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Quality Management on Software Projects

Quality Management on Software Projects
By Dave Nielsen

This is the first in a series of articles about managing the Quality related activities in a software project, written from the project manager’s perspective. The first step the project manager will take should be to plan the Quality activities that are required for the application, web site, or system to meet its goals and objectives. You may need to document the goals, objectives, roles, responsibilities, and other details in a formal Quality Management Plan depending on the size and complexity of your project. If your project is not large or complex enough to require a formal plan, scheduling the work and assigning it to a resource in your WBS may be sufficient.

There are 3 different phases or types of testing required during the build phase of the project:

  1. strongDeveloper testing – this is testing that will be done by the developers on the team and will include unit testing, function testing, thread testing, integration testing, and system testing.
Read the Complete Article

Project Quality Metrics – The Other Side of the Grass

Project Quality Metrics – The Other Side of the Grass
By Ram Narayanan Sastry

“What cannot be measured cannot be improved.”

This saying forms the basic reason why we have quality metrics defined and measured. There are two major purposes which these metrics serve. The first purpose is to know the current condition of the software and identify if things need to be improved. The second purpose is that it forms the basis to showcase the improvements done over a period of time. In this respect, software quality metrics are an essential part of any Quality Management System and allow projects to quantitatively measure the project’s quality.

But like any other metrics or statistics, the quality metrics also tend not to give the full picture in certain scenarios. Let’s take an example of Code Review Yield. A high Code Review Yield is supposedly an indicator of a good review mechanism. But this could also be an indicator of poor coding standards within a team. Read the Complete Article

The Two Types of Quality Reviews

The Two Types of Quality Reviews
By Kerry Wills

Most delivery methodologies recommend conducting reviews of key deliverables at specific points in time on the project. Conducting these reviews is an effective way to ensure the quality of project deliverables. There are two types of deliverable reviews that should be added to the project plan and resourced.

  • Peer reviews. Peer reviews involve having a ‘peer’ of a team member who is working on the team review their deliverables before completion or going for signoff. Examples of this include developers performing code reviews of other developers or a Business Analyst reviewing a peer’s requirement documentation before going for business signoff. It is always helpful to get a fresh perspective on one’s work, especially from someone who is familiar with the project. Peer reviews should be informal in nature.
  • External reviews. For critical deliverables a Project Manager might want a review from someone who is ‘external’ to the project.

Read the Complete Article

Managing Project Quality

Managing Project Quality (#31 in the Hut Introduction to Project Management)
By JISC infoNet

We have previously mentioned Time, Cost and Quality as key factors in project management. Assessing performance in terms of time and cost is relatively easy but quality is harder to define and measure. A high quality project may be one whose outputs:

  • Meet the specification
  • Meet stakeholder requirements

Or alternatively one whose outputs:

  • Are fit for purpose
  • Satisfy the stakeholders

These don’t all mean the same thing. The chances of the initial specification being correct or indeed of the stakeholders being able to adequately articulate their real needs are slight. We warned earlier of the dangers of hitting the targets but missing the point. Managing quality is about keeping an eye on the bigger picture and aiming for outputs that are in line with the second definition.

Elements of managing quality within a project include:

  • A formal project management framework
  • Adoption of recognised standards where they exist
  • User Acceptance procedures
  • Impartial evaluation

Many projects have some form of external quality assurance role built into the project structure. Read the Complete Article

Introduction to Project Management Processes – Quality Management

Introduction to Project Management Processes – Quality Management (#3 in the series Introduction to Project Management Processes)
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK

Quality management ensures that the expected quality of the project’s products and deliverables is achieved. A Project Quality Plan defines the key quality criteria and quality control processes to be applied to project management.

