“Do the Quality processes in SAP projects really matters ? “,this is  a basic question which strike to my mind,while I was sitting in the Quarterly Audit for my project.”You have to update the object tracker regularly and also the defect tracker with all the efforts and if missed that will amount to Non-conformance of the quality process;The WBS of the project should be evident ;where are you putting all the efforts for TS review ? ” , screamed the Auditor.

   These questions appeared to me as volleys, from which I have to safeguard my head;otherwise it would definitely strike the Head !  😀

But do we really follow Quality processes in our projects and fill the documents in timely manner ? Or, is it simply a Historical and manipulated Data ?

And what benefit, it will provide to the project in continuous improvement ?

Now-a-days,in the SAP Projects – whether Implementation or Support – the environment is very challenging and more and more stressful.Every now and then there are rapid changes in the requirements and sometimes, it is seen that after the long development period of 3 months, finally the object is scrapped and it is no more required.Or otherwise, it is found that although the development is correct but the old version of the object was better;so switch to the older version  and comment the latest one ! So how you define the SDLC for this ? Within the Quality perspective,first you have to develop a technical specification or a technical design for the object and then jump to coding.But, if the requirements keeps on changing and no test data is given ? then , what should be the approach ?

The most favorite Question that is asked in the Audit is – “what is your delivery process ?” .”How do you deliver the object to the end customer ?” . The real problem arises when the customer do not follow any specific process and your Quality Department is adamant on following s set of processes. “We are a CMMI Level 5 company and we cannot compromise with any non-conformance of the Quality Process “, adds the QA of the project. So, how to strike a balance between the two flippers – Client and the Quality Deptt. ? Finally, what is the solution ? Is it right that you feel always overburdened with the lot of Work and always face the dilemma of managing the start date and end date of a object and its representation in the object tracker ! 

The purpose of the quality system of a company – I feel – is to facilitate the smooth delivery to the client and definitely of High Quality.To ensure this, there must be – what we call it as adaptation- just like in Agile Development.The Quality processes should not be blindly followed,but,rather be adapted to the client requirements and delivery processes.It must not be the case of too many processes or no process.In this way,only, the QMS may  achieve its basic organisational  goal of ‘High Quality Delivery” . Till this thought is put into consideration,our Team Leads and Manager will surely have a hard time with QA !

I still feel that the debate is still not over for this moot point and would certainly like to hear the voices of fellow members and their thoughts.Please feel free to share your expression on  this. 🙂

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6 Comments

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  1. Shruti D

    Hi Nitin,

    Bingo!! We had faced such debates when I was part of a support project . 100% Process adherence is definitely not possible in some critical and time constraint deliveries so, as u said adaptability to client needs is what is needed in such situations and my lead was kind enough to guide me at that time . 🙂

    Regards,

    Shruti D  

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  2. Mauricio Cruz

    I wouldn’t say they are totally useless, but the way most companies structures their quality processes makes them completely fake and completely boring.

    Here I made my rant about technical documentation, and every single bad example I gave I found in a company with CMMI lvl5.  Where’s the quality?

    You can make all the standards and metrics and tracking you want: they will all fall down if people don’t understand the purpose behind it. They’ll just think it’s something very boring, and, sometimes, will start making numbers to finish updating that “stupid spreadsheet”.

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  3. SHANKARANARAYAN KRISHNAMOORTHY

    Great topic Nikhil.Exactly the kind of problems we face on a daily basis. I feel only the code should be given the due importance during a  quality review process. TS review , UT review ..all are just spreadsheet fillers 🙂 .

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  4. Cedric LOPEZ

    “So, how to strike a balance between the two flippers – Client and the Quality Deptt. ?”

    Your post and this sentence especially is symptomatic of a quality system that forgot its main purpose: satisfy the customers, and that remains stuck in the bad old demons of former versions of ISO 9001 … almost 20 years ago.

    Overlooking stakeholders’ needs, and this includes of course clients and employees, to produce a predefined set of records doesn’t lead anywhere.

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  5. Parvez Soobhany

    I have been involved in the recertification of CMMi level 3 and at the start each person on a project would be telling you a different story when asked about the project practices.

    Actually the company was aiming for level 5, but a pre-assessment showed that we were not even at level 3.

    So the company came with a strategy, whereby the boring processes were not learned by heart, but lived. We were able at the end to situate ourselves perfectly in the processes and life became much simpler and easier. We knew why we were doing what actions and what benefit we would be getting and also what hassle we will be avoiding.

    We successfully achieved level 3 thanks to that strategy.

    Quality i would say is very important, but some flexibility and common sense are required from all partners in order to implement a proper quality process.

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