Increasing Product Quality by Verification and Validation Improvements in an Industrial Setting

University dissertation from Department of Communication Systems

Abstract: Large and complex software systems are developed as a tremendous engineering effort. The aim of the development is to satisfy the customer by delivering the right product, with the right quality, and on time. Errors made by engineers will always occur when a system is developed, but their number can be decreased by process improvement and their effect can be reduced by removing them as early as possible. The research is performed at Ericsson Microwave Systems AB. The thesis consists of six papers and the main contributions are: - It is presented how measurements can be performed in the various testing activities in an organization. A measure of goodness is introduced, which measures whether faults could have been found earlier in the process. - It is shown how a template simulation model can be adapted and extended to fit an organization in order to estimate how a change will affect the development process. - The important characteristics of the verification and validation activities and the dependencies to other project activities in an organization are investigated in order to introduce process improvements. It is shown that interviews are a feasible means for the characterization. - Two different review methods are compared. The comparison shows that an active review method is more efficient and effective than a passive one. - The factorial design methodology is introduced as a method in system performance evaluation. The results show that a validation method, based on factorial design, is efficient when few factors are involved, and that prototyping and validation methods, based on fractional factorial designs, are efficient when many factors are involved. Altogether, this thesis concentrates on how to increase product quality and reduce lead-time, by improving the verification and validation processes and methods.

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