Faster Process Audit" and is based on the structure of Dan Haywood's and my book of the same name(Better Software Faster). It covers 7 crucial aspects of any software development process:
  • The last step - Build and Deploy
  • The first step - Modelling and design
  • The stakeholder step - Requirements
  • The controlling step - Management
  • The continuous step - Quality measurement
  • The micro step - Development
  • The macro step - Architecture
Starting with the last step usually throws people, but given one of the key criteria for improvement is agility, it makes sense to start with seeing how close a team is to fully automating their build and test suite. There's no excuse for not fixing this area if you're using languages like Java or C# but with some older languages it can be tough to provide continuous integration for every change made by a developer.

Quality Measurement is another related area which is sometimes overlooked. Every team has some means to assess quality. For some teams "release the product and monitor the bug reports" seems to be their preferred way of working. Not recommended!
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