Baselines are created for the core “value-generating” processes of the business in the organizations. From the observed measurement data, an organization comes up with various process performance baselines (PPB) periodically. In a software industry, there can be PPBs for coding speed, defect density, productivity, testing speed, review effectiveness etc. Then measurable improvement targets (process performance objectives) are set for the selected processes. Say for example an objective could be to increase the coding speed by 10 % (Definitely some improvement initiatives need to be there to achieve the targets which are above to the current performance). Even, there can be an objective to maintain the performance at current level itself instead of improving upon the same. The process performance objectives are based on

    • the organization’s business objectives
    • the past performance of projects
    • customer requirements

In all these cases organization needs to have a reference value as baseline to know where it is right now. (Otherwise goals will be subjective) Baselines show the current performance measures of an organization. Now assume a case where an organization has just started to collect measurement data. Definitely there won’t be a baseline initially. In this scenario, how the organization will be setting objectives, without a reference baselines

They can have different options as below.

  1. Industry bench marks
  2. The organization can look in to the industry benchmarks. If the organization is performing a similar nature of work as per the contextual information of the industry benchmarks, they can use those values as references for setting targets.
  3. Expert discussions and brainstorming
  4. There might be employees in the organization who are much skilled to come up with some reference values on the critical processes for setting the targets.
  5. Collecting information from similar organization.
  6. The organization can refer baselines of other similar organization via employee contacts and use it as reference values.
  7. Process Performance Models (PPMs)
  8. If there are some prediction models defined, suitable to the requirements of the organization, dependent parameters (y values) can be predicted, assuming organization have some knowledge on the values of the independent parameters(x values)

When a reference value is obtained, organization can build targets upon the same. Once the organization has collected enough data over a period of time, PPBs can be built. Then those PPBs can be used to set targets for coming year. In this way process is continued and baselines are revised on a periodical manner, say on a yearly basis or so.

Add your points if you have got some other methods ‘to set objectives when there is no baseline’

Quality Management resulted mainly from the work of the quality gurus and their theories. There have been three groups of gurus since the 1940’s:

1. Early 1950’s Americans who took the messages of quality to Japan: Joseph Juran, W Edwards Deming, and Armand Feigenbum

2. Late 1950’s Japanese who developed new concepts in response to the Americans: Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi, and Shigeo Shingo

3. 1970’s-1980’s Western gurus who further extended the Quality Management concepts after the Japanese successes: Philip Crosby and Tom PetersThere are many other management “gurus” whose philosophies and ideas fill whole books on their own, and several of these are important to quality management. The ones included in this section are those whose reputation is primarily for their work in quality and excellence.

  • Taylor: An industrial (efficiency) engineer, manager, and consultant, Frederick Taylor is known as the Father of Scientific Management. In 1911, he published “The Principles of Scientific Management”

  • Walter Andrew Shewhart: sometimes known as the father of statistical quality control. A statistician who worked at Western Electric, Bell Laboratories, Dr. Walter A. Shewhart used statistics to explain process variability. It was Dr. W. Edward Deming who publicized the usefulness of control charts, as well as the Shewhart Cycle. However, Deming rightfully credited Shewhart with the development of theories of process control as well as the Shewhart transformation process on which the Deming PDCA (Plan-Do-Check or Study-Act) Cycle is based.

  • Deming : A prominent consultant, teacher, and author on the subject of quality. After sharing his expertise in statistical quality control to help the U.S. war effort during World War II, the War Department sent Deming to Japan in 1946 to help that nation recover from its Wartime losses. Deming published more than 200 works, including the well-known books Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position and Out of the Crisis. His fourteen point plan is a complete philosophy of management that can be applied to small or large organisations in the public, private or service sectors: Deming also encouraged a systematic approach to problem solving and promoted the widely known Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle. The PDCA cycle is also known as the Deming cycle, although it was developed by a colleague of Deming, Dr Shewhart.

  • Juran: Seen by many as the “father” of quality, and the man who “taught quality to the Japanese.” The former chairman emeritus of the Juran Institute And an ASQ Honorary member. Since 1924, Juran has pursued a varied career in management as an engineer, executive, government administrator, University professor, labor arbitrator, corporate director, and consultant. Specializing in managing for quality, he has authored hundreds of papers and 12 books, including Juran’s Quality Control Handbook, Quality Planning and Analysis (with F. M. Gryna), and Juran on Leadership for Quality. Juran developed the quality trilogy – quality planning, quality control and quality He has defined Pareto principle.

  • Armand V Feigenbaum is an American quality control expert and businessman. He devised the concept of Total Quality Control, later known as Total Quality Management (TQM).

