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Quality and Risk Models

Q. Can I use a different quality model?

A. It is easy to change the spreadsheet to accommodate a different quality model provided it conforms to certain characteristics: it needs to be tree-like in structure, with up to 8 quality characteristics, and each characteristic can have up to 25 sub-characteristics.  The names and relationships are located in the ‘References’ tab, which contains instructions for changing the drop-down menus that are dynamically populated with these names.

Q. Which other quality models have been used with SARM?

A. SARM has been used with ISO 25010 (systems and software quality models) and ISO 25011 (service quality models) and their predecessor, ISO 9126-1.  Users do need to be licensed to make use of these models.  PBAM (the Perspective Based Architecture Method) was developed to help architects to ask the right questions before making architecturally significant decisions.  It contains a model to guide architects through four different perspectives or Zones, ensuring that their questions collectively consider the problem “in the round”.  It is, in effect, a quality model, and can easily be used as the quality model for SARM.  The spreadsheet has also been designed to accommodate either the Business Attributes model or the High Level General Business Attributes model of SABSA.

Q. Where did the default SARM quality model come from?

A. It is a simple, open generic quality model that is available for anyone to use.  It is not, perhaps, as comprehensive as those mentioned above, but it has the virtue of being easy to understand (and it’s free to use!).

Q. How can I change the risk model?

A. There is an underlying assumption in SARM that the risk model uses the formula: Impact x Likelihood = Exposure.  This model structure is widely used to describe risks across the globe.  By default, in SARM both Impact and Likelihood have five different levels.  Each level has a text description and a corresponding numeric value (1 to 6 and 1 to 5 respectively), and these can be easily changed by updating the tables in the ‘References’ tab of the spreadsheet (B:8 to C:22).  So by default, risk exposure will fall within the range 1 to 30.  Cells D:17 to D:22 map the percentages by which benefits are adjusted to reflect predicted benefits based on the likelihood values assigned to each solution option.  This is only relevant for assessments that will include a Cost Benefit Analysis.

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