Asserting that current methods for evaluating the capabilities of software vendors have become passe, the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the Object Management Group (OMG) announced a partnership to sponsor the Consortium of IT Software Quality (CISQ), an industry-led initiative to address the measurement of critical IT application quality attributes.
Asserting that current methods for evaluating the capabilities of software vendors have become passe, the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the Object Management Group (OMG)
announced a partnership to sponsor the Consortium of IT Software
Quality (CISQ), an industry-led initiative to address the measurement
of critical IT application quality attributes.
According to CISQ officials, the SEI's Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI),
which was founded years ago and is currently the de facto standard, is
no longer enough to properly evaluate software development capabilities
and differentiate vendors.
CISQ will bring together industry executives from Global 2000 IT
organizations, system integrators, outsourcers, and package vendors to
jointly address the challenge of standardizing the measurement of IT
software quality and to promote a market-based ecosystem to support its
deployment, CISQ officials said. One of CISQ's earliest objectives will
be to develop an industry standard that provides the detail necessary
to automate the measurement of quality attributes.
"The SEI provides a neutral environment for IT executives to address
quality challenges as an industry and develop the standards and
infrastructure necessary to address them," said Paul D. Nielsen,
director and CEO of the SEI, in a statement. "OMG's success in
standards development and the SEI's experience in software
architecture, quality attributes, process improvement, and network
security make this a very strong partnership with global reach."
"For several years IT executives have complained that there are no
industry standards for measuring the quality of business application
software," said Richard Soley, CEO of OMG, said in a statement. "CISQ
will enable us to benchmark the effectiveness of internal development,
evaluate the quality of applications acquired from external sources,
and predict the quality and cost of IT services to the business."
According to CISQ documentation, the organization's five primary objectives are to:
1. Advise, educate, and be the voice to business and government
leaders on the strategic and mission critical importance of IT
2. Develop standard measures of quality attributes to be used by IT
and the business for evaluating the software quality and risk of
multi-tier IT applications.
3. Propose methods for using quality measures in negotiating and
managing the acquisition or maintenance of IT application software.
4. Develop and promote professional licensing for those providing services to assess the quality of IT application software.
5. Establish an online IT industry forum for addressing IT application quality issues.
In an interview with eWEEK, OMG's Soley said: "CISQ is a partnership
between OMG and SEI to rapidly develop and field a static code quality
measure. It's important because of the need for high-quality, reliable
software systems -- not only in safety-critical systems like avionics,
but even in financial systems and manufacturing control -- and the need
for software firms and systems integrators to openly rate the quality
of the systems they build and deliver. OMG's role is to bring together
the end-users and vendors of such a standard and rapidly agree specific
requirements and then deliver an international, neutral standard -- and
then in concert with SEI, promote the ecosystem to help the standard
become widely adopted.
CISQ's director, Dr. Bill Curtis, co-author of the Capability
Maturity Model (CMM) and a non-resident affiliate of the SEI, said he
is looking forward to working with IT leaders and technical experts
from business and government to tackle the growing complexity of
multilanguage, multi-tier business applications. "Unless we address the
quality challenges of these systems, business and government operations
will be placed at unacceptable risk," he said.
"For application quality measurement to be economically practical it
must be automated, and that requires a level of standardization that
does not exist today," said Soley.
Capers Jones, an IT industry expert has joined this partnership as a
CISQ distinguished advisor. He will contribute his expertise in
software quality and size measurement to the achievement of CISQ's
objectives. The inaugural CISQ Executive Forums will be held at the SEI
facilities on October 6 in Arlington, Va., and November 12 in
Frankfurt, Germany. The aim is to have a draft of the IT quality
standard by the fourth quarter of 2010. Licensing of IT quality service
providers is expected to begin during 2011.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.