An experience-based framework for evaluating alignment of software quality goals

Panagiota Chatzipetrou, Lefteris Angelis, Sebastian Barney, Claes Wohlin

Software Quality Journal, December 2015, 23(4):567–594


Fulltext: PDF

Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s11219-014-9251-5


Efficient quality management of software projects requires knowledge of how various groups of stakeholders involved in software development prioritize the product and project goals. Agreements or disagreements among members of a team may originate from inherent groupings, depending on various professional or other characteristics. These agreements are not easily detected by conventional practices (discussions, meetings, etc.) since the natural language expressions are often obscuring, subjective, and prone to misunderstandings. It is therefore essential to have objective tools that can measure the alignment among the members of a team; especially critical for the software development is the degree of alignment with respect to the prioritization goals of the software product. The paper proposes an experience-based framework of statistical and graphical techniques for the systematic study of prioritization alignment, such as hierarchical cluster analysis, analysis of cluster composition, correlation analysis, and closest agreement-directed graph. This framework can provide a thorough and global picture of a team’s prioritization perspective and can potentially aid managerial decisions regarding team composition and leadership. The framework is applied and illustrated in a study related to global software development where 65 individuals in different roles, geographic locations and professional relationships with a company, prioritize 24 goals from individual perception of the actual situation and for an ideal situation.