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Funded by: © AHDS Quality Assurance QA Focus & TASI Workshop Hamish James QA Focus (AHDS)
Funded by: © AHDS 2 Aims of the Day To introduce TASI and QA Focus To explore and discuss QA in the digitisation process To explore and discuss how we can employ quality assurance techniques in our projects
Funded by: © AHDS 3 Timetable In the morning: quality assurance during digitisation/content creation Lunch 12:30-1:30 In the afternoon, wider issues: –Available QA resources –QA for metadata –QA for websites –Time for discussion and other issues –Finish by 4:00
Funded by: © AHDS 4 Why is QA Needed Now? In the past: –"let a 1,000 flowers bloom" –Diversification as no killer application then (it could have been Gopher!) Things are different now: –The Web is the killer application –There is now a need for interoperability (not just self-contained independent Web sites) –JISC Programmes increasingly intended as service –development and not 'speculative' research –There is a need for publicly-funded services to be seen to provide value for money
Funded by: © AHDS 5 QA Focus QA Focus: –Funded under the JISC 5/99 programme –Covers technical interoperability (digitisation, Web, metadata, software development & service deployment) –Agreement to develop QA methodology which can be applied to other JISC programmes –Understanding that this is a new area of work with a steep learning curve –Initially provided by ILRT and UKOLN (1.0 FTE) –Provided by UKOLN and AHDS since 1 Jan 2003
Funded by: © AHDS 6 Where We Fit
Funded by: © AHDS 7 Terms: Quality Quality is the ability of your product to be able to satisfy your users The concept of making products fit for a purpose Minimising defects and problems
Funded by: © AHDS 8 Quality Control Product testing, requirements verification –Total Quality Management –Six Sigma Checking that what you have done is what you expected to do Goal is to prevent faulty products leaving the factory
Funded by: © AHDS 9 Quality Assurance Assurance that you are doing the right things in the right way Often treated as synonymous with process assurance Policies, procedures and practices for achieving best practice and meeting standards QA could include quality control
Funded by: © AHDS 10 Approach Taken Two possible approaches to ensuring compliance with standards and best practices: Enforce –Inspect all projects work –Strict auditing, with penalties for no-compliance Encourage –Training for project staff –Developmental, explaining reasons for compliance, documenting examples of best practices and providing advice on implementation and monitoring
Funded by: © AHDS 11 The QA Focus Methodology The QA Focus methodology which we are advising projects (and JISC) to deploy: –Seeks to be lightweight and achievable –Seeks to provide benefits to the projects themselves, as well as (downstream) interoperability benefits to JISC programmes Consists of: –Documented policies –Procedures for monitoring compliance with policies –Audit trails –Sharing and collaboration
Funded by: © AHDS 12 Benefits to You The benefits to projects of taking a systematic approach to QA include: –The quality of the product will be improved, enhancing user perception and usefulness –Should improve chances for future funding –QA culture can be reused –Greater likelihood of interoperability of project deliverables and deployment into service environment –Self satisfaction
Funded by: © AHDS 13 Challenges Challenges youll face will include: Resources Ensuring that you stay on schedule Developing a QA culture within your organisation/team Communication internally and with external bodies Dealing with sceptics Setting a standard
Funded by: © AHDS 14 QA Framework QA Focus's methodology: –Make systematic use of a self-assessment toolkit to validate QA –Provide policies which document standards and best practices you will deploy, the architecture used for implementation and the approach to checking compliance –Implement in areas such as metadata, software development, digitisation, … –Mandate QA when commissioning new work
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