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46 [Software quality has been improved this way] ①TOBESOFT 2120
[Software quality has been improved this way] ①TOBESOFT

[Seoul, Korea - June 21, 2012]As the IT industry advances, improvements in software quality must mirror this growth. The Toyota recalls, Naro failures, and the great confusion over the National Education Information System are all traceable to software (SW) errors.

A very small mistake in SW frequently results in a colossal problem. Unfortunately, Korea lacks sufficient awareness of SW quality assurance, and the methods to ensure the highest standards of SW quality are frequently not applied.

Accordingly, introduces its best practices in software quality control in 5 installments.

[Reported by Jae-Seok Shim, Digital Daily] TOBESOFT Co. Ltd. (Hyeong-Gon Kim), an Internet application software company, acquired CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) level 3 certification, a rarity for a domestic small and medium-sized software developer. CMMI was developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University and is recognized as the international standard certification that evaluates S/W quality and process maturity.

TOBESOFT’s acquisition of CMMI certification demonstrates its commitment to the highest standards of SW quality. While CMMI certification itself does not assure SW quality, TOBESOFT’s award separates it from the majority of domestic SW companies that fall short of this dedication to SW quality control.

TOBESOFT took the unusually difficult steps of acquiring CMMI level 3 certification twice. While, CMMI certification must be reacquired every 3 years, most domestic corporations attain certification once, publicize it in a big way, and then allow their commitment to quality to lapse. TOBESOFT is worthy of notice.

◆Quality starts with the system...TOPS

The core of TOBESOFT’s SW quality control is 'TOPS,’ an internal central system that manages operational quality from receipt of requirements through development to distribution. Customer requirements received by the customer support department go to TOPS, and the research center examines, analyzes, and prioritizes them. As the functions corresponding to these requirements are improved, the quality control team verifies them. When they are finalized, they go to TOPS again, and the customer support department distributes them to customers.

TOBESOFT regularly distributes patches once a month. Without TOPS, staff members say that it would be impossible to meet the tight schedule.

The biggest advantage of TOPS is its ability to reconcile their ideas about specific issues. Seong-Ho Hong, leader of the TOBESOFT QA Group said, “If the customer support department, the development and quality assurance departments held a meeting without TOPS, they would be continuously hashing things out but never reach a conclusion."

As TOPS continues to gain importance within the company and the staff members become more dependent on it, development jobs are consistently completed on time and on budget.

Another advantage of TOPS is that it accumulates data on the productivity of developers, percentage of requirements processed, and percentage of abnormal exits. While this system manages and controls quality, it also assists in formulating the company’s management strategy.

◆”Without quality control, customer expansion is limited.”

TOBESOFT was not aggressive about quality assurance and quality control from the beginning. Like most Korean software companies, it placed the greatest emphasis on development of functions and neglected quality.

However, management soon realized that they could not reach their aspired heights no matter how hard developers worked at the research center every night. The research center had to concentrate on creating the functions customers requested and could not pay sufficient attention to quality.

This process limited customer expansion. While the development department would be concerned about quality initially, it would soon be faced with the daunting task of launching even more products and fulfilling the requirements of even more customers. Quality could suffer.

TOBESOFT experienced this problem in 2007~2008. Smart decisions by management shifted quality assurance (QA) outside of the research center so corrective decisions could be made and product development and quality rapidly progressed.

◆”Do developers conduct tests? Test experts do the tests.”

“When it comes to quality control, the focus must be placed on training test experts,” said Mr. Hong, leader of the QA Group. “Developers think they can do the tests, but that's an illusion.”

He emphasized “Developers are simply people who have the enough basic knowledge to learn to conduct tests, and the experience-based tests done by developers cannot accurately verify development details.” “Tests must be done professionally using proven testing techniques.”

TOBESOFT assigns the quality assurance (QA) department with responsibility for creating the process that secures quality and the quality control (QC) department with responsibility for verifying developed functions. The test team is further divided into the test planning team, the team for making test cases, the team for making samples and the team for conducting the tests. These team members contribute to achieving and maintaining the highest levels of quality.

Instead of relying on the old-fashioned rule-of-thumb, TOBESOFT is committed to continually supporting its employees so they become experts. “If we do not do it this way, we will end up conducting tests the old way.” said Mr. Hong. “We are providing support so that employees working on QA or QC teams are fully qualified and have earned the title of experts.”

Specifically, TOBESOFT has acquired CMMI level 3 certification and secured quality-related competencies during the past 6 years. Additionally, external experts are brought in to audit current processes and competencies and suggest necessary improvements.

“One of the important functions of SW quality is to serve as the weather station so customers receive vital information about products and their performance,” said Mr. Hong.


Source: http://www.ddaily.co.kr/news/news_view.php?uid=92980


[Contact Us: Marketing Team]
- Jeong-Hee Kim (☎ 2140-7163 / 010-6415-7163, ☞ E-mail : kjh@tobesoft.com)
- Yoon-Ho Jeon (☎ 2140-7166 / 010-5110-5155, ☞ E-mail : trionslop@tobesoft.com)

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