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This blog series will on the Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence. Last week we covered the proactive aspect of a QA CofE. This week we want to focus on the analytic component.

Analytics – The analytical aspect of quality assurance looks at data and analyzes what went right and what went wrong. Information comes from statistics and Post Implementation Reviews. The Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence gathers the data, collates it, and then provides information based on that data. They may act on the data, or they may simply pass the information along assuming that someone else will act on it within a specific project.

Gathering analytics is probably the most traditional role for a Quality Assurance Specialist. They gather statistics from current processes and analyze them to determine what is working well, what can be used elsewhere, and what needs to be fixed.

There are two challenges that the Quality Assurance Specialist usually faces:

  1. Data is gathered because it always has been and information continues being gathered whether or not there is any current use or anyone even viewing it.
  2. The Quality Assurance analyst carries out all sorts of detailed analysis and then nothing is done with the results. This can be very discouraging and isn’t a great use of time and work efforts.

There are ways of addressing the above two above challenge:

First, there should be a yearly review of all the statistics gathered with insight given as to if, how and where they are being used. This is not a review of the value of the information, it is simply a statement of whether they are being used somewhere in the organization. More extensive reviews might ask the deeper question of the value of any use of the results.

The second challenge above is a little harder to deal with. Part of it can be addressed by ensuring that any new requests for results do have value (being Proactive) and then look at why the existing items are not being used. If they do not demonstrate some value to the organization, then they are not going to be used. Again, we want to ensure the initial request for the analysis has value attached; ongoing value is being demonstrated, and the yearly review incorporates this component to make sure it is still of value.

Now that we have all the information, we can start using it proactively to help make our current work and initiatives more efficient.

Next week Root Cause Focus