How can Software QA processes be implemented without reducing productivity?
By implementing QA processes slowly over time, using consensus to reach agreement on processes, focusing on processes that align tightly with organizational goals, and adjusting/experimenting/refactoring as an organization matures, productivity can be improved instead of stifled. Problem prevention will lessen the need for problem detection, panics and burn-out will decrease, and there will be improved focus and less wasted effort. At the same time, attempts should be made to keep processes simple and efficient, avoid a ‘Process Police’ mentality, minimize paperwork, promote computer-based processes and automated tracking and reporting, minimize time required in meetings, and promote training as part of the QA process. However, no one – especially talented technical types – likes rules or bureaucracy, and in the short run things may slow down a bit. A typical scenario would be that more days of planning, reviews, and inspections will be needed, but less time will be required for
late-night bug-fixing and handling of irate customers.
Other possibilities include incremental self-managed team approaches such as ‘Kaizen’ methods of continuous process improvement, the Deming-Shewhart Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, and others.