The economic impact of software is certainly dependant in the quality of it. Companies developing software spend a lot of effort maintaining the software and removing errors and problems during the lifecycle of software. For companies using software, they have got so dependant on it that outages due to software errors can lead to massive losses (e.g., online booking systems, credit card payment systems). Bad quality has its costs for both kinds of companies. Efforts spent in SQA will lead to higher returns on investment. In fact, it has been said that, money spent is quickly recovered. However, most of the companies only start worrying about quality too late in their development processes. The reasons for this is that they perceive that Quality is Not Free. Tools, testers and processes do come with a price tag and companies are wary to invest in them.
U-Qasar is composed of the methodology to create a quality model, and a platform to link the quality model to the tools used for quality assurance in a company. The platform gives an update view of the state of the quality model.
The methodology helps helps with defining what to measure in a quality model. Companies may or may not have a quality model already in place, but a methodological approach to building quality models improves what is measured. Bad metrics can have the same economic impact of no metrics, or even worse as they may lead to add development effort to the wrong aspects. The methodology does not create the quality model in a technical vacuum, but involves all actors in the definition of the quality model. Thus, it also creates a social impact in the company, with possibly new interactions and better communication about the quality goals of the company.
The platform creates an online system that updates the quality model as new data is generated. This allow for an updated view of the quality model. Moreover, the hierarchical system provides different level of detail, interesting to different roles within the company (e.g., product manager, quality manager, developer). An updated view of the quality of a given project can lead to better decisions from the management that can result in a better product. As well, the communication of the quality state is greatly simplified, and people can focus on improving the quality rather than just reporting on it.
The combination of both will help making Quality Free for a larger set of companies.