Establish/maintain organizational Quality Assurance (QA) plan
Each organization develops, reviews, and approves an Organizational QA plan as the basis for all QA activities in the organization. The Organizational QA Plan contains:
- Scope (mission, goals, objectives)
- Structure, planned funding, and operation of the QA group
- Operating standards
- Communication plan
- Procedures for monitoring supplier QA activities
- Measures for QA activities
- Audit standards – review cycle
Each organization uses the Organizational QA Plan template to develop the Organizational QA Plan, and then submits it to senior management for review and final approval. The plan is maintained as a managed and controlled document, and is made available to all affected groups. The plan is reviewed annually.
Perform on-going QA activities
The QA function monitors the organization to ensure that projects plan for quality activities, determine compliance with the organization's standard processes, and ensure that non-compliance issues are identified, documented, and tracked to closure. Accounts use defined QA Criteria for each process to determine the level of compliance to standard processes.
- Participates in the preparation and review of project plans to ensure that projects comply with organizational policies, to ensure that appropriate standards and procedures are in place, and to plan QA activities for the project. Each project must have a project Quality Plan and must include QA activities in the project schedule.
- Monitors supplier's QA activities (if a supplier is responsible for managing a portion of the project) to ensure that the supplier is following agreed upon plans, standards, and procedures. Periodically, the QA Group also reviews the supplier's QA reports.
- Conducts QA audits according to the procedures outlined in the Organizational QA Plan, to ensure that each project is complying with its defined processes, standards and procedures. The results of each audit are documented and communicated as defined in the Organizational QA Plan.
- Identifies, documents, and tracks all non-compliances to closure, in accordance with the procedures documented in the Organizational QA Plan. If non-compliance items cannot be resolved within the project team and its reporting chain, the QA Group escalates those issues to senior management for resolution.
Manage/evaluate QA program
QA metrics provide information about the QA function that can be used for estimating QA activities for future projects and identifying areas requiring process improvement. Metrics such as effort, duration, staffing levels, and planned vs. actual measurements are collected at the appropriate level of granularity for each project.
The QA Group collects and records QA measurement and re-planning data for organization and project support activities, and conducts periodic reviews of QA activities with senior management. When required to do so by the client the QA Group conducts a periodic review of QA activities with the client's QA group, to provide the client with insight into the organization's QA activities and results. The QA group also arranges for independent QA audits to examine the organizational QA activities and associated work products to determine if they adhere to the defined QA processes for the organization. The results are communicated to affected QA groups and senior management to allow them to assess QA process adherence and take appropriate action toward process improvement.
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