The Top 10 Tips for Project Quality Assurance (Project QA)

1 Document Your Policies
You should ensure that you document policies for your project – remember that it can be difficult to implement quality if there isn’t a shared understanding across your project of what you are seeking to achieve. For example, see the QA Focus policies on Web standards and link checking.

2 Ensure Your Technical Infrastructure Is Capable Of Implementing Your Policies
You should ensure that your technical infrastucture which is capable of implementing your policies. For example, if you wish to make use of XHTML on your Web site you are unlikely to be able to achieve this if you are using Microsoft Word as your authoring tool.

3 Ensure That You Have The Resources Necessary To Implement Your Policies
You should ensure that you have the resources needed to implement your policies. This can include technical expertise, investment in software and hardware, investment in training and staff development, etc.

4 Implement Systematic Checking Procedures To Ensure Your Policies Are Being Implemented
Without systematic checking procedures there is a danger that your policies are not implemented in practice. For example, see the QA Focus checking procedures for Web standards and link checking.

5 Keep Audit Trails
Provide audit trails to record results of checking procedures. This can help spot trends which may indicate procedural failures (for example, a sudden growth in the numbers of non-compliant HTML resources may be due to deployment of a new authoring tool or inadequate training for new members of the project team).

6 Learn From Others
Rather than seeking to develop quality assurance policies and procedures from scratch you should seek to learn from others. You may find that the QA Focus case studies provide useful advice which you can learn from.

7 Share Your Experiences
If you are in the position of having deployed effective quality assurance procedures it can be helpful for the wider community if you share your approaches. For example, consider writing a QA Focus case study.

8 Seek ‘Fitness For Purpose’ – Not Perfection
You should seek to implement ‘fitness for purpose’ which is based on the levels of funding available and the expertise and resources you have available. Note that perfection is not necessarily a useful goal to aim for – indeed, there is a danger that ‘seeking the best may drive out the good’.

9 Remember That QA Is For You To Implement
Although the QA Focus Web site provides a wide range of resources which can help you to ensure that your project deliverables are interoperable and widely accessible you should remember that you will need to implement quality assurance within your project.

10 Seek To Deploy QA Procedures More Extensively
Rather than seeking to implement quality assurance across your project, it can be beneficial if quality assurance is implemented at a higher level, such as within you department or organisation. If you have an interest in more widespread deployment of quality assurance, you should read about the ISO 9000 QA standards.

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