I was perusing some of the recent content on the Gartner portal, and discovered a report called Ensuring Quality From External Agile Software Developers. This turned out to be quite the tour de force, covering a range of topics like sizing for productivity and quality measurement, security, maintainability and the typical pitfalls of Agile software development. Especially managing outsourced ADM software quality. The report contains lots of great references and statistics. Really worth a read. It was written by analysts Neil Barton, Joachim Herschmann and Allan Wilkins, and just updated a couple weeks ago.
To measure software quality, tracking defects normalized by function point is the best solution
I was specifically pleased to see that CAST is mentioned in several places in the report. For one, it’s indirectly referenced as a solution for normalizing defect metrics by automating the function point count. If you want a defect per square mile metric, the only reasonable denominator is the function point. Also, CAST is mentioned as a solution for assessing the Maintainability and Reliability of software as well as a category Gartner calls Engineering Analytics. And, not least, the authors refer to a case study of a CAST customer using function point and software reliability metrics.
You may want to read this IEEE paper which details on how this customer, Fannie Mae transformed their agile development using a combination of software quality and automated function points analytics.
FIGURE 1. Improvements in productivity and quality during the agile–DevOps transformation at Fannie Mae. AFP 5 Automated Function Points, CAST AIP 5 CAST Application Intelligence Platform, and CoE 5 Center of Excellence.
CAST preferred by GSIs Accenture, Cognizant & Wipro to ensure software quality in agile development
The paper also points out a lot of good research on the subject of software reliability and quality. They mention sources such as Google, The Atlantic, Capers Jones, Steve McConnell, MITRE, CISQ, OMG, UK MoD, and many others. Since Allan and Neil also work with many Global Systems Integrators, they’d heard from Accenture, Cognizant and Wipro (in alphabetical order) about their use of CAST and chose to mention that in a footnote too. Nice! All the major GSIs have a significant investment in CAST technology, and many of the mid-tier SIs are starting to catch up too. Actually, Infosys is doing a webinar with us about some pretty advanced app modernization topics.
Beyond the nod to CAST, this is a very well researched and comprehensive view of measuring software outcomes in modern day sourcing. If you don’t have access to Gartner’s research, you should. And if you have access and have not yet read this report, you definitely should. You can find the report on Gartner’s portal here.