Successful delivery toolkit, the Office of Government Commerce – © Crown Copyright 2009 Read the Complete Article

Project Quality Management

Project Quality Management
By Siraj Qureshi

The main objective of any software project is to deliver a product that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations. Quality Management complements Project Management. Good Project management ensures that all the best quality tools and techniques are applied throughout the project. Many people tend to have perception that quality management is time consuming and tedious: It requires a lot of documentation, has to be constantly reviewed and monitored, and can be very costly. My experience says that if you don’t apply quality management for your project efficiently, you will have to deal with the consequences of a delayed project. The project may also be scrapped if its quality is compromised or the product does not meet customer’s needs or expectations. I witnessed many projects where the project team put a lot of extra efforts to meet the project deadline while overlooking the quality of the project. Read the Complete Article

Six Constraints: An Enhanced Model for Project Control – Quality

Six Constraints: An Enhanced Model for Project Control – Quality (#4 in the series Six Constraints: An Enhanced Model for Project Control)
By Jay Siegelaub – MBA, PMP, PRINCE2

PRINCE2™ employs “tolerances” – its term for these six constraints – as key project controls. They are dimensions of the project for which ranges of acceptability are defined, which are monitored to identify or anticipate when a plan has entered “problematic” or “exception” territory. They are needed and used at all three planning levels of a project – the project as a whole, any one stage or phase of the project, and at the detail work package level.

The Six Constraints are:

  • Time
  • Cost
  • Scope
  • Quality
  • Benefits
  • Risk

This article discusses Scope.

The quality constraint (or “quality tolerance”) is actually quite similar to that of scope – except that quality focuses on characteristics of a deliverable. When we address quality we are not looking to add (or delete) a new item. Read the Complete Article

PMP® Exam Quality Primer: The Quality Gurus – Joseph M. Juran

PMP® Exam Quality Primer: The Quality Gurus – Joseph M. Juran (#2 in the series PMP® Exam Quality Primer)
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

Joseph M. Juran

Joseph M. Juran ranks close to Deming in terms of significant contributions to the quality movement. Juran has been most recognized as the person who added the human dimension to quality, broadening it from its statistical origins. Juran is best known for his Three Basic Steps to Progress, his Ten Steps to Quality Improvement, and the Juran Trilogy.

Juran’s Three Basic Steps to Progress

The Three Basic Steps to Progress are broad steps that Juran feels companies must take if they are to achieve world-class quality. The Three Basic Steps are as follows:

  1. Achieve structured improvements on a continual basis with dedication and a sense of urgency.
  2. Establish an extensive training program.
  3. Establish commitment and leadership on the part of higher management.
Read the Complete Article

PMP® Exam Quality Primer: The Quality Gurus – W. Edward Deming

PMP® Exam Quality Primer: The Quality Gurus – W. Edward Deming (#1 in the series PMP® Exam Quality Primer)
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

Quality as we know it today is an accumulation of several concepts that together create a comprehensive approach to quality. The views of quality, as described in the PMBOK Guide® and tested on the PMP exam are focused primarily on three major contributors to quality: W. Edward Deming, Joseph M. Juran, and Philip B. Crosby. Though much of the knowledge necessary to pass the PMP exam is readily documented in the PMBOK Guide® and other study guides, it may be helpful to have a primer on the quality gurus and programs on which the quality concepts are based.

W. Edward Deming

Many consider Deming the father of quality. His contributions to quality management have been most influential, so much so that he is considered an internationally acclaimed expert. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Process – Phase 3 – Implementing – Quality Assurance

Project Management Process – Phase 3 – Implementing – Quality Assurance (#21 in the Hut Project Management Process) By John Filicetti

Description

Quality assurance is applied to ensure the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards and should be performed throughout the project. In most companies, the Quality Assurance/Quality Control teams will provide this function.

Some of the steps the project manager should take to ensure quality projects are:

  • Review project deliverables prior to implementation using the project test plan
    • The earlier they any identified problems are fixed, the cheaper the solution
  • Anticipate quality deviations and take preventive actions
  • Test project and product processes prior to deployment
  • Solicit early customer review and feedback

Ensure all quality assurance documentation are posted to the collaborative workspace and provided to all project stakeholders. As the project progresses, the Project Office or a senior project/program manager will ensure project quality by holding Project Quality reviews. Read the Complete Article

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