SeaPort-e Quality Assurance
PhoenixSoft's Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) provides a proven approach designed to integrate professional engineering services for the Navy and other Seaport-e ordering entities to consistently provide high-quality software engineering, programming and technical services. Our commitment to quality performance is demonstrated by the development of, and rigorous adherence to, integrated Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) processes and standards.
Warren Mattingly, President, Paul Amick, Executive Vice President, and Andrew King, Chief Technology Officer worked as a team to design this management plan that will ensure technical and operational performance and reduce costs throughout the life of this contract. Phoenixsoft embraces the Navy’s conversion to performance-based contracting as it will enable us to share our expertise and deliver new technologies that are innovative and will result in cost-savings for the Navy.
Throughout the life of the program, we will reduce cost by providing no pass-through burdens, by using our (better, faster, cheaper) technical solutions, by reducing task management, and by improving and expanding our IT tool capabilities for easy program integration.
Instituting Best Practices
PhoenixSoft will create a work environment that is compliant with Level 3 of the Software Engineering Institutes (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM). This establishes a framework by which planning, engineering and managing of software development and maintenance becomes a disciplined, repeatable process. Our successful application of the 122 key practices and measures that comprise CMM Level 3 has provided project visibility and repeatable processes that form a baseline for continuous improvement. In addition, it provides a stable software development, maintenance, enhancement and conversion environment that supports the technical staff in achieving specific, documented, and realistic goals.
The procedures developed come together as an interconnected quality system to manage and perform effectively and consistently on all task orders and the contract as a whole. Each process is defined in the Navy’s Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan. Our Quality Control Plan will use the defined performance requirements/metrics and describe detailed procedures to produce the desired results. Performance measures will be captured and compared to requirements, taking corrective action if a problem exists or is anticipated, and modifying or establishing new policies and procedures, enabling the process to be responsive to changing Navy needs, budgets and improvement
Lessons learned throughout each process will be captured to improve processes. The major steps of the PhoenixSoft Process Improvement Activity process include:
- Description of Work Performed: Start with an established, institutionalized process and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Development of an Improvement Plan: Develop a detailed Process Improvement Plan for implementing and testing the improvement(s). Begin by selecting those improvement activities to be undertaken. Identify an approach for implementing and testing the improvement. Identifying what will determine success.
- Implementation of the Improvements: The planned improvements are implemented. The PM and QA staff will establish a baseline and capture metrics in accordance with the plan to measure the effects of the improvement.
- Monitor Improvements: Evaluate the results of the improvement activity. Modify the approach if the anticipated results are not achieved and test again. If improvement is not achieved the improvement will be deferred or abandoned.
- Standardize and Continue to Assess: As process improvements are realized, standardize on the improved process. Return to the first procedure for additional improvements.
Less formal improvements will also be introduced on an ongoing basis as required. This includes minor changes or enhancements to procedure documents or standards. Process improvements may be presented by any member of the staff to DoN personnel for discussions and adoption.
Incorporating Management Processes to Control Work
After establishing baseline requirements, the challenge is to manage and control them. Since requirement changes are the reality on any IT project, PhoenixSoft RM approach will include a defined way of handling changes to the requirements and metrics, which track volatility. Requirements will be managed through strict configuration management (CM) controls.
A Project Plan will be developed for each Task Order (TO). The management approach will provide an issues and resolution process, assumptions, risk and mitigations, and will describe the staff to be assigned to the project, including roles and responsibilities. The Project Plan will serve as the basis for tracking the project activities, communicating status, and revising plans.
Project activities will be monitored by the Project Manager (PM), who will revise the Plan on a regular basis and provide it to the Navy team and PhoenixSoft‘s Management Team. Progress will be determined by comparing the actual size, effort, cost and schedule to the plan as deliverables or milestones are completed. When it is determined that the project’s plans are not being met, corrective actions will be taken immediately. These actions may include revising the Project Plan to reflect the actual accomplishments and re-planning the remaining work, or taking actions to improve performance.
The Project Plan will also include a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the project, summarizing the Technical Approach to be taken. Each of the major elements of the WBS will result in a product. From experience, we find a well-designed structure provides checkpoints for evaluating progress and frequent opportunities to see success. A standard life cycle methodology will be defined and adopted for use across the contract.
Requirements volatility will be monitored and reported to the TOM on a regular basis. The more volatile the requirements, the more risk a project assumes to its schedule and resources. By measuring and reporting requirements volatility, management can identify at-risk projects and take appropriate measures to reduce risk.
Performance metrics captured for each TO and the aggregate metrics for the contract as a whole will be gathered, analyzed, and used to continually improve the Task Order Management Process. Lessons learned will be shared with all team members.
Monitoring and Maximizing Quality
It is PhoenixSoft’s philosophy to provide our clients with high quality products and services. We encourage a strong commitment to quality performance through the development of, and rigorous adherence to, quality control standards. PhoenixSoft will monitor and enforce conformance with QC plans for all deliverables we produce. Our QC plan ensures deliverables satisfy contractual agreements, meet or exceed quality standards, and are developed in accordance with approved processes. We will use a closed-loop corrective activity procedure that compares our actual deliverable generation process against predefined PhoenixSoft standards. Additionally, all documents will be maintained in a project deliverable library under strict CM version control.
The PhoenixSoft Task Order Performance QC Plan includes three quality review steps. Team member deliverables are first reviewed in peer walkthroughs, then in management control reviews scheduled by the PM. Finally, the QC team performs quality assessment reviews to ensure adherence to policies, procedures and standards. These methods verify that a project is progressing in step-by-step tasks and validates that all products are being delivered in accordance with acceptance criteria. PhoenixSoft has developed detailed QC procedures that specify use of our methods for deliverable products, and include a summary of the quality factors to be assessed, the specific methods used, and the participants involved in each activity.
Text Box: Figure 6 – Quality Control Process controls cost, schedule and ensures functionality. The PM and QC Manager oversee the implementation of each QC Plan to ensure that all deliverables submitted comply with established policies, procedures, standards and guidelines, and all TO-specific acceptance and schedule criteria.
PhoenixSoft will conduct QC and technical oversight reviews to ensure the quality of deliverables. We will develop monthly Progress Reports and fiscal tracking. We will also conduct periodic progress conversations with assigned Navy personnel.
PhoenixSoft PM will:
- Ensure timely and accurate completion of deliverables
- Manage the budget and hours to ensure accurate and effective financial tracking
- Conduct internal meetings, as necessary, with the project team
- Perform a through quality assurance review of all contract and non-contract draft and final deliverables
- Draft monthly progress reports that accurate record the following:
- Task Description, number and statement of progress made
- Status of key personnel and projected staffing plans
- Narrative describing work completed
- Total accumulated hours and cost of the contract to date
- Narrative describing problems addresses or needing to be addressed
- Number of hours worked by PhoenixSoft personnel and associated costs incurred
- Maintain all copies of all deliverables and submit and record signed receipts to document receipt and acceptance of deliverables by