What are some common causes for software failure?

What can be done to reduce the chances of software failing?

11 Answer

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Common causes for software failure are:

  • 1. Poor requirements definition

  • 2. Poor programming skills in the given environment

  • 3. No interest in or knowledge of the wider software environment causing problems in the integration

  • 4. Not enough resources or time for development resulting in poor software quality

  • 5. Tests do not cover changes in software

What can be done to reduce the chances of software failing?

  • Ad 1.: Define acceptance criteria together with the requirements
    and use these within test cases

  • Ad 1. & 5.: Write use cases with the requirements definition
    as the basis for test case creations

  • Ad 1.: Write down together with business users a risk-weighted (frequency of use x potential damage) process landscape
    and link new requirements to this process and its risk.
    Preferable recheck/rework the risk weighting for the individual requirements.
    Use this for test planning resp. prioritizing in test case creation and execution as well then in test reporting.

  • Ad 2. & 3.: Proper team management and specific training programs incl. learning from experienced colleagues in the given environment

  • Ad 4.: Proper project and/or backlog management

  • Ad 5.: Analyze what functions are used in production, what is changed with the developments, and what are covered with test runs.
    Cover identified gaps between developments and test coverage with additional test cases.

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