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About safety

After the telco of 2013.05.17 Oscar asked to add the safety characteristic to the model. This discussion should help to understand it well, give it a place into the model, and give information on how we could measure it.

In the ISO 9126, safety is a characteristic of quality in use. It is defined in these terms: The capability of the software product to achieve acceptable levels of risk of harm to people, business, software, property or the environment in a specified context of use. The standard also adds the following notes: "Safety is defined as a characteristic of quality in use, as it does not relate to software alone, but to a whole system."

The SQuaRE standard translates this into freedom from risk with the following definition: Degree to which a product or system mitigates the potential risk to economic status, human life, health, or the environment. It also introduces three sub-characteristics: Economic risk mitigation, Health and safety risk mitigation, and Environmental risk mitigation.

I would propose to insert it as a subcharacteristic of the product quality. Since we do not distinguish internal, external or in use quality this should be ok from the 9126 perspective. Furthermore, as far as I understand it and even if should be measured in a user-specific context, it depends on the product itself (rather than the process). Do you agree?

One more question: I have absolutely no clue on how to measure it. What metrics or type of metrics should be used? (talk) 12:50, 18 May 2013 (EDT)

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