Quality Assurance Today
Nowadays, the society imposes challenges that require agile and efficient solutions, and provides the necessary confidence so that people who make use of the technological tools they use in their day to day, feel satisfied.
Sometimes we stop to think about how to achieve it without the process being expensive or painful for a business.
We talk about methodologies, tools and new technologies that aim to improve these processes in an efficient way. The truth is that nothing is 100% effective, although many of them are good support for the work we do, none guarantees 100% effectiveness to the different situations that may arise.
This situation, many times, leads to investing time and resources in processes that do not guarantee a good product or feed the business incorrectly.
Each phase of planning and software development is extremely important and it is at each of those stages that you have to ensure the quality of the result that we want to achieve.
In my view, the quality area should be a support that allows to validate established procedures and methodologies, the correct application of them, in order to achieve the objectives set efficiently and according to the needs posed. In addition, it must be implemented in each of the planning and development phases, where each person involved must be committed to the purpose of achieving product quality, this task belongs to everyone and not only to the quality area. It is everyone’s responsibility: developers, project managers, managers, end users, testers to achieve this goal in the outcome of the work we do, it is our cover letter, reflecting the work we do.
The biggest problem with quality assurance is the lack of conviction in applying it day by day, is not given the corresponding value for lack of knowledge and interest of the people involved.
In some institutions at national level, they do not even have defined quality assurance processes, there is no culture about it, which has a high cost to the business they represent.
In other cases, they have defined methodologies and procedures, but there is no culture on the part of those involved to give the necessary importance in its implementation, which is useless if there is no commitment across the organization and the people involved to ensure the quality of the product.
Also, there is a lack of education to raise awareness in universities that prepare professionals for software development, project management, among others. These educational institutions do not emphasize the importance of achieving quality products, although it is true that there are courses related to the subject, quality must be present in all activities carried out for a university subject, for example: projects, tasks , documentation that is generated. From here there is a major shortcoming in achieving the training that is needed.
If we can educate people to implement quality products, being implicit in the work it does, the problems that arise would be greatly minimized, including this would lead us to improve the results, avoid rework resulting from poor requirements definitions, details that are omitted, which could be detected from an early stages.
Now, there are some ideas related to quality assurance where institutions fear implementing it because of the costs and resources involved. However, these costs are likely to be higher if not implemented, there are several studies that demonstrate this point. When there is no quality assurance in an institution, there will definitely be poor planning, higher incidence of defects, undefined requirements, poorly crafted designs, among other things, this sooner or later involves a cost and the later a problem is detected the higher cost. Similarly this process does not have to be expensive with a good training of the people involved and that these people are aware of the importance of their implementation on a day-to-day basis.
What can we do to improve?
Implement a quality commitment program with everyone involved, this program can incorporate: newsletters, courses, workshops, personal challenges, among other things, related to quality assurance and its importance.
Continuous improvement of the defined processes, methodologies and tools, this point requires periodic reviews of standards, defined procedures, work plans. It is advisable to have a multidisciplinary team (developers, testers, project managers, management, among others) that constantly investigate and propose the necessary improvements to achieve this objective and most importantly, that they be implemented.
Each person in their area of expertise should perform a self-assessment of how much quality assurance applies to the tasks they perform, are the products it generates suitable for the purposes for which it will be used? Are you clear about your tasks in achieving the defined objectives and determining whether more you research or scope analysis is required? What other processes may be affected?, among other things.
All these points are important and we must be aware of the importance of applying quality in our daily tasks. In case there is no process or methodology defined for this purpose, be able to analyze what we do, question what is appropriate, in order to make the outcome of our tasks really satisfy what is expected and even be able to go further by looking ahead or other characteristics that can add value to the products we make.
Created by: Dilania Carvajal.