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Home -> Guidelines & Standard -> Quality Check List
Outsourcing software development to China - Software Quality Check List

Software Quality Check List

There is no single set of software quality assurance procedures that is suitable for all types of software product and customers should not automatically rely on suppliers keeping to the procedures that they have documented. Certification to a quality standard such as ISO9001 or TickIT does not guarantee that suppliers keep to their quality procedures. Certification mainly defines that there is a set of records from which the quality activities of the potential supplier can be assessed. It is up to potential customer to assess the level of compliance of a supplier with its quality manual. A reputable supplier should agree to an inspection (audit) of its quality system and documents prior to confirming an order. This audit should be carried out on the suppliers premises, with no copies of documents being made and under a confidentiality agreement.

A sample software quality process check list is given below (select appropriate items according to product). However remember that no supplier will be perfect!

Process quality

Check quality manual and assess if suitable quality processes are specified.

Development techniques

Check what development techniques are used and ask for evidence from completed contracts.

Cost & time schedules

Look at the cost and time schedules, were they reasonable and kept to ?

Skills of staff

Ask to see the skills matrix of the development staff (names suppressed).

Flow charts

If flow charts are used in requirements and design activities, ask to see examples.

Sample documents

Ask to see sample requirement and design documents. Is the standard satisfactory ?

Test plans

All software development should include comprehensive testing, which should be specified in test plans.

Programming standards document

Check the coding standards document, is it suitable ?

Requirements traceability

Check requirements traceability through design, coding and testing. Should be captured in verification reports or similar.

Programming discipline

Check examples of code against coding standards

Structured programming, object oriented programming

Are good structured and object oriented programming techniques being used (check coding standard and code).

Error handling

Check that requirements, design, coding and testing address error handling adequately.

Software testing

How and who specifies and carries out software testing. Is it adequate ?

Module tests

If there is a module level in the design, is module testing adequate?

Check specification and system design against code produced (representative sample)

Take a couple of requirements and trace through requirements and design documents to code produced and test results.

Programmers notes

Programmers notes are of great assistance to future maintainers of the software and should be part of the documentation. Are they part of the quality system and properly kept?

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