  • Ishikawa : Most noteworthy contribution is his total quality viewpoint, companywide quality control, his emphasis on the human side of quality, the Ishikawa diagram and the assembly and use of the “seven basic tools of quality”:

  • Taguchi, Genichi : The executive director of the American Supplier Institute, the director of the Japan Industrial Technology Institute, and an honorary professor at Nanjing Institute of Technology in China. Taguchi is well-known for developing a methodology to improve quality and reduce costs, which is referred to as the Taguchi Methods. He also developed the quality loss function.

  • Yoji Akao : is a Japanese planning specialist recognized as the developer of Hoshin Kanri (a strategic planning methodology). With the late Shigeru Mizuno, he developed Quality Function Deployment (a group decision making technique).

  • Shigeo Shingo is strongly associated with Just-in-Time manufacturing, and was the inventor of the single minute exchange of die (SMED) system, in which set up times are reduced from hours to minutes, and the Poka-Yoke (mistake proofing) system.

  • Crosby, Philip: The founder and chairman of the board of Career IV, an executive management consulting firm. Crosby also founded Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. and the Quality College. He has written many books, including Quality Is Free, Quality Without Tears, Let’s Talk Quality, and Leading: The Art of Becoming an Executive. He is known for the concepts of

  • Tom Peters identified leadership as being central to the quality improvement process, discarding the word “Management” for “Leadership”. The new role is of a facilitator, and the basis is Managing by walking about” (MBWA), enabling the leader to keep in touch with customers, innovation and people. Fortune calls Tom Peters the Ur-guru (guru of gurus) of management. The Economist tags him the Uber-guru, and his unconventional views led Business Week to describe Tom as “business’ best friend and worst nightmare.”

I am comfortable as long as you are not intruding into my private space

Well, then what about hackers..? They are supposed to intrude into your space.

After all, that’s what they are supposed to do. So how can you ensure that your environment is less vulnerable?

The answer lies in security testing. With this form of testing, we are checking the real functionalities only but with a deeper objective. And ensuring that your product can’t be easily attacked by hackers.

The alarm system in your car for unauthorised access is an example of security measures. So in a security testing, you will be ensuring whether the alarm system is working properly. You might be simulating unexpected scenarios for the same.

Now coming to software security testing, let us take an example of user login form. Suppose you entered some user information and password and tried to access the system. And you received a message as incorrect password. Ah, there is smile on the hacker’s face as 50 % of his problem is solved. Yes, he understood that user information is correct and only password is wrong. In this way security testing is continued.

In a security testing a tester is acting as a bad guy to find your weakness.

Ensure that security testing is done with permission only; or else you will fall under the category of hackers.

So in short, security testing is the process of identifying vulnerabilities or weakness in the system

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”?


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.

In this article, 7 statistical tests are explained which are essential for doing statistical analysis inside a CMMI High Maturity (HM) compliant project or organization.

1       Stability test


Data stability for the selected parameter is tested using minitab before making performance baselines.


  1. Go to Stat->Control Charts-> I-MR (In variables, enter the column containing the parameter)
  2. From the section for Estimate, choose ‘Average Moving Range” as methods of estimating sigma and ‘2’ as moving range of length
  3. From section of tests, choose specific tests to perform
  4. From the section for ‘Options’ enter sigma limit positions as 1 2 3.


After eliminating all the out of turn points, the system attains stability and is ready for baseline.

2       Capability test


Once the selected parameter is baselined, capability of the same to meet the specification limits are tested.


  1. Go to Stat->Quality Tools->Capability Sixpack(Normal), Choose single Column, (In variables, enter the column containing the parameter), Enter ‘1’ as subgroup size),Enter Lower spec and upper spec,
  2. From the section for Estimate choose ‘Average Moving Range” as methods of estimating sigma and ‘2’ as moving range of length,
  3. From the section for Options, enter ‘6’ as sigma tolerance, choose ‘within subgroup analysis’ and ‘percents’, and Opt ‘display graph’


If the control limits are within specification limits or the Cp and Cpk values are equal to or greater than one, the data is found to be capable.

3       Correlation test


Correlation test will be conducted between each independent parameter and the dependent parameter (if both are of continuous data type) in the Process Performance Model.


  1. Go to Stat->Basis Statistics ->Correlation (Opt display P values)


For each correlation test p-value has to be less than 0.05 (or the decided p value within the organization based on risk analysis)

4       Regression test


Regression test will be conducted including all the independent parameters and the dependent parameter in the Process Performance Model.


