Ensuring quality in Software Projects

Quality assurance is the key to the success of any business. The software development process goes through various phases, and ensuring quality at every step is a must. Delivering a project with a defined scope within a specified amount of time, with a set budget, and with certain quality standards expected by the customer are key factors in making a project successful. However, reaching a reasonable trade-off between these factors is necessary to get to market quickly and to remain competitive.

For example, if the scope of the project increases while the resources and time remain the same, it will affect quality directly, since the team to remain to deliver more within the stipulated time frame. Since their work hours do not change, the team might have to cut the testing time or reduce test coverage to deliver on time. The following diagram depicts the Iron Triangle:

The Iron Triangle

The objectives of the triangle—also referred to as the Iron Triangle—help us to deliver projects successfully. To ensure quality, we need to satisfy the Iron Triangle’s objectives. A traditional project management triangle consists of the following:

SCOPE– Ensuring that we have verified and confirmed the scope of the project with the customer and excluded what is out of the scope of the project
– Ensuring that we have designed a requirement specification document and all supporting documents that are required for the completion of the project
– Ensuring that we have identified all sets of test cases and scenarios to validate the scope as specified in the requirement document and test plan
Time– Ensuring that all activities and their dependent activities are planned appropriately – Ensuring that activities also constitute meeting time, sanctioned holidays, resource availability, and buffer time as part of the contingency plan Ensuring that every project kickoff occurs on time
Cost– Ensuring that all resources based on skill set and budget have been identified for the project
– Ensuring that all the required tools, vendor products, and purchasing licenses have been either acquired or renewed to fit the specified budget
QUALITY– Ensuring that test managers and test leaders have done a requirement-gap analysis and are ready with a test plan
– Ensuring that the test plan lists all of the factors that might affect the quality of the software product, such as resources, their skill level, the tools required, things within scope, things out of scope, testing strategies, test methodologies, compatibility, and supported browsers versions

The Iron Triangle helps project managers to analyze and understand the trade-offs while catering to these factors. A proper balance must be achieved to ensure the desired levels of quality to produce a successful product.

Reference: Hands-On Test Management with Jira: End-to-end test management with Zephyr, synapseRT, and Jenkins in Jira by Afsana Atar

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