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 provided several possible answers to our original

  1. The contract states the following specifically about Quality Assurance and everyone is in agreement
    This means that you simply have to “bridge the gap” between what is expected from the vendors and what is promised to the final client. The only problem may be that you do not agree with the contracted items.
  2. The contract says nothing about Quality Assurance but it’s noted as a topic and the contract will not be finalized without this discussion
    This is almost the best situation. While it may be a little late in the process, the willingness to add Quality Assurance exists and people are behind it.
  3. The contract says nothing about Quality Assurance so far, but now that you have brought it up we will add it.
    The same comment as above is applicable except that there is not quite the backing we might have had earlier.
  4. There is something in the contract about Quality Assurance and we can look it up for you (contracts are signed).
    Well at least they considered it; it may not be correct or complete but it was not entirely ignored. Once you find out what is in the contract you may (or may not) have concerns to handle.
  5. There is nothing in the contract (contract is signed) and there is no intention of putting anything in the contract 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 very manageable to a real challenge 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 there’s still time to make change. If you get the last few answers, you are in trouble but not defeated!

Next Week: What to do with the answers (remainder).