Definition

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IT Quality Policy

(Alias: IT quality values)

Action from principle ... divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.
             - Henry David Thoreau

An IT quality policy states the basic beliefs that drive your organisation to deliver quality in software intensive systems. It acts like a company constitution informing people's actions when there is no specific procedure to guide them, especially in high stress situations. For example a policy statement that says: "we don't ship untested code" should inform the actions of a project team when a deadline is upon them, they are under pressure to deliver but testing is not complete. Quality policies also identify organisational priorities separating the critical few from the important many. A policy may also summarise measures of success (for example: customer satisfaction).

Communicating your IT quality policy

Who Writes the Quality Policy?

Senior management demonstrates commitment to quality by writing a quality policy and making sure that everyone in the organisation has read it and understands its implications. Note that the existence of a documented quality policy is a mandatory requirement of ISO 90011.

Writing a Quality Policy

Quality policies are formulated from basic quality principles as they apply to an organisation's business environment. They touch on the following subject areas:

  • Customer focus
    • Understanding current and future customer needs
    • Meeting the customer's requirements
    • Striving to exceed the customer's expectations
  • Leadership
    • Creating an environment where everyone can contribute to quality
  • Engagement with people
    • Making everyone aware of the need to contribute to quality
    • Ensuring full engagement in activities that impact quality
  • Process approach
    • Developing a commitment to describing all work in terms of processes
  • System approach
    • Managing the business as a set of interacting processes
  • Continual improvement
    • Encouraging constant refinement of processes to improve quality
  • Fact based management
    • Making decisions based on analysis of process data
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
    • Developing close co-operative relationships with suppliers.

Quality Policy Examples

Quality policy statements can be focused both on general quality principles and specific business processes.
For example:

General

As our first priority the management of XYZ company is committed to delivering quality software to our customers. We recognise that consistent satisfaction of customer needs is essential to business survival

Planning

A Software Project Management Plan shall be created for all projects

Monitoring and controlling

Project managers shall produce project performance reports at intervals agreed with the project sponsor

Documenting requirements

All projects shall prepare a Software Requirements Specification describing the functions, performance and the interface requirements of the software product

Architectural design

All projects shall conduct a Design Input Review to establish that design inputs such as Software Requirements Specifications are unambiguous, complete and correct and possess sufficient quality to support the development of a design solution

Coding

Projects shall develop software in compliance with predefined coding standards. Coding standards shall be updated to reflect any project specific practices

Testing

All projects shall describe the approach to testing in a Software Test Plan. The STP shall describe the project's approach to unit, integration and acceptance testing

Managing quality

All projects shall plan and perform the software quality management activities required to ensure that the customer's stated and implied needs are met and that the software product is developed in compliance with recognized best practice

Managing people

Project managers shall be responsible for ensuring that development team members are aware of their quality responsibilities and appropriately trained to perform their assigned tasks.

Collaboration

Member Comments

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RE Definition: Quality Policy

Quality Assurance Expert

By anonymous » Sat 15-Aug-2015, 19:16, My rating: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✩ ✩

I got this information helpful for my quality assurance policy document preparation. Thank you

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