Analysis of error reports
Defect analysis at B&K
Seminars / Presentations
Reports / Papers
1. Bug Taxonomy and Statistics (2001), Beizer B., O. Vinter - Otto Vinter, Software Engineering Mentor, 2630 Taastrup.
2. Using Defect Analysis as an Approach to Software Process Improvement, Vinter O. - Otto Vinter, Software Engineering Mentor, 2630 Taastrup.
3. Analyzing Requirements Bugs (2000), Vinter O., S. Lauesen - Bug Report Department in Software Testing & Quality Engineering Magazine, Vol. 2-6, Nov/Dec 2000. (Article and additional Web Contents)
4. Improving Software Organizations: From Principles to Practice (2002), Mathiassen L. e.a. eds. Addison-Wesley Crystal Series. Foreword by Bill Curtis.
5. Experience-Based Approaches to Process Improvement (2000), Vinter O. - Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Software Quality Week, Software Research, San Francisco, USA. (Presentation slides)
Analysis of error reports (defect analysis) can be used to initiate software process improvements (SPI) in an organisation. The approach that most companies choose to base their software process improvements (SPI) on is to adopt one of the well-known models of software maturity (CMM or BOOTSTRAP). Improvement actions follow a predefined model where a company's processes are improved on a broad scale, with the aim to move the company to higher levels of maturity.
A fundamentally different approach to SPI is experience-based, e.g. one that is based on the knowledge and experience that is already available in the organisation. The approach is based on various "problem diagnosis" techniques, which aim at identifying the most important (process) issues as perceived by the organisation. Focused improvement actions to remove these issues are then planned and implemented in close collaboration with the powerful actors in the organisation.
One of these problem diagnosis techniques is: Analysis of error reports (defect analysis). The principles of defect analysis will be described below.
Analysis of Error Reports - Defect Analysis
The analysis of error reports are based on a bug taxonomy by Boris Beizer. A description of the bug categories, his statistical data, and the statistical data, I have collected at Brüel & Kjaer, can be found in the following document: "Bug Taxonomy and Statistics" . The defect analysis technique is described in brief in: Using Defect Analysis as an Approach to Software Process Improvement . The application of the technique on the PRIDE project is described in an article in STQE Magazine: "Analyzing Requirements Bugs" . Finally, a complete description of the technique and the results can be found in chapter 8 of: "Improving Software Organizations: From Principles to Practice" .
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Defect Analysis at B&K
At Brüel & Kjær we developed and applied an experience-based approach to SPI based on the analysis of error reports from previous development projects. The improvement technique was applied as the central element in the software test improvement project PET and in the requirements engineering improvement project PRIDE. We have found that experience-based improvement techniques are both simple and effective. They can easily be tranfered to other organisations. We have validated the improvement techniques and their results through BOOTSTRAP assessments before and after the improvement activities.
A description of the approach and the results we obtained at Brüel & Kjær was presented in its first version at EuroSPI'98, later updated as a keynote at QWE'99, and in its final form as a Quick Start Tutorial at SQW´00: Experience-Based Approaches to Process Improvement . The problem diagnosis techniques and our results are also described in chapter 8 of: "Improving Software Organizations: From Principles to Practice" .
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Seminars and Presentations
Performing a problem diagnosis is a process that takes time and requires experience. I can assist companies in performing defect analysis, help identify major issues in the company's processes, and initiate possible improvement actions. The defect analysis approach is very briefly described in: Using Defect Analysis as an Approach to Software Process Improvement .
I give a half day tutorial titled: Introduction to Defect Analysis, that introduces the classification techniques and describe the results we have achieved using these as the way to initiate and perform process improvements in an organisation.
I also give presentations on this subject varying from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on your needs. See f.ex. the abstract from such a presentation at EuroSTAR 2008.
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