Quality Assurance Assessments – Part 2

Quality Assurance Assessments take a variety of forms in an IT project and can range from very informal to very formal in nature. This week we will discuss WHY we want to do a QA assessment now that we have completed an explanation of WHAT an Assessment is in a past blog.

WHY Quality Assurance Assessments are Done:

1. They’re Mandated

If it is mandated but not accepted then it is an exercise in futility. This is quite possibly the worst reason to start a QA Assessment, especially from the viewpoint of those carrying out the assessment. The process will be completed with little effort given, in the shortest time possible and the results will end up on a shelf, never to be discussed again.

2. To Find Out What Went Wrong

In this case, there will be an effort to find out what went wrong in the just-completed project and even if no further action is taken, at least people are aware of what everyone considered to be problems (which may not have been obvious to other people in the project). The danger is that this session and the final report can easily turn into an exercise of complaint and self justification.

3. To Improve the Process

This is by far the best justification for a Test Process Assessment. If parties are focused on what needs to be done to make the next effort easier, better, or more effective, then the discussion will focus on finding solutions to problems encountered. The participants cannot simply list their problems and concerns and then walk away.

We want to finish with a few questions and ask you to post your answers.

  1. Have you participated in a Test Process Assessment?
  2. What was the justification for the Assessment?
  3. Were the results used for Process Improvement?

Next Week: Test Plans

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