Roles and Activities > Manager Role Set > Project Manager > Develop Quality Assurance Plan

  • To create a documented plan for the quality assurance activities in the project.
Input Artifacts: Resulting Artifacts:
Role: Project Manager

Workflow Details:

The Quality Assurance Plan is a composite document which contains all the information necessary to carry out the quality assurance activities for the project. While much of the information referenced by the Quality Assurance Plan is also referenced in the Software Development Plan, it is still important to develop both plans because they have a different purpose.

The Quality Assurance Plan is used to plan a program of reviews and audits that will check that the defined project process is being followed correctly, as defined by the various supporting plans that it references. It can be thought of as the "quality view" of the project's plans, whereas the Software Development Plan presents a "delivery view".

In this activity, the Project Manager defines and/or reviews the Quality Assurance program for appropriateness and acceptability, and coordinates with the developers of the referenced plans.

Ensure Quality Objectives are Defined for the Project To top of page

The Project Manager may not necessarily define the quality goals for the project, but ensures that these definitions are created and agreed by the customer, and captured ultimately in the Software Requirements Specification. The developing organization may also have a standard set of quality goals, in a quality policy statement, which can form the basis for these definitions.

Where possible, these objectives should be described in measurable terms. For example:

  • "Zero known severity 1 defects" (...and include a definition of a severity 1 defect)
  • "Maximum 3 second response time"
  • "User can pick up software and begin entering account information within 1 hour"

Define Quality Assurance Roles and Responsibilities To top of page

The next step is to define the organization, roles and responsibilities that will participate in these activities. This should include the reporting channel for the results of Quality Assurance reviews. In many situations, the Quality Assurance activity should submit its reports directly to the Project Review Authority. The Rational Unified Process recommends that the Software Engineering Process Authority (SEPA) should have responsibility for the process aspects of quality, and perform process reviews and audits, as well as ensuring the proper planning and conduct of the review events described in the Review and Audit section of the Quality Assurance Plan.

Coordinate With Developers of Referenced Plans To top of page

The Quality Assurance Plan also references a number of other plans describing project standards and how various supporting process (e.g. configuration management) to be handled. This information is used to help determine the types of Quality Assurance reviews that will be done, and their frequency. The referenced plans would normally include:

  • Documentation Plan
  • Measurement Plan
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Problem Resolution Plan
  • Configuration Management Plan
  • Software Development Plan
  • Test Plan
  • Subcontractor Management Plan

Define Quality Assurance Tasks and Schedule To top of page

Identify the tasks and activities of Quality Assurance. Typically these reviews would include:

  • Audit/review of project plans to ensure they follow the defined process for the project.
  • Audit/review of project to ensure the work performed is following the project plans.
  • Approval of deviations from the standard organizational project processes.
  • Process improvement assessments

The Project Review Authority and Project Manager together determine the schedule for Quality Assurance reviews and audits, and the schedule is captured in the project and iteration plan, which may then be referenced from the Quality Assurance Plan. The contract may also allow the customer to request audits.

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