Quality Assurance Checklists and Change Request Assessments:


The best approach to quality management of design deliverables is to use a framework for Design & Delivery Assurance that produces a measurable set of assurance reports on a periodic basis. The quality is assessed against a set of design artefacts and ensuring a comprehensive set of quality assurance checklists have been implemented and that change requests are being assessed. 

In this approach, the Architecture & Design team produces End-End Release level HLD’s, Domain HLD’s and Interface specifications that map to the specific front-office, back-office, and head-office processes, specific user stories, customer journeys/experience, legal & regulatory requirements, and compliancy requirements. This framework provides the level of assurance to produce quality design deliverables that meet the expected business capabilities and goals with minimal re-work. The reports highlights gaps in both requirements and design so they can be corrected before delivery sprints to reduce the number of change requests. 

This comprehensive framework ensures the level of quality by having Design & Delivery Assurance reports produced periodically to provide complete visibility of design at all stages of the programme. This ensures all stakeholders involved within change programmes, the assurance that the designs will meet requirements and will be delivered successfully with minimal re-work through change requests. 

We are now exploring four main aspects of the Quality management approach for Design and Delivery Assurance.

Design Artefacts 

Design artefacts must go through rigorous QA procedures to ensure a consistent measurable set of designs are produced by the Organisation. Whenever a quality management approach is introduced, existing design artefacts should be reviewed to assess the existing maturity level and identify recommendations and updates to further enhance the quality of the design deliverables and the Architecture and Design maturity level. This approach applies to Architecture and Design deliverables like, Roadmaps, Architecture Design Blueprints, Technical Options Assessments, End-to-End HLDs, Domain HLDs, and LLDs, etc.    

Quality Assurance Checklists and Change Request Assessments 

A standard set of quality checklists should be used to ensure the expected level of quality of design deliverables is met. This approach reduces further re-work to designs and potentially costly change requests, or errors in design that can have serious consequences. Checklists include:

  • Peer Reviews are conducted 
  • Weekly team calls are scheduled to go through design
  • Design workshops and walkthroughs are given to business & technical stakeholders including 3rd party suppliers with auditing of all review comments with responses provided
  • Ensuring Architecture Patterns and Principles exist, and the design adheres to them
  • Ensuring Security by Design exists with Security Patterns & Principles and adherence to organisational Security policies
  • Architects review all requirements, processes, customer experience & journeys
  • End-To-End Design traceability with requirements using tools and frameworks such as ADDF to demonstrate this
  • Setup of an Architecture & Design RAID so there is visibility across all programmes
  • Setup of an Architecture Design Decision Review Board, Change Review Boards, and Programme/Project Review boards
  • Conducting a review of supplier HLDs/LLDs/Interface Design’s to ensure it meets the proposed Architecture Design
  • Review of all Test documents – test strategy, test plans, test cases, test support to ensure all parts of the design are tested
  • Review of Service Design & Models to ensure adherence to design
  • Capacity Review, Ready for Scale, Infrastructure designs, Resiliency / Business continuity support review.
  • Change Control – Design Authority review, attending Change Review Boards and ensuring Architecture & Design has a level version history that reflects change request. Ensuring Standard Operating Procedures are updated in line with the change request. 
  • Production readiness review to ensure Service & Operations teams understand all Application & Technology impacts.

Design & Delivery Assurance Reports

Having this level of comprehensive best practice quality checklists helps the Architecture team in assuring design deliverables. Design & Delivery Assurance reports can be produced on a periodic basis to provide an auditable measure of quality and traceability to ensure the design is fit for delivery. Assurance reports can be delivered using delivery tools such as Atlassian Jira, SoftwareAG Alfabet and BizzDesign HoriZZon with standard or custom dashboards. These can be tailored to the number of quality checklists that need to be assured and the view required for each stakeholder in the programme. 

Each organisation can be at a different level of Architecture and Design maturity. It is wise and advisable to involve expert Architects in assessing and planning the required improvements to uplift your organisation maturity and align it to best practice. 

Our partner Bruhati have a successful track record in helping organisations through their Architecture Maturity Journey. For more information and a FREE consultation please visit www.bruhati.com or contact sales@bruhati.com.

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Manuel Di Toma

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