  1. Go to Stat->regression->regression; (In response and predictors, enter the columns containing the dependent and independent parameters respectively)
  2. From the section for storage, include Residuals also


  • p-value has to be less than 0.05 for each factor as well as for the regression equation obtained. (Or the decided p value within the organization based on risk analysis)
  • [R-Sq (adj)] has to be greater than 70 %( or the decided value within the organization based on risk analysis) for ensuring the correlation between the independent parameters and the dependent parameter. Otherwise, the parameter cannot be taken.
  • Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) has to be less than 10. If VIF is greater than 10, correlation test (stat->basic statistics->correlation) will be conducted among the different parameters which are influencing Process Performance Model. In cases where    correlation is high i.e. correlation greater than 0.5 or -0.5, the factors have dependency. In such cases if degree of correlation is quite high one of the factors will be avoided or relooked for new terms.

5       Normality test


Normality of the data is tested using the Anderson-Darling test.


  1. Go to Stat > Basic Statistics > Normality Test> Anderson-Darling test
  2. In Variables, enter the columns containing the measurement data.


For the data to be normally distributed, null hypothesis cannot be rejected. For this p value has to be greater than 0.05 (or the decided p value within the organization based on risk analysis) and A2 value has to be less than .757.

6       Test for Two Variances


Test for Two Variances is conducted to analyse whether variances are significantly different in two sets of data.

This null hypothesis is tested against the alternate hypothesis (two samples are having unequal variance)


  1. Go to Stat > Basic Statistics > 2 Variances.
  2. Opt ‘Samples in Different Columns’. In Variables, enter the columns containing the measurement data

Results: If the test’s p-value is less than the chosen significance level (normally 0.05), null hypothesis will be rejected.

7       Two sample T- Test


Two sample T test is used to check whether means are significantly different in two periods for two groups of data.

The null hypothesis is checked against one of the alternative hypotheses, depending on the situation.


  1. Go to Stat > Basic Statistics > 2 Sample T
  2. Opt ‘Samples in Different Columns’. In Variables, enter the columns containing the measurement data.( First should be the initial data and second should be current data)
  3. Check or uncheck the box for “Assume equal variances” depending upon the F test results (Two variance Test results)
  4. In the Options, use the required alternative, whether ‘not equal’, ‘less than’ or ‘greater than’.
  5. Put test difference as 0 and confidence interval as 95.


If the test’s p-value is less than the chosen significance level (normally 0.05), null hypothesis has to be rejected.

Am I organized? Are you organized?

Do you feel cluttered; shall we first analyze the reasons behind the same.


No time..?

Poor memory..?

Fear of Failure..?


To start organizing our life, we need to acknowledge the cause and make a decision to overcome it. Organization takes time, but when we get into the habit of it, life becomes so much easier!

Configuration Management is not a mere CMMI PA or an ISO requirement. Don’t assume it to be limited to an organization, seeking for appraisal. Configuration management is an inevitable part of one’s daily life.

Let me connect it to an organized lifestyle. Organization starts from the moment we wake up. Even before that, it should start as planning for a day begins much before that.

1. Making lists

There are many things which we often forget in our day to day life. Say like list of grocery items, names of people who we met recently, birthdays, anniversaries etc. Why do we need to stress our brain by handling all these stuffs while the brain has got many other important jobs? And that too in a world with many technical advancements to keep reminders. More over once we start writing, it becomes a habit. And writing a thing or a name makes us to remember the same even without looking at it at a later point. I always prefer to have a pen and paper, which is a permanent reminder. You can have your laptop or smart phones or even a pen-paper to write down the reminders or your appointments or anything else. I have a small whiteboard on my bedroom wall (which is not easily noticeable by outsiders). Upon which I made two columns, one for ‘to do’ list and another for ‘today’ list. “Todo” is a list of general things I have to do. Then “today” is what I need to do, obviously, today! I also keep two things unchanged on the “today” part, which are surya namaskar and exercise. This seems to help. I do wish to include one more item permanently, i.e meditation. But somehow it’s getting skipped. I need to be more cautious. Make a To do list for your day, week month and the year..

2. Making planner

Observe your day. How long you are taking for each activity. Are you wasting your time? Make schedules for your day or week or month. Plan your activities accordingly. Make deadlines and set goals. And do ensure to check your bucket list on a periodic basis. Review your milestones. Write down the thigs you want to achieve this year in your life and break down the yearly goals to monthly goal and write down what you need to achieve them. Get a calendar and place it so that you can see it every morning. Your calendar can remind you to do things on time. Touch today’s date on the calendar and see what’s marked for today and for the upcoming week.

