QW2001 Tutorial A1, A2

Mr. Tom Gilb
(Result Planning Limited)

Software Inspection For The Internet Age: How To Increase Effect And Radically Reduce the Cost

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

Software Inspections were initially (1973 and on at IBM) used to clean up bugs, and to get some quantitative insight into bugs that might be introduced into testing and the field. This seminar will focus on a radical transformation of the original inspection. We do not even try to clean up bad work! It probably would pay off to 'burn and rewrite'. Inspection is used to measure the Major defect content of any software engineering specifications; requirements, design, test plans, code, user manuals, test cases, outsourcing contracts and web-based business plans. The cost can be kept down by sampling a few pages. The entire inspection cycle is reduced to one single hour, as done at a major web business client of ours. The key decision is to be able to 'Exit' the spec with less than one Major Defect per page, compared to the over 100 Majors/page which are common today. The key judgement is whether the spec matches a few critical best-practice 'Rules' of specification. In short, inspection should not be 'debugging' of bad work. It can be Quality Control through measurement and sampling.

About the Author

Tom Gilb was born in Pasadena in 1940, emigrated to London 1956, and to Norway 1958, where he joined IBM for 5 years, and where he resides when not travelling.

He has mainly worked within the software engineering community, but since 1983 with Corporate Top Management problems, and 1988 with large scale systems engineering. He is an independent teacher, consultant and writer. He has published eight books, including the early coining of the term "Software Metrics" (1976) which is the basis for SEI CMM Level 4. He wrote "Principles of Software Engineering Management" (1988, now in 13th printing, with 3 chapters on Evolutionary delivery methods), and "Software Inspection" (1993). Both titles are really systems engineering books in software disguise. His pro bono systems engineering activities include several weeks a year for US DoD and Norwegian DoD, and environmental (EPA) and Third-World Aid charities or organizations.

His clients include Hewlett Packard, Boeing, Microsoft, Ericsson, Alcatel, Nortel, Oracle, Sun, British Aerospace, UK Civil Aviation Authority, Litton PRC, Siemens, Medtronic and many others.