Editor's Blog: Quality Management

A path through the mire...


Quality management often looks very different from the perspective of the pointy haired manager who sees it as a noble edifice like an East Anglian church, gleaming in the early morning sunlight under a spring sky.

Whereas the Dilbertia/Dilbert in charge of actually making it work feels as tough s/he's lost in the wilds of East Anglia – the church is visible on the horizon but the land in between is a wilderness of ditches and fens (OK, when I lived in East Anglia, you could still bum a drink off Hereward the Wake – these days it's mainly fields of Birds-Eye peas and dangerous turkeys).

So I was interested when Sarah Saltzman of Compuware offered me a path through the mire. Well, dropping that metaphor like a soggy marsh amphibian, she offered a path from point solutions in testing and the like to proper Enterprise quality management.

You need this, not just because small companies do need quality management with acceptably low overheads, but because small companies grow. If they don't put "good processes" in place before they really need it, they'll probably pass through a period of chaos (before the need for process becomes obvious in the light of some catastrophe) as they grow – and may not survive.

Sarah works for Compuware, which has a full, system-oriented IT governance approach called CARS.

Now it has introduced Compuware Quality Management, which aims to introduce Process on top of Compuware's risk-based testing point solutions using, for example, a dashboard to gave managers "Actionable Insights" into the development process.

This should hand control back to project manager and "enforce process without inhibiting daily life", as Sarah puts it. You could compare this with the similar "visibility into the quality of your code" offered by Agitar, but Compuware's approach is wider in scope (Agitar works only with Java agile development and JUnit testing – for now – although it has something a bit special to offer in that field).

Compuware's approach is also tied back to the test data – Compuware's FileAid is included – it's "putting test data back on the table", according to Sarah.

Nevertheless, remember that you still have to design you test data pack even if FileAid helps you prepare and desensitise it and helps you to compare "before and after" versions. Out of the box, you get a baseline Quality Manager; "a good leg up", as Sarah describes it.

However, Compuware's "enterprise" credentials are somewhat evident in its lack of an obvious pricing policy – basically, talk to Compuware (and at the bottom end, a simple "buy the box" price might be more useful). Ten days of mentoring/consultancy is included in the offering, adapted to your particular needs, so I doubt that it is that cheap. Nevertheless, process consultancy will be almost essential if you're new to process management and improvement – and how expensive is project failure? ®


Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021