We are efficient: we get the work done in no more than seven working days

We understand that the nature of an exclusivity period in a Private Equity transaction can involve very tight deadlines. We also understand that you may need at very short notice.

Given these parameters, we have deliberately chosen a straightforward and practical approach which is as simple as printing out programs on paper and having programmers record their observations using a red pen. After that, all we have to do is count the 'obstacles to maintenance' they identified, and analyse the results.

This predictable process, manned by a large pool of code inspectors, means that we can guarantee that you will receive our report no more than seven working days after we receive source code samples from the target.

We are objective: our programmers use international standards, and we benchmark their findings

The OSQR assessment mechanism draws upon two international standards and an industry benchmark:

ISO/IEC 25010:2011

"… product quality model composed of eight characteristics (which are further subdivided into subcharacteristics) that relate to static properties of software and dynamic properties of the computer system."

—International Organization for Standardization

ifsq 1021 benchmark set IfSQ Level-2: A Foundation-Level Standard for Computer Program Source Code

Involves the following defect categories and indicators:

ifsq 1021 benchmark set The IfSQ-1021 Benchmark Set

The maintainability rating of software needs to be interpreted in an appropriate context. The Institute for Software Quality (IfSQ) has established a benchmark set for this purpose. It contains more than a thousand individual code inspections carried by qualified inspectors around the world, all making use of the defect indicators and assessment method defined in the IfSQ Level-2 programming standard.

The OSQR Group is licensed to use this benchmark set, referred to as IfSQ-1021, in its analysis and reporting. The benchmark set has proven most helpful in conveying information about how well (or poorly!) programs have been written to clients and targets alike.

We are practical AND thorough: experienced programmers take their red pens to the code; we don't just push the code through an automated analysis tool.

The OSQR approach

Programming is a human activity.

Programmers record their thoughts day by day in the form of code and comments, numbers and structures, routines and subroutines. They disable and re-enable code, they alter and extend existing code, and they write fresh new code. While doing this, they make use of contextual knowledge about computing, business processes, local regulations and laws, and other such knowledge as is needed to construct a complete solution to a set of complex business problems.

Peer reviews have proven to be most effective in the assessment of software quality. Automated analysis tools remain useful but provide a far from complete picture. The way that code has been written will impact heavily on the efficiency and effectiveness of programmers charged with maintaining it, especially as teams grow and the original developers move on.

Software Quality Analysis is a human activity.

It can take several weeks to 'teach' a static analysis tool how to properly scrutinize the source code in a particular project.

It needs to be configured in order to select those program files which form the core of a software product, and calibrated to correctly assess that source code in the context of frameworks, programming languages, third-party libraries, installation or migration scripting, stored procedure languages, etc.

The OSQR Group have learnt from experience that the timescales and other restrictions inherent to Private Equity transactions dictate that a different approach be used: manual source code review.

Printing out source code and annotating it with a red pen may seem old-fashioned but work can start from the very moment that the source code is received. The process is auditable, scalable, predictable, reliable, and much easier to manage than the calibration and deployment of a complex tool or set of tools.

We are adept: we have more than eighty Private Equity engagements under our belt

In the four years prior to COVID-19 our year-on-year growth was 100%, starting in 2016 with three engagements, growing to an average of two engagements per month:

2016: 3 engagements

IfSQ Level-2
Ranking in IfSQ-1021
Benchmark Set
UnlatchF-RatingBottom 5-10%
FlaringD-RatingTop 40-45%
ScratchD-RatingBottom 30-35%

2017: 6 engagements

IfSQ Level-2
Ranking in IfSQ-1021
Benchmark Set
VirusC-RatingTop 20-25%
PostcardC-RatingTop 20-25%
OmegaC-RatingTop 25-30%
DiceC-RatingTop 25-30%
StapleE-RatingBottom 10-15%
CargoD-RatingBottom 30-35%

2018: 12 engagements

IfSQ Level-2
Ranking in IfSQ-1021
Benchmark Set
BagelE-RatingBottom 5-10%
ApronC-RatingTop 20-25%
ShallotC-RatingTop 15-20%
HappyD-RatingTop 40-45%
MarchE-RatingBottom 10-15%
AbsoluteFF-RatingBottom 1%
GrillE-RatingBottom 10-15%
AmplifyF-RatingBottom 5-10%
MandolinC-RatingTop 25-30%
CloudD-RatingBottom 30-35%
BlizzardE-RatingBottom 20-25%
JukeboxD-RatingTop 30-35%

2019: 24 engagements

IfSQ Level-2
Ranking in IfSQ-1021
Benchmark Set
AtomD-RatingTop 40-45%
SaloonE-RatingBottom 15-20%
CrownA-RatingTop 5%
GameD-RatingBottom 30-35%
TidyE-RatingBottom 20-25%
PouchFF-RatingBottom 1%
HyperlinkE-RatingBottom 10-15%
PlayhouseE-RatingBottom 5-10%
HeroF-RatingBottom 5%
SpongeD-RatingBottom 30-35%
ClassD-RatingBottom 30-35%
PlatformF-RatingBottom 5%
VintageE-RatingBottom 15-20%
SubtitleE-RatingBottom 20-25%
MagnetFF-RatingBottom 1%
TripodC-RatingTop 25-30%
RefreshD-RatingTop 60-65%
GroundF-RatingBottom 5%
TwistD-RatingBottom 30-35%
AtticD-RatingTop 50-55%

2020 (Q1-Q3): 19 engagements

IfSQ Level-2
Ranking in IfSQ-1021
Benchmark Set
DreamC-RatingTop 25-30%
EarthD-RatingBottom 30-35%
PortalC-RatingTop 25-30%
SliceD-RatingTop 55-60%
SocialE-RatingBottom 15-20%
QuickD-RatingBottom 30-35%
AccentE-RatingBottom 5-10%
DotC-RatingTop 10-15%
FrostC-RatingTop 25-30%
StarfishE-RatingBottom 10-15%
BounceE-RatingBottom 10-15%
StadiumD-RatingTop 35-40%
SaladF-RatingBottom 5%
FractionF-RatingBottom 5%
PentagonFF-RatingBottom 1%
CactusC-RatingTop 20-25%
SpiritFF-RatingBottom 1%
SandFF-RatingBottom 5%

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