Quality management ensures superior quality of products and services. Its success is measured by the level of customer satisfaction. Quality management objectives include: quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control.
Quality planning, in the case of software development, an organization prepares a quality management plan for each software or systems engineering project.
- Customer satisfaction comes first: Quality is defined by the requirements of the customer.
- Prevention over inspection: It’s better to position your organization to avoid mistakes than to have to deal with damage control.
- Management responsibility: The cost of quality management must be included in the budget plan and approved by the management.
- Continuous improvement: Becoming better is an iteratively structured process.
- Document your quality plan: A quality plan should be documented and included in your project deliverables. Define objectives and deliverables, document the goals and how they are measured.
Effective quality systems can contribute enormously to the success of projects. Quality assurance (QA) is the process of avoiding mistakes or defects to determine if a product or service is meeting specified requirements. Today’s quality assurance systems are designed to identify defects before they go into final production. Most companies have resources devoted to quality assurance. If a quality management program is not managed effectively, the program and software development will likely suffer.
“The function of software quality assures that standards, processes, and procedures are appropriate for the project and are correctly implemented.”
A well-managed project with clear quality goals delivers on time, is built within the allocated budget, and satisfies the customer’s requirements. Undertaking QA at the beginning of a project is a key tool to mitigate the risks that have been identified during the specification phases. Communication plays a pivotal role in managing project risk and is crucial for realizing effective QA. Part of any risk mitigation strategy is the clear communication of the risks and their associated remedies to the team or teams involved in the project.
Quality Control (QC) is concerned with the software product development process. It measures and controls the quality of the software as it is being developed. QC includes all operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality. The project proposed techniques and process must be communicated and approved by the customers and/or stakeholders before project work commences.
Quality control refers to specific functional requirements, as well as non-functional requirements such as supportability, performance, and usability. It also refers to the ability for software to perform well in unforeseeable scenarios and to maintain a relatively low defect rate.
Quality control activities include:
- Defining and classifying the severity of defects
- Inspecting documents
- Inspecting code (either manually or via automatic static code analysis)
- Testing executable software. For example: module, unit, integration, system and acceptance testing
- Recording of defects
- Setting quality control limits outside of which corrective action must be taken (refer figure: Run Chart, upper and lower control limits)
- Tracking corrective action on defects
- Defect data analysis – e.g. tracking defect trends over time (refer figure: Run Chart).
The Charter Global team has a strong understanding of the resources needed to maintain an effective Quality Assurance organization. They understand that security and performance play a significant part in successful QA and in the development of a product. Enforcing best practices for quality assurance ensures that your business is meeting requirements, and it also increases customer confidence.