by , Michael Mah, No Comments

Apr 17

Permissible Defects?

by Chad, Michael Mah, Comments Off on Permissible Defects?

Apr 17

April 17, 2006

An interesting thread came up on the IT Toolbox website on “Permissible Defects.” The question had to do with acceptable industry thresholds for defects on SAP projects (as opposed to other classes of software work.)

The reply from a gentleman based in the Netherlands warrants discussion. Here it is for your consideration. An interesting PDF paper that he wrote on Quality Assurance standards is here as well. It’s got useful information on how software projects behave that can give understanding about reasonable expectations and commitments. Setting these expectations is the task of managers coming up with project estimates, hopefully using project estimation tools that can explore these in a “war games simulation”.

Of course, my take on this is our observation at QSM of defects being directly a function of deadline pressure. Haste makes waste, as they say. But what is surprising from the research data (see the QSM IT Metrics Almanac posting) is how severe the trade-off is. If you try to compress dates without giving up on promised functionality, the defects can go up geometrically. For example, compressing the time by only 20% can yield a 4x or more rise in project defects, all of which have to be tested and corrected. As I’ve said in my articles, “Projects don’t like to be time-compressed. They get very angry.”


What is the QA norm for SAP Implementation where a lot of configuration is done in IMG to map business scenarios.Additionally I want to know the prmissible defects in ABAP coding. Is there any industry norm for ABAP or is it same like any other development environment like Java or .net (7defects/KLOC???).



Permissible defects? As a customer, I want Zero Defects. And don’t try to tell me that that level will cost more, because I know (by experience) that Quality is Cheaper. And it is the task of QA to help developers to prove that.

I know that people are not perfect. But if your target is 7def/kLoC, then they may asymptotically approach the 7def/kLoC level, which means that still is more than 1 defect per 140 LoC. Only if you put the asymptote at zero defects, then they may approach that level. Talking about “permissible level” of defect, condones that level of defects, and will perpetuate the generation of defects.

Especially if you are in QA, you should eradiate the Zero Defects attitude and assist the developers in ways to approach that level. For some more about this subject, read “Optimizing the Contribution of Testing to Project Success”:

Niels Malotaux, Project Coach

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