3. Don’t set aside small things for tomorrow

As far as possible just ensure to complete the things by today itself. Don’t leave it to tomorrow as it may make it further delayed or even make it incomplete. Today you will be much clearer on what to be done. You may not have that much clarity tomorrow. Ignoring stuffs, thinking to be a silly thing, often we set it aside and ultimately it gets never completed. Don’t think or ask yourself repeatedly “Should I do it now “. Even that question itself is sufficient enough to get it postponed. Don’t think more, just do it. Also try to remove your distractions when focused on work which have a deadline, whatever they are. Often it is the internet, your phone, sleep, or even a good book.

4. Have a fresh start.

When we wake up on a holiday, just try to forget it to be a holiday. Do our regular works as if we have to go to office. Get refreshed as early as possible. This will change our mental perspective. Now, we have more confidence as we are presentable to the world.

5. Dependency Planning

Don’t make yourself in a que. A que is the place which steals a lot of our time. I’m not mentioning about a physical que, which may or may not be avoidable depending upon your timings. Let me take the extracts from one of my posts, I’m more productive when I’m Busy Suppose there are two urgent mails to be replied. Our normal tendency is to just start writing the letter taking one by one. And in the middle way only, it will be realized that there is missing information and the person who knows about it, is out of reachable now. So either we fail in the task or happens a lot of que time. So think parallel. Will there be a que time..? How can I avoid the que time..? First of all just analyze both cases and ensure whether you have all the information to be drafted in the mails. If not, find and clear out the dependency factors immediately. Then go ahead… no que time.. 🙂

6. Have a room for all of your items

It is equally important to keep things in their proper physical places. Don’t get things around here and there. Keep documents filed. Have separate files for different kind of documents. Store things in their storage area under proper label. Never have a miscellaneous storage place as items may get dumped over there. It must be ensured that you are keeping things that you want only. The more the things, the more the clutter. Go and check your cabinets, boxes, drawers etc. Whatever you find as ‘dust’, keep it aside. Then find way to kick them out of your sweet home. Organized doesn’t just mean tidy and beautiful in appearance. The purpose of organization is to be able to find, exchange, and evaluate items quickly. You can arrange your books in the shelf in the increasing height of your books. But it will confuse you to pick a specific book as it is not an arrangement based on category. So make it categorized and thus organized.

7. Put it back

Putting things back into their cases is equally important. As soon as you are finished using it, don’t leave it here and there. Ensure to keep in their allocated room.

  • Always put your phone in the same place. Have a cell phone charging place set up.
  • Always keep your keys together in the same place.
  • Put your pens in the pen stand after use.
  • Keep your bills in the file after payments.

8. Delegate your tasks and work hard

As far as possible, delegate your tasks. No wonder, you can delegate small tasks even to your kids. In fact delegating is not only beneficial for the giver but also for the receiver. Once you have delegated your responsibilities and made a schedule, you can organize yourself in the best possible way. Don’t give up when you feel exhausted. There is no limit to human skills. It gets molded in the way you tune it. If you make it to work hard, it will adopt to the situation.

9. Set a Vision

Have you thought about your vision and found the same? Many of you might have. I also thought a lot about the purpose of my life, but reached nowhere. I think something is there in my mind, but it’s not coming out. I can’t express it in words. And working behind many other goals, but I know it’s not my life vision. So I’m still trying.. Anyway I’m quite sure that we need to find our vision and work for it.

10. Reorganize

Finally, but the most importantly we need to ensure the practice of reorganization. Things are not alive people. They need to be manually reorganized. Do it on a weekly basis.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee has recently released a guidance document- “Guidance on the Requirements for Documented Information of ISO 9001:2015”. The purpose this guidance document is to help the implementers of ISO 900- 2015 with specific regards to documented information.

ISO 9001-2015 allows flexibility for an organization in the way it chooses to document its Quality Management System (QMS). ISO 9001-2008 demanded a set of mandatory procedures. In ISO 9001-2015 there is no demand for record or procedures, instead it is stated as documented information. Based on the new version, organization can choose the type and formats for documenting the QMS. It could be of any media / any type of file (e.g. checklists, flowchart etc)

This doesn’t mean that documentation is going away from ISO 9001-2015. Documentation is required and it should be kept under control too.  It is not required to rewrite the existing QMS in an organization already compliant to ISO 9001-2008 to meet the requirements of IS 9001-2015. Organizations can use terms which suit their operations, e.g., records, documentation, protocols, etc. rather than documented information.