5 Software Quality Metrics That Matter

Mar 28, 2024 | Best Practices, Programming

Which software quality metrics matter most? That’s the question we all need to ask. If your company is dedicated to developing high-quality software, then you need a definition for what “high-quality” actually looks like. This means understanding different aspects of software quality and which of those aspects matters most to you. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of software quality metrics and identify the five most important metrics for measuring software quality.  

📌 The Importance of Software Quality Metrics

Software isn’t stagnant. Even if you’ve tested your software extensively before launching it, you may sometimes need to update it to keep software quality high. But how often do you need to update your software, and what kind of updates should you focus on? These are the questions that you answer when you focus on finding the right software quality metrics. 

Imagine if your doctor told you that you needed to “get healthier” but they didn’t tell you why. Without knowing if the issue was your cholesterol, your blood sugar, or your weight, it would be difficult to know where to start. 

The same is true for teams trying to develop high-quality software. If development teams don’t have agile software quality metrics to guide their work, it’s hard to improve over time. Quality assurance metrics for software help development teams hone in on where they can improve their software and how. 

🗝 Key Software Quality Metrics to Consider

Software quality assurance looks different depending on the goal of your project. But regardless of your overall goal, there are some quality metrics that are useful across the board. Here are five metrics you should track on all of your projects to improve the quality of your software products. 

1. Defect Density

Defect density is a software quality control metric designed to measure how many defects or bugs are present in software. Defect density is generally calculated by dividing the total number of defects in software by the lines of code.

Defect density is one of the most effective software quality metrics for teams that prefer quantitative metrics. Project managers often look at defect density first because it’s easy to identify and measure. It’s also great for cross-comparing different versions of software. 

Tracking defect density can also help teams identify which lines of code most need attention. This is great for setting priorities for future updates and patches. 

That being said, defect density should not be the only quality control metric software developers use. Without other software code quality metrics, defect density cannot tell the whole story. 

2. Code Churn

Code churn allows development teams to measure how much they’re changing their code in a given time period. It’s a measure of the total number of lines added, modified, or deleted during a specific time period. 

Code churn is used to determine the intensity of development efforts. While a high code churn rate isn’t bad if you’re actively working with a software quality assurance tester, for example, after the software has been launched, high code churn may be a sign that teams are making too many changes to software. This could be problematic because modifying existing code too frequently could leave it susceptible to failures or other risks. 

On the other hand, while low code churn may suggest stability in the codebase, it could also indicate stagnation or lack of progress in the development process. Code churn is another one of those software quality metrics that needs to be examined in context and alongside other production metrics. 

3. Test Coverage

In software development, test coverage measures the extent to which the code is being tested by automated tests. It’s a metric that tells you how much of your codebase is being exercised by your automated tests.

For example, if you have a piece of code that’s responsible for calculating a user’s total expenses, test coverage would tell you how many scenarios you’ve tested for that code. Have you tested it with different input values? Have you tested it with both valid and invalid inputs? Test coverage gives you a percentage or a measure of how thorough your testing is.

High test coverage indicates that most of your code has been tested, which means you’re more likely to catch bugs and errors. Low test coverage means there are parts of your code that haven’t been adequately tested, leaving the potential for bugs to slip through unnoticed. Keep in mind that you should be testing both inside and outside the testing box to get a full understanding of your code quality. 

4. Customer Satisfaction

At the end of the day, you create software for a reason. The end goal is to meet certain user requirements. Customer satisfaction goes beyond checking whether your software functions as intended. It also encompasses concepts like whether it’s easy to use or enjoyable for your customers. 

Customer satisfaction can be one of the more difficult quality metrics to measure, but it’s often one of the most important. There’s a reason user stories and social proof are so critical for businesses. Customer satisfaction matters. Tools like user surveys, feedback forms, and user reviews can help you get a beat on customer satisfaction, which you can then use to help focus your software improvement efforts.

5. Response Time

Response time is generally measured as the difference in time between when a user requests a response from the system and when they receive their desired response. For example, if a user clicks a button, response time would measure the time between when they clicked and when the button did what it was supposed to do. 

Think of response time in software like waiting in line at a store. Just as you expect the cashier to help the line move quickly, users expect software to react promptly when they click a button or perform an action. If the response time is slow, like a slow-moving line, users might get frustrated and lose interest in using the software.

🚀 How Ranorex Can Help

From testing software before it goes live to keeping up with ongoing software quality metrics, development teams can quickly become overwhelmed. Ranorex is designed to simplify the testing process. Codeless automation cuts down on the average time it takes to run tests on software, freeing teams up to implement changes while reducing overall cycle time. If you’re interested in improving TestOps and cutting down on the amount of time your team spends testing software, contact us today.



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