Quality Assurance Processes are key to a successful project. Before we get into the where and why, here is  a brief overview of processes as we see them.

A Quality Assurance Process has several components which are often described via a workbench.
The following are common to most of the workbenches we have used:

  • Inputs are items that are provided to the workbench. Frequently they are the output from another workbench and they should be subject to entrance criteria.
  • Some Do Process to which the Inputs are subject
  • Some Check Process after the Do Process has completed
  • Tools may be used to assist in the Do and Check Processes
  • If the product or process passes then it is delivered to the next workbench or to the final customer
  • If the product or process fails then rework is undertaken to correct the errors
  • Standards should be applied to all the other components of the workbench

The key point is to determine where to apply the processes for the most impact and best ROI.

Too Much Process

There are companies (some of them no longer in business) who applied processes to absolutely every step and every thing they did. They ‘bogged down in process’ to the detriment of the actual work they were supposed to be doing. There were too many processes to remember and people actually devoted time to working out how to avoid the process.

Too Little Process

The opposite of the above are the companies that avoid process entirely. Everything is left to current thought of the day and it can be changed tomorrow. These companies are at Level 1 (or less) of CMMi and very little actually moves each day since everyone knows it can change before. People resort to doing as a little as possible while waiting on the final decision.

Just Right Process

The best way is the Just Right Processes. We will talk about that next week.