Quality Assurance As The Scapegoat.. And Putting Quality In The Hands of Developers
I was at a best practices seminar in Toronto today. Great talks. But the most interesting talk was about the issues of quality assurance. Some (perhaps many) organizations have quality assurance teams that are junior personnel, who are unable to evaluate software, but can only follow checklists. Then when the software is fielded and has problems people blame QA. If there is a quality management function (that is quality evaluating requirements, design, code, test) there is the ability to make better products. But just checklist people during testing don’t cut it.
Also, even if QA reports to management that the software is not of sufficient quality, and the first time management hears this is two weeks before shipment that the software is not of adequate quality and should be deployed, what is management supposed to do? Hold off? Rewrite. This approach isn’t going to increase quality or reduce total ownership costs.
One of the excellent techniques that has provided success to many projects is to have checklists for each software activity. Then have the developers themselves ensure they are meeting the quality requirements. Quality management need only audit one in four items. And putting th definition of quality in the hands of those who actual create quality increases quality without increasing costs.
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