Corporate Quality Assurance

Corporate quality assurance can be thought of as going beyond just the software  development process, encompassing all company-wide procedures.

Whereas the software quality  assurance function seeks to create a framework for creating the best possible  software products, quality at the corporate level would be concerned with  procedures that effect the entire company.

In larger companies, this  function may be overseen by someone at the director or vice president  level.  Their responsibilities would  include directing and coordinating the efforts of the various departments or  divisions of the company toward the goal of creating an overall Corporate quality assurance framework.

While some of the procedures  may vary, the ultimate goal is the same as it is with software quality  assurance, the production of the best possible products and services which is  accomplished by following proven quality procedures.

Like software quality  assurance, Corporate QA has similar goals, for example:

the creation of  quality initiatives and a corporate quality policy

continuous  improvement methodologies

audits to ensure  compliance

standardization  of procedures across all divisions and departments

Depending upon the size and  complexity of the organization, these goals may be a challenge to  implement.  Like  software quality assurance, Corporate QA requires cooperation  and effective communication among individuals within groups and between the  groups as well.

As always, senior management  must initiate the effort and provide the high-level vision in order to ensure  success.

If a formal software quality  assurance process already exists, then at least the idea of consistently  following proven procedures has taken hold within the company and gained some  acceptance.  So, when considering the  establishment of a Corporate QA program, organizations that have a successful software QA program may have a distinct advantage when taking on this much larger project.

For software QA  professionals interested in expanding their reach corporate-wide, sharing  software development success stories with management may be a good place to  start.