How will you answer to a common man’s question upon your profession?

Suppose, you are a Quality engineer. But if a person who is not at all related to IT world asks you about your job, how will you answer?

I thought about the same in many dimensions.

Hmm.. It is easy to have a complex definition.. but It is pretty difficult to make it a simpler one

So coming back to the Question, “Who is a Process Engineer/Process consultant/Quality Engineer”?

QA

We all are working based on certain discipline.

Companies are also not at all an exception. They are abiding to some standards. Sometimes they make their own standards and follow the policies inline to those standards.

Otherwise they seek compliance to industry wide accepted standards and models like ISO, CMMI, ASPICE, TL 9000, FDA, AS 9100 etc.

Sometimes they even go for certification or assessment against these standards, so that they can proudly claim that “we are compliant to ISO xxx etc” and definitely which will be an added value in front of the clients.

Now who will be monitoring the compliance on a long run? Disciplines are to be ensured life long, right?

Similarly companies need to ensure that the defined policies are implemented and updated on a regular basis. If the responsibility is shared among each and every employee, it will end nowhere and ultimately everything is diluted.

So companies keep a separate group known as process consultant or QA engineers.

  • They mainly help the organization to comply with these standards.

  • They train the employees on the implementation part.

  • They write policies and procedures and ensure that it is shared to relevant people.

  • They ensure that these policies are practiced inside the projects through proper audits.

  • They escalate the issues and update the status to senior management.

  • They initiate corrective actions and preventive actions whenever required.

  • The job does not end here. If the company had gone for certification/assessment this team plays a main role for an easy go.

So this is the bare minimum responsibility of a QA engineer. And depending upon the organization, tasks vary. There are consultants who do data analysis and come up with interesting facts about the organization.

So in short, QA team is the team who ensures process compliance within an organization.

CMMI Version 1.3 was released on November 1, 2010. All the three constellations of CMMI – SVC, ACQ and Dev, got released in the same period, considering the similarities across them.

How good it would be, if all the three constellations were combined into a single model..? Definitely it would have eased the process of CMMI compliance as well as appraisal.

Yes, the realization is not far ahead. CMMI institute has started to redefine and rewrite the CMMI. ’CMMi NextGen’ is the project currently underway at the CMMI institute. ‘Next Gen will be combining ACQ, DEV, SVC, P-CMM and DMM into a single model. NextGen won’t be a simple upgrade like v1.1 to v1.2, or v1.2 to v1.3. It is a “re-molding” of the entire model.

A set of working groups has been formed under this project to define the future of CMMI.  They work on

  • Architecture
  • Current needs
  • Implementation
  • Performance
  • Plain language
  • Simplify model and appraisal method
  • System
  • Trainings

Each working group consists of “authors” and “reviewers.” Refer more on working groups at http://partners.clearmodel.com/volunteer-cmmi-next-generation-working-group/. CMMI institute is collecting requirements and recommendations. Since the change being major, we will have to wait for a couple of years to have the next generation in place.

Next Generation Project Information Portal is now available on Partner Resource Centre.  All Partner BPOCs(Business Point Of Contacts) and Certified Individuals will have access to the information about the project through this portal.

 

What could be role of models/standards in coming days…?

Nowadays many of the big organizations set up their processes and procedures without formal compliance to any models/standards like CMMI or ISO. It doesn’t mean that they are not adhering to any of the standard practices. Definitely without ‘process adherence/quality products’, they cannot be so called ‘big organizations’. In such cases, process may or may not be compliant to those standards, but free from certification loop. In some instances, there are business requirements for the organizations to be certified/complied to specific standards. Otherwise, ‘can an organization sustain without these standards/models implemented..?’ If the number of organizations, who set up their own process, is increasing, thinking forward, what could be role of such models/standards in coming days..?