So far we have discussed how to identify the types of frequently occurring defects and their root causes. The next phase is to take action to reduce the occurrence of defects.
The basic paradigm is the adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." With defect prevention, you are not trying to "cure" the software of defects; instead, you are taking preventive actions so that the software does not "fall sick" from defects. Common prevention actions are creating or improving checklists, holding training programs and reviews, and using a specific tool. Sometimes, of course, you must take drastic actions such as changing the process or the technology.
The solutions, like the cause-effect analysis, are developed through a brainstorming session. Hence, these two steps are often done in the same session. This is how it is done at Infosys.
The preventive solutions are designated as action items that someone must perform. Hence, the implementation of the solutions is the key. Unless the solutions are implemented, they are of no use. At Infosys, along with the solution, the person responsible for implementing it is also specified. These action items are then added to the detailed schedule of tasks for the project, and their implementation is tracked like other tasks. Table 11.6 shows the root causes and the preventive actions developed for the ACE project. The proposed preventive actions are self-explanatory. They were scheduled in the MSP schedule of the project.
An important part of implementing these solutions is to see whether they are having the desired effect of reducing the injection of defects and thereby reducing the rework effort. Further analysis of defects found after the solutions have been implemented can give insight into this question. Generally, the next analysis for defect prevention can be used for this purpose. In addition to tracking the impact, such follow-up analysis has a tremendous reinforcing effect. Seeing the benefits convinces people as nothing else does. Hence, in addition to implementation, the impact of implementation should also be analyzed.
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