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Defect Prediction Model – A Boon to Business Enterprises

  • 27/10/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

Defect Prediction Model can reduce losses

According to recent research, 40% of the companies reported failed software schedule and budget estimation while only 14% reported good performance. In yet another research conducted by Dynamic Markets Limited, 62 % of the organizations experienced IT projects that failed to meet their schedules, while 49% experienced budget overruns. Most of the enterprises, IT or Non-IT, are suffering gigantic losses due to poor estimations. The losses are reported to be as huge as a few millions of dollars to a billion in some cases. These losses could have been avoided if a good “prediction model” had been used. A sophisticated ‘Prediction model’ helps you identify the vulnerabilities in your project plan in terms of insufficient resources, poor timelines, predictable defects, etc. It has been realized that the project estimations for smaller projects are much accurate as compared to large complex ones. The reasons can be numerous, right from involvement of huge resources to varying requirements.

Recent trends show that the organization’s focus has shifted from defect detection to defect prevention approach. Though not many organizations have explored any such model, few of the testing vendors have already started paving its way towards such prediction model. This model forecasts the defect trends earlier, identifies the schedule variation, improves the efficiency of testing phase and helps enterprises stick to delivery schedule by taking informed decisions on budgeting, QA best practices and resource allocation. Such model uses a step by step approach towards identifying and analyzing different data parameters based on various algorithms and statistical models to predict the defect. Based on the output of such statistical analysis, the scheduled and actual pace of any project can be compared and the variation, if any, can be determined. On having any such variations, you can actually plan for the set of corrective actions in order to bring the project back on track thus eliminating the cause. Though difficult to believe but such prediction models can help you realize 95% precision between actual and predicted defects.

How the Defect Prediction Model Works?

Historical data plays a prominent role to assess the defect inflow trends and the past deviations from the schedule variation. All defects will not have the same impact on the functionality, product or service, and hence more effort should be allocated towards the defects that will have a higher impact on the deliverables. In a similar way, different parameters such as team size, total number of features, tasks completed, testing effort, number of test cases, release complexity and so on, will have a different bearing on the defects. Thus, identifying the key parameters which can influence the defects is of utmost importance. These parameters, thus identified, are then used for further analysis. Data quality plays a crucial role in the overall functionality of such models. Hence, you need to be very vigilant while selecting such data samples.

A defect prediction model if utilized effectively can help your organization harvest huge profits without getting delayed on planned schedules or overrun on budget estimates. It helps you modify the parameters so as to meet the schedule variations. It can help you avoid any delays in the delivery schedules, but does not guarantee you the success. Prediction being a difficult exercise requires attention from senior executives as well in order to understand the technical implications and limitations from business viewpoint.

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