Quality Assurance Standards

Quality assurance is a critical part of well-managed development and acquisition projects. Comprehensive quality assurance, risk management, and testing standards provide the best means to manage project risks and ensure software includes expected functionality, security, and operability. Quality assurance procedures should be applied to internally and externally developed programs.

Management should establish quality assurance standards that address:

  • Commitment - Successful projects require commitment from all involved parties. Senior managers should adequately support and promote projects throughout an organization to enhance organizational acceptance of a project. End users should assist in defining and testing functional requirements and project teams should efficiently complete tasks. All parties should clearly define their expectations and effectively communicate throughout a project.┬áManagement's failure to implement or support quality assurance programs decreases an organization's ability to detect project weaknesses and programming errors quickly. The later weaknesses and errors are detected, the more difficult and costly they are to correct.
  • Completeness - Each phase within a project life cycle includes procedures to follow and items to deliver. Therefore, quality assurance programs should parallel all phases of the life cycle. For example, the project initiation phase includes the presentation of a business case, the request for desired functional requirements, and the identification of interconnected system components. Quality assurance personnel should verify the justification for a project, the necessity of requested functional features, and the accuracy of system connections before projects move into the project planning phase. Audit and compliance employees should assist quality assurance personnel verify compliance with internal and external project requirements.
  • Scalability - Projects vary in size and complexity. Quality assurance standards should match project characteristics and risks.
  • Measurability - Organizations cannot evaluate a project's success accurately unless they assess results against defined expectations. Therefore, quality assurance personnel should assess the quality of products and processes against measurable standards, metrics, and expectations.
  • Tracking - Project personnel should properly record, report, and monitor problems to ensure effective problem resolution.
  • Independence - Audit and quality assurance personnel should be independent of the project they are reviewing.

 

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