Dovel Technologies Publishes the 2013 Update of the World Class Quality Initiative
The 2013 Update – Dovel Technologies’ World Class Quality Initiative: Looking back on the quality metrics of 2012 to evaluate improvement and progress.
Dovel Technologies (Dovel) has been at the forefront of implementing information technology systems for the United States Government for over 8 years. At the conclusion of each calendar year, we take stock of our performance as part of our Dovel World Class Quality Initiative and we compare results to the previous year. This report summarizes Dovel’s 2012 achievements that will serve as the benchmark for future goals.
Dovel has been a CMMI® Maturity Level 3 appraised company since April 2008. This achievement is a testament to our corporate commitment and attention to quality, which provides significant benefits to our clients and our employees. In 2011 Dovel conducted a second CMMI® Maturity Level 3 appraisal and the results confirmed Dovel’s strong performance. This most recent appraisal included Dovel’s agile software development life cycle methodology. This report includes metrics captured for the agile methodology.
In order to ensure an objective view of Dovel’s performance, we requested information for this report from Mr. Capers Jones (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/capers-jones/0/344/409), a well-known software engineering industry expert. Additionally, we will share, and have shared in the past, the results of our annual survey with Mr. Jones who publishes an annual report of companies’ quality metrics. We hereby thank him for the wealth of advice he provided us.
II. What are we measuring and why?
Strong companies collect metrics to help operational performance and decision making, and Dovel is no exception. We operate a robust Measurement & Analysis (M&A) program aimed at continual improvement. The Dovel metrics program measures specific aspects of quality. Defect potentials and defect removal efficiency are two high-level metrics.
Capers Jones describes these metrics as follows:
The term ‘defect potentials’ refers to the total quantity of bugs or defects that will be found in five software artifacts: requirements, design, code, documents, and ‘bad fixes’ or secondary defects.
The term ‘defect removal efficiency’ refers to the percentage of total defects found and removed before software applications are delivered to customers. As of 2008, the U.S. average for defect potentials is about five (5) defects per function point. The U.S. average for defect removal efficiency is only about 85%. The U.S. average for delivered defects is about 0.75 defects per function point.
Software project costs and schedules decline for projects whose cumulative defect removal efficiency level is approximately 95%. Achieving 95% removal efficiency requires a combination of formal inspections and formal testing. 
Defect potential and defect removal efficiency are clear indicators quality software, a major goal of Dovel Technologies. In addition to defect potentials and defect removal efficiency, we compare each release to the previous year’s average in order to measure and report improvement. Collecting and analyzing these metrics, and vowing to improve on them, ensures that Dovel’s performance gets better year over year.
We measure defect potential in terms of function points, which measures the functional size of a software system. Function points are an industry standard for measuring the size of a software system.
III. Dovel 2012 performance
The table below shows Dovel’s defect potentials and defect removal efficiency from 2008 through 2012 and compares the data to industry average. Dovel’s performance improved in both categories.
After reviewing Dovel’s 2012 data, Mr. Capers Jones commented:
“Your data continues to look good with fewer delivered defects and higher defect removal efficiency (DRE) than many companies. Your Agile data also looks better than many other Agile projects. I wish all Agile projects measured the way you do. With function points Agile can finally be compared against other methods.”
IV. What is the benefit to our clients?
Low defect potentials and high defect removal efficiency rates are substantially beneficial to a client. Defects are a major contributor to schedule slippage and therefore, a major contributor to the total cost of ownership of IT systems. Defects are the main source of user dissatisfaction with IT solutions and their decisions to cancel systems efforts. Thus a high defect removal rate—which measures the number of defects reported by users in the first 90 days of system implementation—directly correlates to high client satisfaction. After all, who wants to use a system with a high number of defects?
It is no coincidence that 100% of the systems Dovel worked on were delivered to production. Also, Dovel received an overall rating of 93% (on a 100-point scale) in the Dun & Bradstreet Open Ratings survey in which our clients rated the quality of Dovel’s services and products.
Employing The Agile Methodology achieves results with minimum staffing levels and shorter schedules, thereby reducing cost while increasing responsiveness and user need alignment, due the dynamic nature of sprints. Dovel applies the Agile Lifecycle Methodology as one of our CMMI®-appraised processes and, when comparing the Dovel data to industry average, we achieve high quality level with .45 defects per function point (industry average is 4.6) as well as a 93% defect removal rate (92% industry average).
Less defects and higher defect removal leads to greater efficiency and less cost to the customer.
This is why Dovel can deliver a high-quality solution to clients, and increase user satisfaction.
 Overview of United States Software Industry Results Circa 2008 Copyright © Capers Jones & Associates LLC