Managing SQA Projects
No matter how big a project is, there will always be a person who will be overseeing the whole project. They are usually the project managers and in this case, called the SQA managers. SQA managers are always at the forefront of everything, answering to the business manager regarding the status of the application and informing the subordinates regarding updates or the new policies about the application. That is generally the work of every manager, supervisor or anyone who has people working under their guidance. But to be specific each manager in every field of work has different approaches in guiding their subordinates.
To ensure that software quality assurance works as planned or written, SQA managers were given guidelines how to approach a particular project. SQA project management is a very specific approach that managers could easily follow the rules by the letter and find themselves a very successful SQA manager.
But that does not mean that SQA managers will have an easy ride in every SQA project. In fact, there is a bigger chance that the biggest pressure for performing better is on the SQA manager. Since almost everything has been laid out, the pressure to perform is even bigger.
Managers always have to be on their feet in every step of the way. They will work with their testers at all times and they have to explain to their managers the status of the program. Because they already have the proper tools and targets, all they have do is follow them and any problem along the way should have sufficient reason or else, they would end up losing the project. Managing SQA projects is relatively easy but pressure packed to perform.
SQA Project Planning and Requirements
Before the SQA manage could start the project an SQA plan should be written. In the manager’s case, a separate plan should be established to know their responsibilities and what should be done in the project to ensure its success.
In the actual planning output, the manager’s plan should contain the exact software requirements. Writing the software requirements will ensure that a benchmark is established. Mangers will know what to look for in the application and use it as a basis for their program.
The plan should be very specific including the time that will be spent in determining the software requirements. The SQA manager’s plan should also write the specific activities in every stage. Finally, the budget should be proposed by the SQA manager. These are all based on the SQA plan which should be finished long before the SQA management plan is written.
Also part of the planning is to determine or to evaluate the preferred SDLC (software development life cycle) of the developers. The SQA manager may suggest what SDLC should be followed based on the client’s demands and current environment.
By determining the SDLC, the manager should be able to tailor made the approach in ensuring the quality of the application. Through this SDLC, the project manager should develop a process model. This process model will eventually dictate the approach of every tester in every aspect of the application. This process will also be used in every stage of SQA.
SQA Management Principles
A manger should stick to a principle or a number of principles all the time to ensure the success of the process. In SQA, there are three principles that every SQA manager should observe:
Consistency – Every document and output should be according to what is planned and what was written. The SQA plan should always be the bases to what should be done and the same plan should be the bases if the application has reached the benchmark or not. Without the consistency, the SQA team would deviate to one goal at first which will resonate to another error. This error will eventually be highlighter through a bug or worst case scenario, system crash.
Minimize Risk – Being always at the safe side doesn’t mean the application is not that creative. Basically, SQA is there to test if the application works according to plan. SQA’s do not take risk and works with what is written on paper. This way, everything that has been stipulated will work as planned. Without going out of the way, developers will have the security that the application will work as planned.
Realistic – What is written in paper and in plan should be executed by the letter. However that doesn’t mean the SQA team will be hard pressed all the time. The SQA manager should ensure the plan should take a realistic approach at all times. If possible, the SQA manager should be realistic as early as the planning stage. This will ensure they have the right plan from the start. Compromise is possible but it should be done in the planning stage to ensure the smoothness of the operation
SQA Management Metrics
Everything that has been laid out so far is just in theories or in principles. But just as important, the SQA team should be able to provide the numbers the clients are looking for as this will dictate the success or failure of the project.
On the other hand, the SQA manager will not just provide numbers from their testing tools. Before these tools are executed, the SQA manager should lay out the expected metrics that will be produced. These metrics are probably the most important facts that any client will need. The SQA team has to make sure the metrics that will be stipulated will truly tell how the application will perform.
Sometimes, the metrics that will be used might not give the right type of numbers. The numbers are there and tell of the performance of the application but the SQA team should ensure that these tools will produce the type of metrics the clients are looking for.
Managing the SQA projects will greatly focus on the tools that will be used in testing the application. These applications will be the aid of the SQA team’s work. The manager will make sure the testing applications will produce the desired metrics.