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BCF Quality Assurance Program Description
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BCF Quality Assurance Program Description

BCF Quality Assurance Program Description

BCFis well versed in CMMI, ISO-9000, and Program Management Institute best practices and applies these principles, with common sense, to achieve success while remaining cost effective. Our Quality Management System is ISO 9001:2008 certified, our developmental processes are CMMI Level 3 appraised, and all our Program Managers and Project Leads are PMP certified.

BCF project management emphasizes quality work, responsive service, and on time and within cost performance. Formal processes, no matter how good, can never take the place of our project teams’ ability to find creative solutions to customers’ challenging problems. The project manager is responsible for staffing the project and closely monitors performance throughout the length of the contract. Our project managers follow procedural and policy guidelines that have been developed and successfully applied during the growth of the company, basing their decisions on BCF’s corporate values: Quality; Collaboration; People Centered; Leadership; Integrity; and Enthusiasm.

Our Quality Assurance Program is oulined below:

1.0       INTRODUCTION

1.1         Purpose

The purpose of Quality Assurance Program is to identify and describe the steps within our Quality Management (QM) process. The outline below specifiies actions that should be taken to objectively evaluate processes, work products, and services.

 1.2         Scope

The QM process applies to all BCF development programs and projects. Should any program or project deviate from the processes detailed herein, the tailoring guidelines in Section 7 must be followed.

1.3         Description

The QM process supports the delivery of high-quality products and services by providing visibility into, and feedback on, program/project processes, associated work products, and service delivery throughout the life of the program/project.

The QM process area involves the following:

  • Objectively evaluating performed processes, work products, and services against the applicable process definitions, standards, and requirements
  • Identifying and documenting non-compliance issues
  • Providing feedback to program and/or project staff at all levels on the results of Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) activities
  • Ensuring that non-compliance issues are addressed and managed to resolution

2.0       ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Role

Responsibility

Program Manager (PgM)
  • Supports all QM activities
  • Works with the Project Manager (PM) as needed to resolve non-compliance issues
Project Manager
  • Defines the program/project QM Process based on BCF’s QM PD
  • Ensures that staff and other resources to support Quality activities are provided
  • Works with the program/project Quality Lead in developing the program/project Quality Plan
  • Approves the Quality Plan
  • Ensures all non-compliance findings are addressed and managed to closure
Program/Project Quality Lead
  • Assists the PM in defining the programs/projects QM process
  • Assists the PM in developing the program/project quality plan
  • Provides management support, supervision, and oversight for the program/project quality activities
  • Collects and analyzes metrics produced from the results of the QM process
  • Reviews processes and work products against BCF standards, customer requirements, and other applicable guidelines
  • Reports results of process and product reviews to the PM and relevant stakeholders as deemed appropriate
Program/Project Team
  • Adhere to BCF established policies, processes, and procedures
  • Develop quality control measures
  • Perform QM activities that relate to roles on an individual basis
Quality Team(External)
  • Evaluates the program/project QM activities for adherence to BCF’s QM PD and associated standards
  • Coordinates with the PM and program/project Quality Lead to establish a QM audit schedule for objective evaluations on both program/project level processes and work products
  • Coordinates with the PM and the program/project Quality Lead to establish the scope of each audit
  • Works with the PM and the program/project Quality Lead on adherence and managing of non-compliance findings to closure
  • Escalates non-compliance findings as necessary

3.0       PROCESS

3.1     Dependencies

Typically, the Quality Plan is part of the Program/Project Management Plan (PMP). On larger programs/projects it may be a separate document.

3.2     Activities

Quality Management Process Description

Practice Name

Practice Description

Objectively Evaluate Processes

Objectively evaluate selected performed processes against applicable process descriptions, standards and procedures.

Objectively Evaluate Work Products

Objectively evaluate selected work products against applicable process descriptions, standards and procedures.

Communicate and Resolve Noncompliance Issues

Communicate quality issues and ensure the resolution of noncompliance issues with the staff and managers.

Establish Records

Establish and maintain records of quality assurance activities.

3.2.1    Quality Planning

In order to effectively execute QM activities, the QM processes must first be detailed. Systematic processes that translate QM into measurable objectives and requirements require a sequence of steps for realizing them within a specified timeframe. The QM approach includes the team’s quality objectives and control measures to be used during the program/project. Central to the approach is a description of the quality strategy and the expected quality performance measures. A document (known as the Quality Plan) is created to establish how an organization will objectively evaluate its processes, among other things. This will segue into the creation of a QM schedule: the timeline for when these goals will be realized.

Step 1 Develop the Program/Project Quality Plan

The PM must develop a Quality Plan. The PM should work with the program/project Quality Lead and External Quality Team to:

  • Develop roles and responsibilities for the individuals involved in the QM process
  • Identify how the program/project team or functional staff members will implement their quality processes to meet defined requirements
  • Address how the performed processes will be objectively evaluated by the External Quality Team to ensure they are being managed consistently and uniformly in accordance with BCF’s standard processes and procedures
  • Address how products and services will be objectively evaluated to verify that they meet specified requirements, as well as relevant quality standards
  • Address how personnel will identify, collect, evaluate, and implement improvements to the company/project processes, procedures, and product/service quality
  • Identify how quality issues will be addressed and managed
  • Identify the escalation process for any quality issues
  • Once the Quality Plan is complete, it must be agreed upon and signed-off by relevant stakeholders

 

Step 2 Establish the Program/Project Quality Management Audit Schedule

The PM and program/project Quality Lead are responsible for:

  • Establishing the QM function by contacting the External Quality Team to request that a process and product auditor be assigned to their program/project
  • Developing a QM Audit Schedule – it is suggested that multiple audits are conducted throughout the life of a program/project. All processes should be scheduled for an audit at least once during a program/project lifecycle, but not necessarily during each audit
  • Working with the External Quality Team to review, approve, and publish their program/project QM audit schedule

 

3.2.2    Perform Quality Assurance

Step 3 Perform Quality Assurance on the Program/Project

The goal of performing QA is to promote consistent application and use of approved processes. During QA, the specific approach to be followed in performing development or services activities will be identified and documented. Quality measurement data will be collected to support the program/project measurement activities, and is analyzed in order to evaluate and improve the overall performance of program/project activities. The program/project team’s understanding of the approach, and the method by which the approach is implemented, should be maintained.

The External Quality Team works with the program/project Quality Lead with support from the PM to objectively evaluate the processes and procedures that the program/project is performing. This also includes ensuring that policies are being adhered to. The External Quality Team should:

  • Prior to the audit, provide the PM and program/project Quality Lead with a scope of the upcoming audit
  • Assist the program/project Quality Lead and the program/project team members in collecting and reviewing process related data through the use of Self-Assessment Workbooks located on the Process Asset Library (PAL)
  • Review processes being performed against the standard processes and procedures
  • Work with the program/project Quality Lead and program/project team to identify weaknesses, and tailor any processes that may not be applicable to their program/project due to unique circumstances or customer requirements
  • Record non-compliance issues and/or weaknesses and present them to the PM for review and discussion
  • Work with the PM to develop corrective actions for any non-compliance items discovered
  • Follow up on non-compliance issues to ensure corrective actions were taken

 The PM should:

  • Assist the External Quality Team as needed during the scheduled QA audits
  • Encourage team and staff members to not only identify issues within their work area, but also to raise issues they find with corporate policies, processes, and procedures
  • Encouraging team and staff members to identify and report preventative actions or potential causes of problems/issues
  • Conduct checks frequently to ensure compliance with BCF’s defined processes and procedures
  • Identify ways to obtain feedback on how well the processes and procedures are working, and suggesting and submitting improvements for BCF to review
  • Work with the External Quality Team to ensure quality audit non-compliance issues are resolved in a timely manner
  • Escalating issues that cannot be resolved within the PM’s realm of responsibility

The program/project Quality Lead should:

  • Assist the External Quality Team during the scheduled QA audits
  • Schedule and conduct frequent internal reviews to ensure that BCF’s defined processes, procedures, and policies are being followed
  • Document non-compliance issues and work with the program/project teams and/or functional staff to define and implement corrective actions and/or preventive actions
  • Analyze audit results and develop corrective actions
  • Work with the PM and External Quality Team to manage non-compliance issues through closure and escalate issues, as necessary

 

3.2.3    Perform Quality Control

Step 4 Perform Quality Control on the Program/Project

Performing QC involves monitoring specific program/project results to determine if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory results. QC identifies deficiencies and promotes problem resolution; manages changes; and provides data, reports, and program/project deliverables that are accurate, reliable, and acceptable for their intended use. QC mechanisms record and track the ongoing activities that the program/project team performs to correct deviations from the plan. Designated work products and services should be objectively evaluated against the applicable standards, procedures, and requirements. The list of items should be ranked in priority order considering such individual factors as volume, dollar value, mission importance, or some sort of weighted criteria.

Any evaluation of work products and services should begin with the determination of the purpose of the product or service. It should be kept in mind that the customer’s requirements come first, and those requirements should include quality requirements as well as functional requirements. The meaning of the term “product” or “service” is extended to include any artifact which is the output of any process used to produce the final outcome. The documentation for each product or service should be reviewed to determine specifications, intended purpose, and special considerations. A checklist or other reporting mechanism should then be prepared to document the results of the review.

The External Quality Team works with the program/project Quality Lead with support from the PM to objectively evaluate work products and services that the program/project is delivering. The External Quality Team should:

  • Select work products and services to be evaluated, based on documented sampling criteria if sampling is used
  • Establish and maintain clearly stated criteria for the evaluation of work products and services. The intent is to provide criteria based on business needs, these may include:
    • What will be evaluated during the evaluation of a work product or service
    • When or how often a work product or service be evaluated
    • How the evaluation will be conducted
    • Who must be involved in the evaluation
  • Use the stated criteria during the evaluations of work products and services
  • Evaluate selected work products and services prior to delivery to the customer
  • Evaluate selected work products and services at selected milestones
  • Perform in-progress or incremental evaluations of work products and services against standard process, procedures, and requirements
  • Record non-compliance issues and/or weaknesses and present them to the PM for review and discussion
  • Work with the PM to develop corrective actions for any non-compliance items discovered
  • Follow up on non-compliance issues to ensure corrective actions were taken

The PM should:

  • Assist the External Quality Team as needed during the scheduled QC audits
  • Encourage team and staff members to not only identify issues within their work area, but also to raise issues they find with work products or services
  • Encouraging team and staff members to identify and report preventative actions or potential causes of problems/issues
  • Conduct checks frequently to ensure compliance with BCF’s defined processes and procedures
  • Identify ways to obtain feedback on how well the work products or services are working, and suggesting/submitting improvements for BCF to review
  • Work with the External Quality Team to ensure quality audit non-compliance issues are resolved in a timely manner
  • Escalating issues that cannot be resolved within the PM’s realm of responsibility

The program/project Quality Lead should:

  • Assist the External Quality Team during the scheduled QC audits
  • Schedule and conduct frequent internal reviews to ensure that BCF’s defined processes, procedures, and policies are being followed
  • Document non-compliance issues and work with the program/project teams and/or functional staff to define and implement corrective actions and/or preventive actions
  • Analyze audit results and develop corrective actions
  • Work with the PM and External Quality Team to manage non-compliance issues through closure and escalate issues, as necessary

 

3.2.4    Communicate Results

Step 5 Communicating Quality Assurance and Quality Control Results

Quality issues should be communicated on a regular basis to all interested parties. Resolution of non-compliance issues should be completed by the program/project team with support of the PM and program/project Quality Lead. The objective evaluation of defined processes, procedures, policies, work products, and services should result in a final report of findings provided by the External Quality Team. This report should identify which processes, procedures, policies, work products, or services achieve the desired results and which ones are non-compliant. The non-compliant items should identify the defect(s) along with suggested corrective actions. The report should be discussed with the PM. A plan of action must then be agreed upon.

The PM should:

  • Delegate appropriate program/project team members to correct non-compliance issues
  • Document non-compliance issues when they cannot be resolved within the program/project and communicate these issues with the External Quality Team; then work in conjunction to tailor out certain aspects to ensure compliance
  • Analyze the non-compliance issues to see if there are any quality trends that can be identified, addressed and communicated
  • Ensure that relevant stakeholders are notified of the evaluation results and quality trends in a timely manner
  • Work with the program/project Quality Lead to track all non-compliance issues to resolution

The program/project Quality Lead should:

  • Communicate all QA and QC results in internal reviews or external audits to appropriate parties

The External Quality Team should:

  • Follow up with the PM to ensure the non-compliance issue is resolved
  • Communicate with the Organizational Process Group (OPG) to review non-compliance results and gain approval for tailoring processes, procedures, expected work products, and services based on unique program/project circumstances or customer requirements

 

3.2.5    Store all Quality Management Related Materials

Step 6 Store Quality Management related materials

Quality Management is a formal process requiring record keeping of all quality-related activities. These records should include the work products from all quality audits, as well as any documentation of completed action items. The records should be organized in such a way as to facilitate a review of the complete audit and any subsequent actions or follow-up.

The Program/Project Quality Lead should work with the PM to:

  • Record all QM activities in sufficient detail such that status and results are known
  • Revise the status and history of the QM activities as necessary
  • Store all QM related materials in a central repository (the choice of repository is tasked to the PM)

The External Quality Team is responsible for:

  • Ensuring all audit results and related work products are stored within the SharePoint 2010 Compliance Toolbox Document Library
  • Updating the Non-Compliance Tracking Register in the Compliance Toolbox Document Library. This document must be continually updated so that all communication and information are captured for future reference

4.0       MEASUREMENT

All Quality Management activities must adhere to or exceed the contractual guidelines for each program/project. This information should be referenced in the Project Management Plan (PMP), Statement of Work, and/or Quality Plan for each specific program/project.

5.0       LESSONS LEARNED

The “Lessons Learned” aspect of every BCF program/project is an essential element for continuous process improvement. This information is used to build the knowledge base of an organization and to establish a history of best practices in program/project implementation and customer relations. A lessons learned process should be performed to share program/project issues or risks with others in an effort to improve future products and services. These lessons should be used and reused as new programs/projects evolve with concerns similar to those addressed by earlier program/project experiences.

6.0       TAILORING GUIDELINES

The BCF QM PD provides the minimum practices that BCF’s employees must follow to maintain and achieve the process objectives in accordance with organizational policies and standard processes. At times, the organizational policies, standard processes, and standard practices may not be appropriate or effective for meeting unique project/program or contractual obligations. In such cases, the PgM/PM should use his/her own discretion in specifying activities in lieu of the activities prescribed herein in order to gain a higher level of performance or satisfy the needs of the customer. In such cases, the PgM/PM must submit a tailoring request via the Organizational Change Request (OCR) Process.

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