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6 Key Steps to Creating A Quality Assurance Plan

August 10, 2023Bala Subba Rao
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Creating a Comprehensive Software Quality Assurance Plan for your Project
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As a software developer or project manager, you know that ensuring the quality and reliability of your software is crucial to its success. But how do you create a solid Software Quality Assurance plan to help you achieve these goals?, this blog post will explore the critical elements of a successful SQA plan and provide tips and techniques for implementing it in your project.

We’ll cover topics such as setting clear objectives, defining your target audience, and choosing the right testing tools and techniques. Whether you’re just starting with SQA or looking to improve your existing processes, this post has something for you. So let’s get started!

What Is a Quality Assurance Plan?

Software Quality Assurance Plan is a managerial tool and a proactive measure to prevent defects and consumes less time. It is usually associated with two teams. It has auditing and reporting functions. It ensures that the software being developed meets the standard demand and works parallel to its development. Thus, it ensures that the result will meet the expectations of the customer/client or business. It is used for both small and big industry businesses.

The first team includes the Software engineers assigned to develop the product. The second team consists of the SQA team responsible for performing quality assurance planning, oversight, record keeping, and reporting.  

Read More on : Metrics for Testing

Objectives And Goals of Quality Assurance Plan

Creating a fantastic quality assurance strategy is an exciting endeavor. But, before we get started, let’s define our objectives and aims to ensure we’re on the right track. Here are some critical considerations:

1. Customer requirements and expectations: Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and learn what they actually want from your products or services. This will direct you towards exceeding their expectations and providing complete fulfillment.

2. Company Objectives: Every company has its own set of goals and dreams. Determine your company’s goals and align your quality assurance approach accordingly. It’s like striking the proper balance between your goals and the path to accomplishment.

3. Industry Standards: Who wants to be left in the dust? Stay ahead of the competition by researching and comprehending industry standards. Knowing the benchmarks allows you to guarantee that your products or services meet or exceed the defined standards.

After we’ve completed our research, it’s time to set ship for the country of aims and goals. But keep in mind that we want to be SMART about it:

4. Specific: Identify the specific areas you wish to improve or concentrate on. Vague ideas will not suffice. Let’s go specific and focus on the target.

5. Measurable: Establish measurable criteria to track your progress. It’s similar to having a fitness tracker for your quality assurance strategy. Set milestones and metrics that will help you to measure your progress and celebrate your victories.

6. Achievable: Dreams are wonderful, but let us be practical, will we? Make certain that your aims and goals are attainable. It’s like attempting to climb a mountain that is difficult but not impossible. Remember that small steps lead to big leaps!

7. Relevant: Stick to the path that is consistent with your main purpose. Your objectives and goals should be pertinent to your company and the quality improvements you desire. It’s like selecting the best tool for the job—the ideal match that guarantees your efforts have meaning and impact.

8. Time-bound: Time does not wait for anybody, therefore let us set deadlines. Establish a timetable for achieving your objectives and ambitions. It’s like having a countdown clock that motivates you and keeps you on target.

Your quality assurance strategy will have a clear direction and a tactical roadmap if these objectives and goals are in sight.

Develop Quality Assurance Plan 

Just like a test requires a test plan; similarly, an SQA requires a Quality Assurance plan before its implementation. The primary aim of devising an SQA plan is to ensure that the best quality is delivered to the end user. 

The QA team should focus on the following aspects to prepare an SQA plan:

Identify the role and responsibilities of the SQA team-

  1. The SQA testing team plans the tests and works on possible scenarios, procedures, and scripts. 
  2. The team is responsible for setting benchmark standards, procedures, and methods for software quality assurance testing and maintaining product quality.
  3. The team is assigned to report any defects in the software quality assurance activities using bug-tracking mechanisms.
  4. The team also identifies and analyses problems encountered in program functioning or output.
  5. It is also responsible for implementing audits and checks and works on follow-up.
  6. The team also conducts Training for process implementors.

List of the work products the SQA auditor will review and audit- 

  1. The SQA auditor documents the risk management activities.
  2. An SQA auditor also prepares metrics reports and estimates the budget required.
  3. An SQA auditor is involved in planning and preparing the documents for a test.
  4. SQA auditors are responsible for the overall organization, human resource planning, and devising a training plan.
  5. SQA auditor is entrusted with monitoring and controlling the collected metrics.
  6. Another work product that an SQA auditor will review and audit is the report on issue management.
  7. An SQA auditor will also review and audit the test report documents.

Create the schedule to perform the SQA tasks-

 The Test Manager should emphasize SQA activities and the work output for each job when they describe the functions for the SQA auditor to complete in this step. The project development timetable often determines the SQA schedule.

