Quality Management

Quality Department in ESKADENIA and CMMI

  • Background
    ESKADENIA's Quality Department mission is to provide high quality products to all of ESKADENIA's customers, striving to meet the customer and industry quality standards.

    Quality need to be a driver for each employee. Quality Management function at ESKADENIA Software shall strive to ensure that the highest standards, procedures, processes and work routines will be implemented at the company, the department, and the product level.

    Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is the framework that ESKADENIA complies with in order to manage quality activities in software production. ESKADENIA Software first received its CMMI DEV Level-3 accreditation back in February 2011.

    Since then, all projects are required to comply with the standards of Level-3 framework. CMMI® for Development from the CMMI Institute, USA is currently considered to be the most widely accepted and adopted process improvement approach worldwide, that provides organizations with the latest best practices for product and service development and maintenance.
  • Quality and tool collaboration tools
    Team Foundation Server (TFS) is the tool that is used for team collaborations. All work items such as requirements, tasks, bugs, test cases, risks, issues, etc… should be logged into TFS. SharePoint is integrated with TFS and used to archive the documents and data for the related projects. All processes that comply with CMMI and all templates, guidelines, and descriptions are defined and available in SharePoint. This reservoir where all definitions and documents are located is called Caterpillar.
  • Process improvement & SPIG

    All members of ESKADENIA Software’s teams can provide process improvement suggestions. All improvements proposals are received by Software Process Improvement Group (SPIG) which is a committee in ESKADENIA that is managed by the QA Manager and consists of key resources within ESKADENIA. The responsibility of SPIG is to define, control, monitor, and improve all software operations and processes within ESKADENIA.

    Projects Types

    ESKADENIA’s projects fall under two major categories:

    • Development Projects: The projects that require substantial coding and results with new products and services. Some of these new development projects are sometimes referred to as CRs; which are new features that are requested by existing clients.
    • Deployment Projects: The projects that require the installation of Off-The-Shelf products at the servers of the new clients. They usually require some level of customization, which is referred to as Gaps.

    Projects phases and software development lifecycle in ESKADENIA

    • Initiation phase
      Initiation Phase is the first phase in the project life cycle. Once a decision is made to develop/deploy a product, the initiation phase begins. Project is kicked off and stakeholders are identified.
    • Planning phase
      During the Planning Phase the Project Manager (PM) works towards identifying the project time and cost plan for the engagement, measurement, configurable items, work approach, roles and responsibilities and the reporting mechanism, in addition to policies and procedures that will govern the project. The planning activities should be communicated to the project team and commitment should be obtained to scope, plans and requirements.
    • Definition & Analysis phase
      Requirements in the Definition & Analysis Phase are created by the business analyst, modeled, validated, reviewed, approved, and logged into TFS. Keeping track of all requirements is essential to control possible changes.
    • Design phase
      Designers within the Design Phase design the User Interface is designed, and then Software Architecture is identified, Testing is planned, and Test scenarios are identified. Test scenarios and cases should be linked with the requirements.
    • Development phase
      The goal of Development Phase is to develop the system objects and components. Once the system objects have been developed, they are integrated to form a working application. Some development work may continue into the testing phase in response to testing. The main activities that are conducted within this phase are:
      • Environment preparation
      • Coding and Unit Testing
      • Code review
      • Coding should adhere to the internal coding standards. Remember to ask your supervisor for the coding standards document.
    • Testing phase
      The Testing Phase is when the test scenarios are executed by following the different test types. Bugs are logged into TFS and linked with Test Cases. Test cases can be passed, failed, or not executed. Regression Testing is done when bugs are fixed to ensure the fix is done correctly. At the end of this phase, several reports are submitted to the stakeholders providing statistical information about the detected bugs.
    • Deployment phase
      The Deployment phase is when the following items are delivered:

      Installation Guide:
      Provides step by step instructions on which guides the installer through the installation process

      Operation and Maintenance:
      Operation and Maintenance describes in details how to configure and deploy the system and integrate it with the other third parties platform.

      User Manual:
      User Manual includes the information needed to work with the system.

      Training Guide:
      Training Guide is a document that explains the system and how to use it

      Release Note: Release note document lists the functionalities available within a certain release, highlighting bugs and changes.
    • Closure phase
      The Closure Phase is important to close the project’s activities and obtain the acceptance from the client. At the end of the project, the team members discuss the lessons learned, and also discuss the different measures collected within this phase. 

    Monitoring the projects

    All project team members are expected to collaborate with the PM to:

    • Identify the Risks, monitor them, and take the needed actions to mitigate/prevent the risks.
    • Identify Issues, log them, monitor them, and lead them to closure
    • Provide the PM with the needed measures, such as actual effort and time spent on tasks completion, and the number of bugs.
    • Provide consistent status reporting to monitor progress of the projects.

    Measurements

    In ESKADENIA, we believe that the best way to control and achieve best results and high quality of products is collecting measures. The PM at the beginning of each new project identifies the measures that need to be collected. Usually, the measures that need to be collected are:

    • Schedule Performance Indicator (SPI): used to know whether we are on schedule and are we delivering on time or not.
    • Bug analysis: It is used to study where do most of the detected bugs come from, and what are the root causes of these bugs.
    • Compliance reports: this measure is used to measure compliance to the CMMI and defined standards.

    Auditing

    Auditing purpose is to evaluate the designated work products and processes against the applicable process descriptions, standards, and procedures and validate the correctness of the requirements collected from the stakeholders.

    Auditing activities will be conducted for on-going projects to ensure that projects are following ESKADENIA defined processes, assess the effectiveness of the process, and introduce improvement based on the auditing results. Auditing provides management and project members with objective insight into products and processes to ensure they conform to specified policies, standards, process descriptions and procedures.

    Change Management

    • Ensure that the project property (software and documents) is physically secure at all times;
    • Protect the integrity of completed project deliverables;
    • Ensure that work in progress is secure and backed up on a regular basis;
    • Control and track updates made to completed project deliverables;
    • Ensure that appropriate versioning of project deliverables is used;
    • Control the release and issuance of updated project deliverables; and, Ensure that related deliverables are kept in step with each update.
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