This paper addresses the transformation of traditional software quality control techniques to a proactive quality assurance program within embedded systems and other mission critical software: Software plays an increasingly important role in every product and organization. The number of mission critical applications, those with a high cost of failure (air traffic control systems and other life support products), or a high cost to fix (cellular phones and other consumer products), have increased exponentially in recent years. Software for embedded systems more often than not fits this profile of “mission critical, ” and with the forecast for embedded systems continuing to accelerate, the need for proactive quality assurance is higher than ever before. This paper previews a two-stage approach to transforming quality control to quality assurance: • Quality Assessment (Stage 1) provides objective quantitative evaluation of quality while identifying and fixing software defects early in the development cycle, before they get to the customer and even before testing; • Quality Assurance (Stage 2) helps prevent defects from entering the code base by enforcing coding standards during, and by preventing new defects from occurring during times of change through accurate impact analysis.
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