Quality Assurance for Contracted Software is a little different from our last two blogs on somewhat similar topics (Downloaded and Contracts). Obviously there is overlap with the QA for Contracts but here we are assuming that, rather than contracting for an already built product that might be modified for our use, we are specifying exactly what will be built. We are contracting out the development (and maybe testing) of something where we know exactly what we want.
One would think that this would be a great opportunity to put Quality Assurance requirements into the contract and provide exact criteria for what will be received. The problem is that people have trouble specifying quality. Ask a group (I have) for a definition of Quality and you will get as many answers as there are group members (maybe more).
The following are pretty common answers:
- The product shall be Fit for Use. By whom and with what training not being defined
- The product will adhere to the Requirements as stated. Quality Requirements not always being well defined or defined at all
And the same three from our last similar blog
- The product shall be of a Quality nature. Quality nature not being defined
- Testing will be completed. By whom and when, how or where is not considered
- Test results will be supplied. Format, detail, and how left to the discretion of the supplier
it is worth some time to put Quality Requirements into a Contract for Software. The time taken to add the clauses is minimal. The payback is huge.
Take a look at some of the seminars that we offer that address this situation and see if they apply to your situation. Considering the Quality Assurance and testing aspects early in the contract can save you a lot of effort, time and funds later on.
Contact us for further information.