Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence – Part 5

Our current blog series focuses on the Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence. Last week we covered the root cause analysis aspect of a QA CofE. This week we want to focus on the process

Focused on Process – This also applies to all of our previous points and they can all be applied at any level. The Quality Assurance CoE could look at very general processes for the entire organization or very specific processes to resolve a specific problem.

There are two challenges that a Quality Assurance Specialist usually faces with respect to Process:

  1. Analyzing a process can be more difficult than analyzing a product
  2. The payback may be longer term

If a process is not followed correctly then any measurements taken of the process may be suspect. In addition, if no measurements have been defined before the process was implemented, then it is difficult to retroactively add them to the process.

There are a couple of solutions to the above issues:

  • Build in compliance via automated enforcement. In other words, the compliance to the process is forced by checks built in to the process and enforced automatically. Many computer systems do a lot of automated enforcement already. For a process, we just need to abstract that to the process level and see how it can be made self-enforcing
  • The measurements need to be correctly defined (not a trivial problem) and then added to the process so they are automatically generated as a result of doing the process.
  • Finally as a sequel to the automated generation of the measurements, the measurement of the expected benefit needs to be well defined and implemented before the process is used. We probably want to ignore the first few measurements as trials and not used for actual decisions. Once the process has settled down, we can start measuring and collating the statistics.

Next week QA CoE Summary

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