Testing for System Integrators – Part 2

Over the next few weeks, the NVP blog will focus on Software Testing for System Integrators. From NVP’s point of view, a System Integrator is someone who brings together a number of applications (from vendors), adds some glue and ends up with a solution for the organization they are working with. This seems to agree with the Wikipedia definition fairly closely. So where does Quality Assurance come into this? One would like to think early or very early in the process but that’s not always the case.

Last week we asked two $10,000 dollar questions and this week we promised the possible answers. Unlike the questions, which are specific to the final client and the suppliers, the answers are more general and apply to both.

  1. The contracts state the following specifically about Quality Assurance and everyone is in agreement
  2. The contracts says nothing about it so far but we have Quality Assurance as a topic and the contract will not be finalised without this discussion
  3. The contracts says nothing about Quality Assurance so far but now that you have brought it up we will add it.
  4. There is something in the contracts about Quality Assurance and we can look it up for you (contracts are signed).
  5. There is nothing in the contracts (contracts are signed) and there is no intention of putting anything in the contracts about Quality Assurance
  6. We don’t know (but that is a good question)
  7. We don’t know (and we don’t care)

Suffice to say the items in the above list have an obvious gradation from good to terrible in the order they are presented. If you get the first answer, you’re well on your way. If you get some of the middle answers you have some work to do, but you may be in time to effect some change. If you get the last few answers, you are in trouble!

Next Week: What to do with the answers.

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