Chapter 2. Invited Talks


We have two exciting invited talks, one representing an industrial application of Software Inspection, and the other providing a regulator's view of Software Inspection. The abstracts of the talks and the biographies of the speakers are provided below.

Measurable Software Quality Improvement through Innovative Software Inspection Technologies

by Brigitte Klein (Allianz)


The development of high quality software satisfying cost, schedule, and resource requirements is an essential prerequisite for improved competitiveness of life insurance companies. One major difficulty to master this challenge is the inevitability of defects in software products.

Since defects are the more expensive the later they are detected and the earlier they are arisen in the life cycle substantial cost can be saved through early quality assurance measures. Inspections are an effective method of detecting defects early on in the development process. Combined with innovative reading techniques such as Perspective-based reading (PBR) software inspections can be processed in a very effective manner. At Allianz Life PBR-inspections were introduced in the scope of an ESPRIT/ESSI Process Improvement Experiment as well as a part of a the Allianz Process Improvement Program. Human success factors were particularly considered to apply inspections successfully. Suitable measurement programs, based on the GQM-Paradigm, were defined and processed to show the basic impacts of inspections on software quality and productivity.

Due to the very promising results of the measurement program the IT Management of Allianz Life decided to implement inspections as a quality assurance method accompanying IT projects. Further experience in applying PBR inspections will be identified and saved in an experience base for later reuse. Only a continuous learning process enables a continuous improvement of the software quality process and software development process.


Brigitte Klein received the degree Diplom-Betriebswirt(BA) in Economics, branch of study "Information Engineering", from the Vocational Academy of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1982. Her primary professional experience she gained with a consultant company as organisational programmer and later as project leader. Afterwards she was over 10 years with DEKRA, one of the largest German Automobile Surveillance, where she was finally team leader for "System Engineering Methods and Processes". She was also responsible for Quality Management within the complete Information Technology Department. In the scope of this function she prepared for certification to ISO 9001.

Since 1996 she has been with the Allianz Life insurance company in Stuttgart, where she is responsible for Quality Management, Central Data Management and for introducing process models and coaching IT projects in applying these procedures. Her software engineering interests concern above all to identify and enable software quality improvements.

Inspection of Safety Critical Software: Expectations of the Regulator

by Kurt Asmis (Formerly with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) pp. 153-162. - PDF or postscript


Chances are that if software is used within a device, system, vehicle, airplane or facility that can have an effect on safety, health, security or the environment regulators will be involved in the approval process before the entity can be released for public use. The regulators primary need is to have evidence and demonstrated assurance in place that the software meets requirements and does nothing unsafe. Regulators place heavy emphasis on testing, comprehensive and systematic inspection, standardized processes and qualified people

This paper presents a model of regulatory software approval that has evolved over the last 15 years: first, by the licensing of the safety critical shutdown systems software at Darlington which was completed in 1990; and second, by a period of formalization and standardization to bring software to the level of standard as other, albeit complex, engineered components. The thrust in the standardization process was to reach an acceptable level of maturity and remove fixation on software as a "treat-as-something-special" submission. This would permit software components to be changed, maintained or replaced as other engineered components are through an approved and managed process.

This paper goes behind the scene to show how regulators arrived at their "software" expectations. These expectations cascade down and influence the inspection efforts. The inspection of software is an important stepping stone in providing the evidence and confidence that the end result will be reasonable assurance of safe operation.


Dr. Asmis retired from a senior position at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission May, 2001. He has worked in the nuclear industry since 1976.

His engineering specialty and his doctoral work have been in structural integrity and he applied that knowledge in the licensing assessment, the granting & continued renewal of operational licenses of Canadian Nuclear Facilities (e.g. Nuclear Power & Research Reactors, Dry Waste Storage, Fuel Cycle Facilities and Uranium Mining Waste Sites). His participation in safety critical software started in 1987 when his section was selected to carry out the safety evaluation of the Darlington shutdown systems. He and his staff with the assistance of consultants carried out a 3 year intensive program that led to the licensing of North America's first fully software controlled ( control & protection) nuclear generating station. For the last ten years as a manager in the Atomic Energy Control Board ( now the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) his work focused primarily on leading a team of engineers and scientists who carried out the safety evaluation & fostered the standardization of safety critical software, reliability & risk, human factors, instrumentation control & electrical (ICE), environmental & fire engineering as well as structural integrity.