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Economics of Software Quality, The: Why Dependable Software is Critical to the Bottom Line

By Capers Jones, Olivier Bonsignour

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Jul 19, 2011


“Whether consulting, working on projects, or teaching, whenever I need credible, detailed, relevant metrics and insights into the current capabilities and performance of the software engineering profession, I always turn first to Capers Jones’ work. In this important new book, he and Olivier Bonsignour make the hard-headed, bottom-line, economic case, with facts and data, about why software quality is so important. I know I’ll turn to this excellent reference again and again.”

—Rex Black, President, RBCS


Poor quality continues to bedevil large-scale development projects, but few software leaders and practitioners know how to measure quality, select quality best practices, or cost-justify their usage. In The Economics of Software Quality, leading software quality experts Capers Jones and Olivier Bonsignour show how to systematically measure the economic impact of quality and how to use this information to deliver far more business value.


Using empirical data from hundreds of software organizations, Jones and Bonsignour show how integrated inspection, structural quality measurement, static analysis, and testing can achieve defect removal rates exceeding 95 percent. They offer innovative guidance for predicting and measuring defects and quality; choosing defect prevention, pre-test defect removal, and testing methods; and optimizing post-release defect reporting and repair.


This book will help you

  • Move beyond functional quality to quantify non-functional and structural quality
  • Prove that improved software quality translates into strongly positive ROI and greatly reduced TCO
  • Drive better results from current investments in Quality Assurance and Testing
  • Use quality improvement techniques to stay on schedule and on budget
  • Avoid “hazardous” metrics that lead to poor decisions

Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxvii

About the Authors xxxi


Chapter 1: Defining Software Quality and Economic Value 1

Introduction 1

Defining Software Quality 8

Defining Economic Value and Defining the Value of Software Quality 17

Summary and Conclusions 33


Chapter 2: Estimating and Measuring Software Quality 35

Introduction 35

Using Function Point Metrics for Defect Potentials 39

Software Defect Potentials 39

Estimating Software Defect Prevention 71

Estimating Software Defect Detection and Defect Removal 74

Measuring Application Structural Quality 77

Examples of Structural Quality Assessments 88

Three Problems That Distort Software Economic Analysis 95

Summary and Conclusions on Software Quality Estimation and Measurement 117


Chapter 3: Software Defect Prevention 119

Introduction 119

Analysis of Defect Prevention Results 135

Summary and Conclusions of Software Defect Prevention 188


Chapter 4: Pretest Defect Removal 191

Introduction 191

Small Project Pretest Defect Removal 196

Large System Pretest Defect Removal 201

Analysis of Pretest Defect Removal Activities 208

Summary and Conclusions about Pretest Defect Removal 277


Chapter 5: Software Testing 279

Introduction 279

Summary and Conclusions on Software Testing 344


Chapter 6: Post-Release Defect Removal 347

Introduction 347

User and Industry Costs from Post-Release Defects 409

Summary and Conclusions on Post-Release Defects 431


Chapter 7: Analyzing the Economics of Software Quality 433

Introduction 433

The Economic Value of Software 435

Economic Impact of Low-Quality and High-Quality Software 460

Summary and Conclusions on the Economics of Software Quality 541


References and Readings 545

Index 561