A Quality Assurance Plan, or QA Plan, is a single point document specifying what processes, procedures and resources will be applied to meet the requirements of a specific project, product, process or contract.
It’s the one document that brings everything together documenting the overall quality approach and system of governance to be executed for a project, product, process or contract.
It generally makes reference to the procedures of the existing Quality Management System (QMS) that are applicable to the existing project or contract. This is one of the key benefits of having an established QMS.
It’s common for potential, or even existing, customers to request a QA Plan for their purchase order or contract.
Customers seek “assurance and comfort” that items will perform as advertised and that adequate quality control techniques are in place during product and/or service realization.
In many instances providing a copy of third party QMS registration, if registered, is all that is needed.
In other instances the development of specific requirements and procedures for the project may be needed. In still others, tailoring may be all that is required.
Quality Assurance Planning is the translation of customer requirements into the needed operational policies, procedures and resources needed to meet requirements and objectives.
Typical Quality Assurance Plan Considerations
Define Project Quality
Define the quality standards and expectations for customers, the project and organization.
Define the customers and projects goals and critical success factors. Outline the acceptance criteria for the project deliverables and products and/or service performance.
Measure Project Quality
Identify desired metrics and related monitoring processes for which to measure the quality standards., Develop a plan for measuring quality, define the methods of data collection and metrics reporting.
Metrics provide the confidence that project quality is in fact being met and is being achieved.
Analyze Project Quality
Analyze the quality data, document opportunities for improvement and apply what was learned from quality analysis to eliminate gaps between current and desired levels of performance.
Improve Project Quality
Identify ways of doing things better, cheaper, and faster. For projects, identify ways of eliminating unsatisfactory performance.
Control Project Quality
Identify the actions that will be conducted to control quality throughout the project’s life.
Define how it will be determined that quality standards comply with the defined standards outlined earlier in this document. Identify owners of ongoing monitoring and improvement of project processes.
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