Software Testing Blog

A Commitment to Excellence: Raytheon Company

Last week Anne Frazier, Principal Software Engineer from Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), presented a webinar on Development Testing Best Practices. She shared her real-world story of how Coverity solutions have helped Raytheon meet its “company-wide commitment to excellence” by enabling their developers to deliver high-caliber code that feed their mission-critical products for the US Armed Forces and Department of Homeland Security. Her story included some key best practices that they learned that helped them succeed. Here are the three that stood out to me:

1. Identify ways to achieve your corporate goals.

Raytheon is a CMMI® Level 5 organization, focused on continuously improving process through incremental and innovative technological changes and improvements. This goal includes focusing on minimizing cost while maximizing quality across the organization. To address this, Raytheon selected Coverity® Static Analysis to systematically remove defects early in the development process. The result, they found development costs were reduced, they no longer were paying for re-work of bad code, and by finding and fixing defects early, they saw their overall code quality improve.

2. Provide an effective process framework, that will minimize process burden, while maximizing return.

To minimize the process burden on development, Anne created an organizational deployment plan around implementing Coverity Static Analysis that involved three steps:

  1. Engage key stakeholders early by running Coverity Static Analysis on the existing code base to identify and fix current critical defects.
  2. Involve high level Software Build and Technical Leads at the next level down: complete an analysis of the code at transition to software integration time to find new defects that could have been introduced at this stage.
  3. Finally, involve the entire software development staff in the analysis of code during development, prior to peer review, to prevent new defects from being introduced.

Anne also noted that the key to success between each of these steps is to provide training in a timely manner, incorporate feedback based on what’s learned during each analysis, and refine the process before moving on to next steps.

3. Set goals and establish quantitative metrics to monitor what success looks like.

Anne said it best, “At the end of the day, what’s measured is what gets done.” Identify and collect necessary measurements to capture return on investment, and make sure that the people involved are a part of this process who understand and see value in the metrics being collected.

For her, the ability to use and rely on a product that will not fail in the Defense industry is beyond significant, as it directly impacts the end-user, the war fighter, the people on the battlefield whom we ultimately depend on to secure our nation.

On behalf of Coverity, I’d like to thank and salute Anne and Raytheon as an organization for honoring their ongoing commitment to excellence and for providing this valuable information to help make other organizations as successful as Raytheon is today. If you want to learn more and hear the full story you can view the webinar on demand now.

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