Last week we discussed some prerequisites for Trend Analysis on defects. We are only discussing defects here but there are many other project metrics that could be analysed.

Assuming that the prerequisites from the previous blog have been satisfied, what can we determine.

  1. The trend in the number of defects in each project (after normalization by some project size measurement).
  2. The trend in the number of defects in each Priority and Severity level (again after normalization).
  3. The phase or process that consistently generates the most defects.
  4. Any weak or defect prone supplier processes.
  5. Any product weaknesses that cause consistent customer complaints.

Once we have the information listed above, we are in a strong position to fix any weak areas and correct any issues that may be costing us customers or internal funds. This is process improvement devoted to making sure that our internal processes are the best possible and we are generating the best possible product. There is more to trend analysis than we are mentioning here, but there are entire books and conferences devoted to this topic. We have only touched the surface of one item we can measure, address and improve.

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