SOFTWARE IN PRACTICE
IT Quality Assurance
(Contrast with: quality management, quality control)
Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.
IT Quality assurance is a process designed to give management and the customer confidence that an organisation will deliver quality information technology products and services.
In the context of software development, management needs to have confidence that if it allocates millions of dollars to developing custom information technology systems the IT group will do a good job. In the case of contracted software development, customers need to have confidence that a software development contractor will produce a product that will solve the problem, at a prespecified price, in a prespecified time period. This confidence needs to exist prior to the allocation of capital.
Would you give money to an organisation you do not trust?
Confidence also needs to be maintained throughout the development life cycle.
If you've lost confidence in a software development team would you want to throw good money after bad?
How Do You Build Confidence?
In the case of traditional product purchases such as automobiles and washing machines trust in a product and its manufacturer is built up over years. Unfortunately in the case of software this is often not possible as software development organisations come and go, merge and splinter. The software product itself is also very different to an automobile. It is fundamentally a piece of design intensive intellectual property the quality of which can vary widely depending on individuals and the processes they work with. How then as a business person in search of a custom developed software product can you evaluate an organisation you know little about and develop some confidence that they will produce a good result? The answer is to look into the way they develop software and seek out the assurance processes whereby they build quality into their product at all stages of its development life cycle. Look for:
Quality Assurance Benefits
Quality assurance is a proactive discipline. It supports the notion that defective products come from defective processes and that fixing the process will improve product quality. This philosophy yields the following real benefits: