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Innovation Process & Planning Quality Assurance Implementation Post Launch Services      
   
  overview      
  Quality Assurance (QA) is critical to the success of any process or project. Planning, standards and best practices are all common themes of a sound QA process.

Quality Assurance services include:

» QA Planning & Management
» Project Audit
» Software Development Audit

QA Planning & Management
The Sonik model takes a holistic approach to Quality Assurance (QA) based on the belief that quality should be built into the process from project conception and tracked to completion

» Identify Expectations, Issues and Roles
» Define Quality Metrics
» Communication Plan and Training
» Execute Work Plan
» Quality Review and Feedback
» Final Project Review

Project QA requires tracking the project to document learnings into a knowledge repository. These learnings may be related to process, organization, or technology. This process improvement step is based on continuous improvement and learning organization concepts.

Project Audit
Project audits are used to determine if best practices - as determined by recognized industry standards such as the Project Management Institute's PMBOK® -- are being adhered to either within a specific project or on the overall program level. Project audits normally cover the following key areas:

» quality management
» risk mitigation planning
» configuration management
» change control
» contract management
» procurement management

Change Management
Typically, the audit process is conducted throughout a project lifecycle; sometimes, however, ad-hoc or one-time audits become necessary in cases deemed imperative by client management or project steering committees. Project audits begin with the project charter, ensuring all issues regarding scope, participation, stakeholders and general project management controls are both in place and being followed. Audits also cover change control procedures/practices, and ensures third-party contract and procurement management is conducted on a fair, consistent basis. Version control and risk mitigation procedures are also validated using the Project Audit service.

Software Development Audit
The Sonik approach is partly founded on the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model® (referred to as SW-CMM®). This approach allows for an objective software development audit to be conducted, usually in cases such as:

» software process improvement
» software process assessment
» software process capability

The Sonik Software Development Audit is used primarily in situations where an evaluation of a specific development process is required. In some cases, client management has identified that a need for an objective audit is required to reduce cycle times, reduce software issues/bugs, and/or remove development process bottlenecks. In other cases, such as an M&A integration activity, the need exists to determine internal 'best practices' regarding software processes. Lastly, this service offering is used to evaluate 3rd party vendor practices to determine quality and process 'fit' for the client organization.

The Challenge
Our Tier 1 client contracted a 3rd party web developer to build the corporate web site with online ordering and account management capabilities. The 3rd party developer had no established procedures regarding quality assurance of the user interface. Testing procedures were done on an ad-hoc, random basis creating an inefficient QA process. Communication between the developers and the project team was inconsistent and delayed.

The Solution
Sonik represented the client's interests by project managing the 3rd party web development team, ensuring industry best practices were adhered to during the development process. In this capacity, Sonik ensured consistent communication protocols were followed amongst all team members. One of the key items was the creation of standardized test methodology. This quality assurance approach included:
  • defined entry and exit criteria
  • standardized test scripts written by the functional owners (instead of the programmers)
  • test script execution procedures (including clearly defined pass / fail criteria)
  • proper execution of functional, system, and user acceptance tests
  • implementation of go-live 'sanity' testing
  • use of an 'issue tracker' accessible by all team members (with proper user permissions)
  • proper sign-off procedures
The Result
The client launched its first online store functionality on time and experienced a minimal amount of post go-live issues. In addition, the 3rd party web developer instituted the quality assurance mechanisms and procedures identified during the project for future client work.