Define the standards/methodology: 

There are specific methods that ought to be followed in the software quality assurance technique

  1. Defining the policies and methods that are intended to avert defects that occur in the management process.
  2. Documenting and compiling the procedures and guidelines.
  3. Informing and training the staff to use the policies and guidelines.

Review the process

The entire SQA techniques should be reviewed periodically to ensure the guidelines and policy procedures are duly met. There are five significant reviews:

  1. Reviewing the project planning
  2. Reviewing the analysis done for software requirement
  3. Reviewing the test plan and test design
  4. Checking the entire process before the final release
  5. Reviewing the closing of the project.

Things To Remember While Creating A Quality Assurance Plan (Best Practices)

Alright, let’s continue our quality assurance journey and dive into the other important elements of a well-crafted plan. Here’s what we’ll be exploring:

Setting Procedures and Policies for All: 

Establishing clear processes and regulations ensures everyone is aware of expectations and upholds quality standards, ensuring everyone follows the appropriate standards.

Schedule Roles and Responsibilities: 

During the quality assurance process, team members will be aware of their roles and duties, akin to actors knowing their lines and cues.

Documentation in Different Phases: 

Documenting our quality journey through project phases, similar to taking pictures, will help us develop, learn, and make adjustments, providing valuable resources for future initiatives.

Review and Audit: 

Routine quality inspections assess and audit quality assurance initiatives to ensure they align with goals and are worthwhile. This process is similar to a strategy checkup to ensure soundness and functionality.

Testing Phase: 

The action takes place here! To find any bugs or problems, we’ll put our goods and services through a thorough testing process. To make sure they are top-notch, it’s like taking our inventions for a test drive and pushing them to their limits.

Troubleshooting Problems: 

Address obstacles head-on, examining underlying reasons, devising cures, and implementing them like sleuths to maintain proper functioning and address issues effectively.

Project Control: 

Imagine yourself as the leader of our quality project, monitoring key performance indicators and making wise decisions to ensure we’re heading in the right direction.

Training: 

Fund training initiatives to enhance team members’ abilities and expertise, fostering a high-quality culture and thriving in their professions. Provide necessary tools for success.

Risk Management: 

Proactively identifying potential dangers and developing plans to reduce them serves as a safety net, ensuring quality issues are mitigated and preparing for outstanding achievements by controlling risks.

Proactively identifying potential dangers and developing plans to reduce them serves as a safety net, ensuring quality issues are mitigated and preparing for outstanding achievements by controlling risks.

Why Is a Quality Assurance Plan Important for Software Companies?

A quality assurance plan is crucial for software companies due to the following reasons:

1. Assures product dependability through extensive testing and validation.

2. Keeps customers satisfied by providing high-quality items.

3. Reduces risks and expenses by detecting problems early on.

4. Ensures industry standards and laws are followed.

5. Encourages ongoing improvement and efficiency in development practices.

Overall, a quality assurance plan is vital for software companies to deliver reliable, high-quality products, maintain customer satisfaction, reduce risks and costs, comply with industry standards, and drive continuous improvement.

Conclusion

Any business, regardless of size, relies on Software quality assurance techniques and plans used by Software testers, Project managers, and Quality assurance professionals to produce successful and smooth deliveries without any defects.

Software Quality Assurance Plan is essential when fulfilling the promises made to the customers and clients.  It must be noted that creating a schedule for the SQA task is the most critical step in implementing it as it assists in the time management and timely delivery of the software development project, which produces customer satisfaction and sustains the name of your business in the market. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the quality assurance plan process?

The quality assurance (QA) plan process involves developing and implementing a document that outlines the strategies and activities that will be used to ensure that a product or service meets certain standards of quality. The specific steps in the QA plan process can vary depending on the needs and goals of an organization. Still, a typical approach might include the following efforts: Define the plan’s scope, Identify the stakeholders, establish a testing strategy, Create test cases, review and report on test results, etc.

What are the components of a quality assurance plan?

The components of a QA plan can vary depending on an organization’s specific needs and goals. Still, some common elements include Quality objectives, Scope, Quality standards, Quality control processes, Quality assurance activities, Software Testing Strategies, Training and education, Quality metrics, and Continuous improvement. Read More on Quality Control VS Quality Assurance

Where is SQA used?

Software quality assurance (QA) is used throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC) to ensure that a software product meets specified requirements and is fit for its intended purpose. QA activities may involve verifying the software’s functionality, testing its performance and scalability, and checking for security vulnerabilities.

What is SQA software testing?

Software quality assurance (SQA) is the testing process of evaluating a software product or system to determine whether it meets the requirements and standards. QA testing aims to identify and fix the defects before they are released to the users. 

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