Having quality standards for your organization and project is a must. But putting everything in your quality standard can make your quality standard worse. There are few guidelines you can consider when making a quality standard, but following two are most important I think.
Develop a consequence for each quality standard. I like to call this the “Who cares?” test. For each standard you identify, develop a logical, thoughtful consequence that will occur if it is not met. If you and your advisory board can’t identify a realistic outcome, or if the consequence is minor, consider revising or deleting the standard. It’s too easy to throw everything into your quality standards list. More is not always better, so be sure to focus on what matters most.
Evaluate the quality standards as a regular part of your project postmortem. Putting practical standards in place is a great first step toward meeting the expectations. So, to ensure that your quality standards continue to pay dividends, it’s important to include a regular postmortem review. Ask questions such as:
Getting a good read on how project teams viewed the quality standards will help you improve these measures, and over time they will evolve with your organization.
- Were any quality standards ignored? If so, was the consequence significant?
- Was the product designed with the quality standards in mind, or were they applied after the product was designed and needed to be tested?
- Did the team take the quality standards seriously, or did they follow the guidelines because they had to?
There is a good article on Microsoft Office Online providing bit more guidelines on developing a good quality standard and then maintaining the quality of your quality standard 🙂