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Software Quality Metrics: How to Improve the Quality of Your Product

Software Quality Metrics: How to Improve the Quality of Your Product

WEB development
887
08.06.2023
Are you a software quality measurement guru or a novice? Without thinking, can you list 5 to 10 examples of quality metrics? Do not worry! This article will fix that. You should do the same with any errors or ambiguities during product development and maintenance. Such concern for quality is important - only in this way will your solution bring real value to the target audience.

So first is quality, but what else is behind the hype over measuring software quality in one word? Revenue. According to Global Market Insights, nowadays the role of software testing in making money is increasing, with more than $40 billion generated, and is anticipated to record a CAGR of more than 6 % between 2022 and 2030. The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence improves the testing process by automating some parts of the quality control procedure and facilitating decision-making. Nevertheless, the demand for manual QA will not decrease. On the contrary, it’s expected to rise by 2032 as new products are constantly entering the scene.

At Peiko, we help businesses get timely information from product quality metrics and take their products to a new level of quality. So join the team of agile leaders, and not watch world trends! But first, find out:

- How to improve a product with the software quality metrics before its release?
- How can you influence the satisfaction of customers using your product?
- What should not you miss at the stage of software maintenance?
- What are the ways to evaluate software quality metrics?

Benefits you get from using software quality metrics

Being attentive to quality metrics in software engineering means keeping your eye on the ball. Regular monitoring of the situation allows you to manage the further course of the game and win - make a valuable product. Make sure all team members realize the potential of qualitative tests as this leads you to:
  1. Faster execution of tasks. On average, data analysts spend 80% of their time cleaning and sorting out data instead of focusing on the analysis. At the same time, software quality indicators speed up data processing and allow specialists to spend their efforts on solving more urgent tasks.
  2. Clarity in all processes. Having visibility of what’s going on at each stage of the product’s building, testing, and maintenance are the keys to identifying and resolving misunderstandings in complex projects. Providing specific QA standards up front will help keep the team on the same page.
  3. Facilitating prioritization. By using a set of relevant metrics, you make life easier for the PM, whose primary responsibility is to track the project’s progress and lead the team in the right direction. Based on the results of the analysis, project managers can rationally prioritize tasks instead of following intuition. 
  4. Effective management. To ensure that your software product is on schedule, you need metrics. Anticipate possible risks, estimate the timing of future steps, and make changes along the way when necessary.
  5. Better decision-making. Metrics bring objectivity to the table, so you avoid impulsive decisions and costly mistakes. Instead, your project will be optimized to meet your software quality assurance goals. 

What is meant by software quality?

You’ve already learned which benefits can drive you to choose different types of software quality metrics. Now you might be wondering what they are doing with your product, right? Peiko understands your need for motivation. Add more to the list:
Your solution is stable
Nobody likes to use software that often crashes or runs slowly. Bugs annoy customers, so regularly checking your app for bugs will tell you if it's running smoothly without crashes. 

Your product is easy to maintain
Overcomplication will not be your friend when you think of software maintenance. Check it for clarity before the next step! Metrics help you weigh the size, structure, and consistency of your code base to understand your product's success within it.

Your product supports testing well
The openness to various testing types measures your app’s further upgrade. If the changes require a lot of time and effort, you will probably lose some of your users before you can complete the task. Quality analysis prevents this.

Your solution is portable
Different generations of users prefer different platforms to use. While mobile phones still lead the way - 57% of internet traffic is generated by phone users - market segmentation can significantly influence their preferences. That’s why you should adapt your solution to work well on different devices, and metrics are the foundation for that.

Your product can be reused
Changes in consumer behavior require you to be flexible, which means being willing to make the necessary changes to your product's functionality, design, and user experience. To do this, engineers need to easily reuse code. With the help of metrics, you can measure the interdependence between assets and intelligently plan a new version of the product.

