Definition

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Quality Planning

(Alias: software quality planning, quality improvement planning, quality assurance planning, software quality assurance plan, SQAP)

If you're in a fair fight, you didn't plan it properly.
             - Nick Lappos, Chief Research and Development Pilot, Sikorski Aircraft

A quality plan describes how an organisation will achieve its quality objectives. It describes the quality objectives and specifies the quality assurance and control activities to be performed in day-to-day company operations. In the case of a software development organisation individual quality plans may be prepared for each software or systems engineering project.

ISO 90011 requires top management to "... ensure that the planning of the quality management system is carried out ..." (refer clause: 5.4.2 Quality management system planning).

Planning for Quality at the Organisation and Project Levels

At the company level quality planning addresses development, maintenance and improvement of the overall quality management system. At the project level quality planning applies the quality management system to individual projects.

Organisational Quality Plan Content

An organisational quality plan is typically prepared by the Quality Manager and covers the following issues:

  • Quality objectives and goals
    The overall objectives of the quality management programme together with measurable goals to be achieved
  • Quality management system scope
    Who and what will be impacted by the quality management system. For example: process scope, product scope, organisational scope
  • Organisation & responsibilities
    Organisational structure, reporting relationships and roles and responsibilities for quality
  • Resource requirements
    Identification of the people and resources required to develop, use, maintain and improve the quality management system
  • Cost benefit analysis
    A quality program cost benefit analysis addressing issues such as: the cost of poor quality, the cost to improve quality and the cost benefits to be achieved
  • Activities and deliverables
    The quality management system elements will be produced/improved The quality management system development activities required
  • Schedule
    The timeframes in which the work will be achieved together with major milestones for quality management system element delivery, review and deployment.
  • Risk analysis
    An analysis of what could go wrong together with strategies for risk reduction.

Project Quality Plan Content

A project quality plan describes the tailoring of an organisation's quality management system for a particular project. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Std 730 Standard for Software Quality Assurance Plans2 provides a well tested framework to work from.

IEEE Std 730 Standard for Software Quality Assurance Plans
  1. Purpose
  2. Reference documents
  3. Management
  4. Documentation
  5. Standards, practices, conventions, and metrics
  6. Software reviews
  7. Test
  8. Problem reporting and corrective action
  1. Tools, techniques, and methodologies
  2. Media control
  3. Supplier control
  4. Records collection, maintenance, and retention
  5. Training
  6. Risk management
  7. Glossary
  8. SQAP change procedure and history.
 
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