Quality engineering consists of a great number of related activities. We grouped these activities in topics; topics are grouped in organizing topics and performing topics. The organizing topics are aimed at orchestrating, arranging, planning, preparing and controlling the quality assurance (QA) & testing activities.
In sequential IT delivery models the organizing topics would fit with the profile of a quality manager or test manager. In high-performance IT delivery models most organizing topics will be done within the team; some topics are more suited to be done by the supporting staff organization or so-called system teams.
A brief description of the organizing topics
The topics for Organizing are listed below with a short description per topic:
- Quality & Test policy – based on the organization's mission and vision, a policy for the quality assurance and the testing activities is created and implemented.
- Responsibilities & Roles – the people involved have various roles and with these roles come responsibilities. They also need to have all kinds of skills, both technical skills and soft skills.
- Monitoring & Control – checking if the activities are performed as planned and if not, take action to mitigate the deviations.
- Anomaly management – if during static or dynamic testing anomalies are found, they will be registered in the anomaly management system where the status and progress of handling each anomaly is managed.
- Reporting & Alerting – the most important result of testing is the information that stakeholders use to establish their confidence level whether the pursued business value is attainable. Reporting this information and, whenever necessary, alerting people about specific occasions is therefore one of the key topics.
- Estimating – to be able to properly plan and schedule activities, the team and the organization around the team must have a useful estimate of the needed effort and duration for these activities.
- Planning – in any IT delivery lifecycle model, a schedule with work order and timelines needs to be created to manage the execution of activities.
- Infrastructure – to be able to perform QA & testing activities, the team will need test environments and testing workplaces. The scale and scope of the infrastructure may differ depending on the situation but testing without infrastructure is unimaginable.
- Tooling – to be able to perform testing activities in an efficient and effective way, various types of tools can be deployed. Using these tools requires skill and experience. The acquisition and implementation of tools can be a great deal of work and will involve training and coaching of team members to work with the tools.
- Metrics – stakeholders will want to know if the QA & testing tasks are performed in an effective and efficient manner. Therefore, metrics about the QA & testing process must be defined and a way of measuring these metrics must be implemented.
- Continuous improvement – standstill means decline, therefore a continuous focus on improving the quality engineering tasks and activities is needed.
Please note that in the section "Introduction to QA & testing topics", we described that some organizing topics may also have aspects of performing topics, it's not a black and white division. Also please keep in mind that there is no strict order implied by the way we present the topics.
More information about how these topics are implemented in the various IT delivery models: