Software Quality Assurance Guide
By: Lisa Shim/Jacquie McKevitt
The SQA Guide sets forth the scope, roles, responsibilities, and procedures that will be used to perform the SQA function for <COMPANY> IT. This Guide provides a foundation and framework for managing the IT Department’s quality assurance activities.
The purpose of this document is to:
Define the purpose of SQA
Identify the roles and responsibilities of the SQA Team
List the activities, processes, and work products that the SQA Team will perform and
The scope of this Guide includes:
SQA-specific activities designed to ensure the consistent quality of <COMPANY> IT work products, including inspections and process improvement activities
Description of the supporting activities necessary to perform SQA.
The SQA Guide is not intended to be a “catch-all” document for < IT quality. This Guide is designed to define only those activities performed by SQA and its supporting teams. The scope of this Guide does not include the activities necessary to define, analyze, design, execute (and test), or implement software work products.
The SQA Guide is intended to be used in conjunction with and as support for other documents in the <COMPANY> IT Department. The following provides a listing of the reference documents used to develop this Guide, as well as a listing of terms used throughout this document.
Refer to Appendix A for a list of reference documents used to develop the SQA Guide.
Roles and Responsibilities
There are five roles involved in the support of the SQA function. One party may fulfill more than one role.
Vice President, Information Technology (VP, IT)
Director, Quality Assurance
Director, Software Development
Director, Operational Support
An SQA inspection is a formalized appraisal, based on defined criteria, of an IT work product. The purpose of the SQA inspection is to provide management appropriate visibility so that approved processes are enforced. To this end, there are two main objectives of the SQA inspection: the primary objective of the SQA inspection is to determine the adherence to established standards and procedures; the secondary objective is to check the adequacy or effectiveness of those current standards and procedures.
Because process efficiencies can only be realized when processes are actually followed, the value of SQA inspections lies in its ability to verify that processes are performed as defined. SQA inspections raise IT’s confidence that processes are monitored and continually addressed. Furthermore, SQA inspections act as a forum to address noncompliance issues. The benefits of performing regular inspections (in improved quality and satisfied customer expectations) override the initial investment made in time and cost.
Planning and Preparation
Any of the five parties listed in Section 3.1 can initiate an SQA inspection.
During the planning and preparation phase, SQA will gain an understanding of the work product and the process by which this work product is developed. Based on the scope of the inspection, SQA will determine the specific questions that need to be answered, persons to be interviewed (if necessary), and records to be examined.
During this phase, SQA will define the specific goal, approach, and criteria for the inspection. SQA will base its inspection criteria on approved procedures or documents, as those documents will act as the de facto standard for the process by which work is performed in IT.
Once the high-level goals of the inspection are defined, SQA will schedule the inspection and inform the Process Owner and Sponsor of the inspection ahead of time using the Notification of Inspection template located in Appendix E. The Notification of Inspection will be sent out at least 24 hours in advance.
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