Key product quality metrics to access the value of your solution

Now that you know why you need to measure product quality, it's time to talk about examples of software quality metrics. And we suggest starting with Agile metrics that allow your dedicated team members to focus on improving the software product as it's being developed. Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. Lead time
This is one of the significant software development quality metrics. It estimates the time spent by engineers on idea generation, UX and UI design and development. The faster the team can get the product out, the more likely your potential customers will find it relevant and useful. At Peiko, we pay a lot of attention to this factor when working on every project, including the TopUp Balance App to ensure speed of implementation is to choose the right path and never sacrifice quality.
2. Cycle time
Don't confuse cycle time with execution time, even though they look similar. What differs between them is time. Or, to be precise, the timing of when a project starts and when it is considered complete. The cycle period starts from the development of the application until the end of the life cycle. In contrast, the lead time begins with the receipt of the order and ends with the delivery of the finished version. Do you see the difference? The cycle time metric helps evaluate the time necessary for each development stage and allocate resources correspondingly.
3. Sprint velocity
This is when your PM's talents should be at their best if you advocate a Scrum approach to planning. The metric determines how much value the team can bring at each sprint. Calculated in story points, this is the amount of work developers can complete under ideal conditions. An important tip here is to be realistic with your estimates, as this will affect the entire planning process. After each sprint, the project manager compares the actual and expected story points to modify the workflow as needed.

Essential in-process quality metrics

Are you interested in learning how to measure software quality during testing? When a quality assurance professional enters the scene, he must check these examples of quality metrics:
1. Customer problems
When working on a project, it is important to anticipate possible problems of users. The latter includes both problems without defects and problems with defects. They’re calculated in terms of monthly statistics — Problems per User-Month (PUM). Simply put, the PUM metric shows how the program behaves after each milestone or release. With it, you can improve usability, reproducibility, and documentation.

2. Customer satisfaction
This is another easy way to see how your TA reacts to the product, especially after making some changes. This is usually measured by customer surveys, according to which the level of satisfaction with the use of access is carried out on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. By counting the percentage of each customer category, quality control professionals can clearly see whether things are going well or poorly. 

3. Code complexity
This metric is usually accessed by an automated software tool that takes information from the code and calculates the number of possible independent paths in the program. The higher it is, the more complex the code. Usually, if the code complexity is greater than 10, the code will be difficult to maintain and the development team should work on simplifying the program.

Key maintenance quality metrics

At this stage, the quality metrics should focus on fixing the defects in the backlog. Usually, this happens according to DevOps practicewhich also aims to ensure high quality software.
1. Fix backlog 
This metric calculates the number of reported issues that remain unresolved by the end of the week or month. Guided by the trend graph, you get the opportunity to productively plan and manage the maintenance process.
2. Backlog management index
This quality metric is also important for managing the backlog of issues that are "already fixed" or "waiting to be fixed". Abbreviated as BMI, it is calculated by following formula:
3. Fix quality
Last but not least, the Quality of Service metric measures the number of defective fixes—those that failed to resolve the reported problem or caused a new problem after the fix. By calculating the time that has passed between the detection and elimination of the defect, you lower the bar for reducing the interest of buyers in your product.

How can software quality metrics be evaluated?

When discussing software quality metrics, it is important to have an understanding of how to test the metrics. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the latest to help you navigate this complex topic.
  1. To assess the cyclomatic complexity of your codebase, various tools are available such as CodeClimate, SonarQube, and Understand. These tools not only calculate the complexity but also offer suggestions to simplify the code, thereby enhancing its maintainability.
  2. Code coverage measurement can be done using tools like JaCoCo, Cobertura, and Istanbul. These tools provide detailed reports indicating which parts of the code are covered by tests and which are not.
  3. Code churn analysis can be done with Git, a widely used version control system. By using Git's built-in features like git log and git diff, you can track changes made to your codebase and detect sections undergoing frequent changes.
  4. Code duplication detection can be accomplished using PMD, CPD, and Simian tools that can detect sections of code that are similar or identical to others in the codebase.
  5. Maintainability index can be calculated by tools like CodeClimate, SonarQube, and Understand by analyzing various factors including cyclomatic complexity, code duplication, and code coverage. This index provides an overall measure of the maintainability of the codebase.

Put quality at the top of your business priorities

We strongly recommend that you check that your product is ready to launch throughout the period of custom software development

Don't skip the testing and debugging process to avoid costly mistakes in the future! Contact Peiko, and you will have a unique opportunity to improve your product before it becomes a commodity.
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