In February 2007, the Quality Assurance organization in Administrative Systems (AS), Stanford University was formally underway with two mandates in mind: to set up an independent testing function and to improve the quality of AS delivered software solutions. The challenges that these two mandates attempted to address are as follows:
Today significant progress has been made on all three challenges. Siloâ€™d practices are slowly merging into a cohesive whole, projects are more open and transparent with business partners actively participating in project progress, and software quality is improving in key areas.
This paper reports on the progress that the QA organization has achieved since its formation and highlights the unique role that collaboration tools and processes have played in improving business partner satisfaction in ASâ€™ delivered solutions at Stanford University. One project will be profiled, the PeopleSoft Student Administration and Human Resources version 9 upgrade project that affects all business offices in support of the universityâ€™s mission of teaching, learning and research. Tools used are a wiki integrated with an issue tracker, test case management, project dashboards and more.
The more open mode of working with staff across different job disciplines, in different physical locations and in a few cases, across multiple time zones has led to a much higher degree of satisfaction for all team members. Additionally, the university has benefited where individuals are accountable and the project is more transparent with open collaboration tools and processes.
Claudia Dencker is Director of QA, Administrative Systems, Stanford University. She was formerly Program Coordinator of the newly consolidated program, SEQ (Software Engineering and Quality) at University of California, Santa Cruz Extension and President of Software SETT Corporation (established in 1987), a company that provided QA and software testing solutions to software IT professionals worldwide. She has trained professionals worldwide in software testing and test management as well as led and managed teams on many projects in Silicon Valley. Ms. Dencker graduated from San Jose State University with honors.
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