Monitoring And Enforcing Quality Policy

Once a quality policy is put in place, the second major issue is monitoring product quality to ensure that the policy is carried out. This means that business managers must establish a good quality management function that provides their organizations with good information about the quality of the products under development, and enforces their quality policies. The policies and their enforcement have failed if the business manager only finds out that customers are dissatisfied after a product has shipped.

The proactive business manager must determine if the products in development will be delivered on time, on budget, and with the quality required to succeed in the market. Uncommon managers, who have put in place the right organization and people with the right direction, need merely ask for the information, and it will be available in some form, providing an accurate view of the quality of products in development.

Unfortunately, for most organizations and business managers, this is an unrealized dream. While there may be a test team in place to measure product quality, it is probably buried in the development organization, wherein inexperienced staff report to an inexperienced test manager. Here, the right information seldom reaches the right people in time. Rather than an independent function, quality management is a lower-level quality control function, performed by the test team, which has minimal understanding of corporate quality policy and issues.

What the organization needs is a quality management team that:

■ Is independent of the development team

■ Is empowered with the authority of the business manager

■ Is working with the product on a day-to-day basis

■ Has the skills to thoroughly evaluate the product against explicit or implicit criteria, and can ferret out the evaluation criteria[3] from whatever internal sources are available — or raise a flag if adequate product requirements do not exist

■ Can professionally[4] provide documented information to both the development team and the business manager

■ Clearly understands the manager's business problem and is helping to solve this above all else

■ Operates very efficiently and effectively

Unfortunately, it is difficult — if not impossible — for a business organization to put this definition in place internally.

[3]Most organizations call these criteria "requirements." These are the specifications that the organization believes a product must meet in order to satisfy a customer need.

[4]Professionally means that the team provides information in a form, at a time, and in a way that is perceived as non-threatening, objective, and valuable. There is no appearance of a hidden bias or agenda. In short, the test team is respected and listened to by all parties. This is not usually the case with test teams.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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