The term is an acronym for Software Quality Assurance. It is a process for setting the processes, methods, standards and procedures, to be followed during software application's review, both at the project and organisational level.
Software Quality assurance can be thought of as a technique or a procedure that is followed in pursuit of the software requirements specification.
To achieve our ultimate goal, we begin with a software quality assurance plan that includes identifying the SQA responsibilities of the members associated with a given project, list all possible activities, processes, and products that need to be reviewed.
Software quality assurance forms a part of the management review process. After passing through the several phases of testing, the work product needs a nod from the upper management. This management review process primarily focuses on the application's/ software's process, that is, it ensures that the necessary standards have been followed in the process of achieving the goals.
Implementing Quality Assurance:
Prepare SQA Plan -
Just as any testing activity requires a plan, SQA process needs to follow a path too. The objective is to make sure that the product to be delivered to the end users or the services to be offered should be of the best quality.
The test manager is actively involved in the process of carrying out SQA activities, he prepares an SQA plan which includes SQA audit to be performed periodically.
An SQA team manager identifies the roles and responsibilities of the team, like people playing major role in the project assigned with certain responsibilities are required to carry out their duties in accordance with the predefined criteria.
Evaluate whether the quality of the product meets the desired criteria.
Coordinating with management to analyse the requirements and conduct review and status meetings.
It is important to track and monitor the quality of the product by collecting metrics.
Assess the quality of the product and make sure that customer expectations are met.
List the various activities that needs to be audited by the test management team and also figure out the tools to be used by the SQA auditor to perform process evaluation and audit.
The test manager then decides upon the tasks to be performed by the SQA auditor and also deciding upon the tasks to be performed by the SQA auditor.
Define standards and methodology -This strategy takes into account the various policies and procedures that intend to prevent defects. The emphasis is to make people working on the project to understand the importance of such policies and inculcate the habit of adopting such policies and procedures to prevent occurrence of unforeseen defects.
Review the process -During this process, the activities are carefully reviewed for conformance to the defined process of the management. The SQA members are expected to perform the following types of reviews- reviewing the project plan, review software requirement analysis, review test design, pre-release review and pre-closure of the project.
Advantages of SQA process:
SQA activity serve a purpose to the project.
Monitor and improve the process - The SQA leader along with the team members monitor the progress of the project which in turn leads to take corrective actions to improve any drawbacks lying within.
Making sure all standards and procedures are followed - During the entire process of software quality assurance activity, test manager verifies for conformity with the pre-defined standards set out for the project.
Prevent occurrence of quality issues - The major objective of quality assurance is to prevent surfacing of any kind of issues that may raise an eyebrow regarding quality of the end product.
The aforementioned discussion impart a generalised view of how a software quality assurance activity needs to be carried out in the pursuit of an effective end solution. Hence we may conclude our discussion about how efficiently software quality assurance task can be carried out, by listing few major key points.
There must be continuous follow up with regard to continuous improvement of the product. This process majorly concerns quality aspects and thus must be certified by organisations like - ISO, CMMI etc.
The policies and methods followed by the QA team must be well documented so that the same can be used as a reference for future projects.
To ensure best kind of quality review, choose an SQA member who is an adept at handling SQA process.
Using the right kind of management and tracking tools, the expense and manual effort incurred on the project, gets reduced to a certain level.
It is always an intelligible action to measure the activities performed, with the help of metrics. Therefore, it is advisable to utilise some form of measurement criteria to track the present state of the software and also to assess the improvement of the same.
Last but the most important is that the responsibility of building a product's brand image is not the sole responsibility of the SQA team manager himself, but the team as a whole.