Nowadays most enterprises invest in various tools and frameworks to effectuate and speed up their software testing efforts. But each business still needs to measure the quality of software after the testing process is over. As standards of measurement, metrics are commonly used by businesses to assess the quality of the software and effectiveness of the testing process. Thus, the managers can use the metrics to take crucial decisions related to release of the software. The software metrics can be divided into three broad categories, i.e., coverage, progress and quality. A business needs to use metrics belonging to these three categories to assess the quality of the software effectively.
Metrics Used Commonly to Assess the Quality of Software
Test Coverage: It belongs to the category of coverage metrics. The test coverage metric helps manager to assess the quality of the software based on planned test coverage. The manager can calculate the percentage of test cases executed by using the following formula.
(Total number of test procedures/Total number of test requirements) *100
System Coverage: The system coverage metric also falls under the category of coverage metric. A manager can calculate system coverage metric to analyze the test coverage at the system interface level.
Test Procedure Execution: As part of progress metrics, test procedure metric helps manager to determine the extent of the pending or outstanding testing efforts. The status of test procedure execution can be ascertained using the following formula.
Number of executed test procedures/ Total number of test procedures
Error Discovery Rate: Both error discovery rate and defect density are calculated using a single formula. The progress metric helps managers to take rational decisions related to the application’s release. A manager can calculate the error discovery rate metric by dividing the number of defects identified by total number of test procedures executed.
Defect Aging: It is also important for the manager to determine the turnaround time for a defect. As part of progress metric, defect aging metric helps manager to decide the amount of time required to fix the defects identified during testing process. He can calculate the defect aging metric by deducing the date defect was identified from the date defect was fixed.
Defect Fix Retest: The manager also need to check if the application is retested quickly and effectively after the identified defects are fixed. As a progress metric, defect fix retest metric helps managers to decide the amount of time required to release the new build. The metric is calculated by deducting the date of retesting the software from the release date of the new build.
Quality of Fixes: The managers also need to assess a variety of development issues to assess the quality of the software accurately. They can assess the quality of defects fixed by the programmers by dividing the number of defects reopened by the total number of defects fixed. The metric will help manager to understand the impact of bug fixes on other functionality of the software.
Software Problem Reports: The manager also needs to understand the total number of defects identified during the testing process and their significance. So he needs to break down the number of defects identified by priority. Once the defects are organized based on their priority, it will be easier for him to check if all crucial defects are fixed and the application is retested.
Test Efficiency: As a quality metric, test efficiency helps managers to assess the effectiveness of software testing efforts. A manager can calculate the test efficiency metric by dividing the total number of required tests by the number of system errors.
Test Effectiveness: While assessing the quality of the software, the manager needs to check the effectiveness of tests conducted by the testers. He must analyze the test reports to find out the number of defects identified during the testing process. The information will help him to assess the effectiveness of tests quantitatively.
Many managers include the quality metrics in the project from the very beginning to obtain accurate and relevant information about the quality of the software through test reports. However, the managers must include a variety of metrics in the project to assess the quality of the application and testing efforts effectively.