Interview Questions

Need some QA advice: * Improve Management Commitment to Quality Assurance , * Improve the Internalization Quality Assurance as a process

Software QA/Testing Technical FAQs

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Need some QA advice: * Improve Management Commitment to Quality Assurance , * Improve the Internalization Quality Assurance as a process

The first part of the battle is already won: product quality is suffering due to financial and business drivers outside of your control. In other words, there is awareness (or there is a means of obtaining) awareness that although products are shipping, quality is suffering and if this is allowed to continue, your product will be bogged down in patches, bad customer experience and perception. Ultimately your product will fail. This is a very powerful argument with which to convince your management that the situation cannot be allowed to continue. The expression "once you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow" is particularly true here.
So step 1: recognize there is a problem and highlight the consequences. Awareness is key!
Step 2: Define your role and get clarity about your objectives and understand the expectations your managers have of your department.
QA is not just testing. Testing is not just QA. Are you expected to test, or are you expected to manage quality? Depending on the answer you can focus on the areas that the business places as top priority and fill the areas where you are lacking expertise.
Example 1: they want you to be a Quality Assurance manager. Now we're in the realms of ISO, CMM etc. Coding standards, documentation standards, process flows, organisational structure, communication standards, release management procedures, process improvement and maintenance, change management procedures, review cycle management, requirement mangement lifecycles etc. In other words, you are responsible for the process that assure quality. How that is monitored and controlled is quality control.
Example 2: they want you to test the software. Now we're talking Test methodologies, test plans, test team organisation and so on.
By clarifying your role you not only get an idea of your areas of responsiblitiy, you are also empowered to bring about change, to introduce quality and turn the ship around! Make sure you have the means to carry out your job (budget, resources, a senior management sponsor to help you through the hard time). If you dont, then you will fight a losing battle.
Step 3: Now that you know your role; evangelise! Let everyone know what you are going to do and what the end-results are going to be. Include everyone (yes, quality is everyones business) and be aware that change meets with resistance. Check out the paterson-connor change lifecycle model for an example and structure of your change activities and the problems you will face.
Step 4: Depending on your role, implement your procedures. The business will decide what is more important. If it wants to ship product, focus on the release management/service delivery/service management to make sure that customers get their products quickly and get the support they need. If they want quality, focus more on standards and development/qa lifecycles.

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