The framework provides a basic foundation for developing an IT project quality plan to support the project’s quality objectives. PQM also becomes a strategy for risk management. The objectives of PQM are achieved through a quality plan that outlines the goals, methods, standards, reviews, and documentation to ensure that all steps have been taken to ensure customer satisfaction
Quality Philosophies and Principles
Before setting out to develop an IT project quality plan, the project and project organization should define the direction and overall purpose for developing the project quality plan. This purpose should be grounded upon the quality philosophies, teachings, and principles that have evolved over the years. These ideas include: a focus on customer satisfaction, prevention of mistakes, improving the process to improve the product, making qualityeveryone’s responsibility, and fact-based management.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the foundation of quality philosophies and concepts. Customers have expectations and are the best judge of quality. Meeting or exceeding those expectations can lead to improved customer satisfaction. Prevention, Not Inspection the total cost of quality is equal to the sum of four components—prevention, inspection, internal failure, and external failure. The cost associated with prevention consists of all the actions a project team may take to prevent defects, mistakes, bugs, and so forth from occurring in the first place. The cost of inspection entails the costs associated with measuring, evaluating, and auditing the project processes and deliverables to ensure conformance to standards or requirement specifications
Improve the Process to Improve the Product Processes are needed to create all of the project’s deliverables and the final product—the information system. Subsequently,improving the process will improve the quality of the product. Quality Is Everyone’s Responsibility Quality improvement requires time and resources. Quality Standards and Metrics
Standards provide the foundation for any quality plan; however, standards must be meaningful and clearly defined in order to be relevant and useful. As illustrated in Figure 10.9, the project’s goal defined in terms of the measurable organizational value or MOV, provides the basis for defining the project’s standards.
1. Verification and Validation
• Verification and validation (V&V) are becoming increasingly important concepts in software engineering
• Verification requires that the standards and metrics be defined clearly. Moreover, verification activities focus on asking the question of whether we followed the right procedures and processes.
• Validation, on the other hand, is a product-oriented activity that attempts to determine if the system or project deliverable meets the customer or client’s expectations and ensures that the system performs as specified. Unlike verification, validation activities occur toward the end of the project or after the information system has been developed. Therefore, testing makes up the majority of validation activities.
2. Change Control and Configuration Management
If you are working alone, you may store all the products of the software development (i.e., reports, plans, design models, program and database files) on your computer. Change control may be nothing more than just keeping your documents and files organized. The changes one makes would be lost if someoneelse were to save a file after the first person saved it, thus replacing new file with a differentnew file. There could be a great deal of confusion and wasted time.Change is inevitable throughout the life of the project. Configuration management is an important aspect of PQM that helps control and managedocument and software product change
3. Monitor and Control
Quality control focuses on monitoring the activities and results of the project to ensure thatthe project complies with thequality standards. Once the project’s standards are in place, it isimportant tomonitor them toensure that the project quality objective isachieved.Moreover,control is essential for identifying problems in order to take corrective action and also to makeimprovements once a process is under control.
4. Learn, Mature, and Improve
A central theme of this text has been the application of knowledge management as a tool forteam learning and identifying best practices. Monitoring and controlling activities and tools canhelp point out problem areas, but the project team must solve these problems. Therefore, it isimportant that the lessons learned from a project team’s experiences be documented so that bestpractices are identified and disseminated to other project teams. Continual, incremental improvementscan make a process more efficient, effective, stable, mature, and adaptable. A project quality plan should be more than an attempt to build a better IT solution, it should also support the organization insearching for ways to build abetter product.