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Technical Note

A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle

  • Abstract

    Project managers are responsible for numerous decisions affecting systems under their purview. To make these decisions and effectively manage projects, they need methods for quantifying technical progress and quality and identifying issues early in the project life cycle. Typically, information is obtained through reviews, which provide information on risks, problems, and work completed to date. However, these reviews are generally aimed at identifying problems within isolated components or artifacts. They often fail to expose problems related to the end-to-end system or the underlying, systemic issues that led to them. 

    The technical assessment method introduced in this paper addresses these shortfalls by providing a framework for evaluating a system from several perspectives, or views, for a comprehensive picture of progress and quality. It also describes a structured approach that customers and developers can use to measure progress at each review. A graphical indicator is introduced that clearly depicts technical progress and quality, enabling those involved with the project to make informed decisions to mitigate problems and reduce quality risks. 

    The results of applying this method to a software acquisition program are presented and an assessment of the effectiveness of the method is made. Recommendations for future use and study are also provided.

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Cite This Report

SEI

Ferguson, Robert; Fowler, Summer; & Creel, Rita. A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle. CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032. Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. 2009. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055

IEEE

Ferguson. Robert, Fowler. Summer, and Creel. Rita, "A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Note CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032, 2009. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055

APA

Ferguson, Robert., Fowler, Summer., & Creel, Rita. (2009). A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle (CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055

CHI

Robert Ferguson, Summer Fowler, & Rita Creel. A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle (CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2009. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055

MLA

Ferguson, Robert., Fowler, Summer., & Creel, Rita. 2009. A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055

BibTex

@techreport{FergusonAMethod2009,
title={A Method for Assessing Technical Progress and Quality Throughout the System Life Cycle},
author={Robert Ferguson and Summer Fowler and Rita Creel},
year={2009},
number={CMU/SEI-2009-TN-032},
institution={Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University},
address={Pittsburgh, PA},
url={http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9055} }