What is a quality policy?
In general, companies that make structural use of testing do have a test policy.
Companies that consider quality to be of structural value have a quality policy. ‘Policy’ is used here as the overarching term. Other terms used in this context are ‘mission’, ‘vision’, ‘strategy’.
A quality policy includes choices made by management that are generally applicable to operating activities. Sometimes it has the form of a formal and certified quality system. That, too, is a management choice. ISO9000 is a well-known standard for quality certification.
In the main, a quality policy ensures that quality aspects are treated in the same way throughout the entire company, in a way that reflects the company’s values.
When a project is in the start-up phase, an extract can be made from the overall policy, concerning the aspects that are applicable given the goal of the project: methods, tools, test strategy, etc. In fact, a quality and test plan can be drawn up in conjunction with the project plan. This ensures that project scope, budget and time take sufficient quality and testing efforts into account.
Senior line managers and a central Quality and Test staff department.
The quality policy will be described or at least made known, to all people involved.
It may include templates, checklists, tooling, methods, standards etc.
When the decision has been taken to start a project, the project is supported by a start-up policy, which is an extract from the overall policy, concerning the aspects that are applicable given the goal of the project.
Critical for the success is the commitment of senior management, the knowledge of the central staff department and their skills to communicate and support the projects in a constructive way.