QW2001 Paper 9W1

Ms. Patricia D. Humphrey
(Neoforma.com )

Quality Assurance and the Internet Site - How To Effectively Hit a Moving Target

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

Quality Assurance, Internet Site Development and On-time delivery into production can be a moving target that is difficult for even the accomplished development team to hit. The major contributor to the strain and hysteria of Internet development is primarily due to the shortened and demanding shelf live that is a mandatory requirement for many funded companies and their participation in the Internet market. Development groups are constantly pressured to deliver more functionality in less time. The rapid development and shortened shelf live is further impacted by the fluctuation of personnel required to accomplish the delivery of the companies complex Internet market needs, therefore propelling the products quality into a significantly condensed or fictional state. Survival of the rapid Internet development cycle can be easily accomplished, therefore producing an effective QA and test process that enables adequate assurances relating to the quality of the products delivered into production.

About the Author


Over 15 Years of Experience as:

E-Commerce and B2B Quality Assurance Project Manager Director of Quality Assurance Development Project Manager

California State University of Dominguez Hills Computer Science/Mathematics

Current Experience

March 2000 to Present Position: Director of Quality Assurance and Project Manager for eCommerce and B2B Sites Microsoft Corporation and Neoforma.com

Currently I am the Directory of Quality Assurance and Project Manager for the B2B site called Neoforma.com. Neoforma.com, in conjunction with The Microsoft Consulting Division transports me to the San Jose area from Los Angeles, (daily) to control and project manage the quality assurance department relating to the development of the Neoforma.com web development and product delivery schedules.

In addition, my job tasks include the incorporation and management of Microsoft’s proposed data scalability and architecture for various clients. I am responsible for orchestrating tests and drive test teams to verify that the data architecture would scale-out in order to support the client’s scalability issues and requirements. Cashing sub-systems were verified so as to validate performance and reduction of redundant pages. In addition, security programming guidelines for all application tiers, with a special focus on authentication, storage and transmittal of sensitive information and state management was validated.

Applicable tests were established for many web reporting and analysis sub-projects. These sub-projects were invaluable for laying a comprehensive foundation for the generation of pre-defined and interactive reporting vehicles for the Microsoft clients. These reports included Web Activity (IIS logs), transaction activity and user registration (track as many as 8,000,000 users per minute).

In many cases, it was evident that change and release management procedures were weak, or in many instances, non-existent. One of my major responsibilities was to work with the client’s development, test and operations team assisting them with the execution of:

A successful rollout of the software to production
To design and implement efficient procedures (configuration management) for the distribution and installation of changes to the production systems
To ensure that the e-commerce software being changed was traceable, secure and that only correct authorized and tested versions were installed
To communicate and manage expectations of the Client during the planning and rollout of new releases
To agree on the exact content and rollout plan for the release – through Change Management
To ensure that master copies of all software were secured in the Definitive Software Library (DSL) and updated when needed
To establish procedures that would guarantee minimal disruption of the production site Implement roll back planning

During the implementation and test phase of the project, it became obvious that inadequate test methodologies and procedures were being practiced at the e-commerce and b2b sites. It was then my responsibility to perform an audit of the current Quality Assurance Department. My audit would include current practices and procedures along with the identification of system and application development currently being implemented for the site. I was then responsible for the generation of documented recommendations for the Quality Assurance Department and overall project infrastructure.

September 1998 to Present Position: Project Manager Viacom Entertainment, Inc.

Famous Music Publishing

Responsible for the management of the business and requirement analysis for a document management system that will be implemented by the fall of 2000. I currently manage the business analysis team that is developing the requirements and functional specification documents required for a proposed document management system that will be purchased and installed at Famous Music Publishing Company and Paramount Studios. The project involves the management of personnel who were responsible for defining the requirements for this system with respect to business objectives, application and information objectives and the technology that is currently available on the market to meet the requirements defined. The management of this project has involved numerous meetings that correlate the technology information with the current end-user needs within Famous Music, Paramount Studios and Viacom.

UPN (United Paramount Network)

UPN contacted me regarding the need for a project manager to assist in the requirement and functional specification analysis of a new accounting and financial system. Their current system runs under a DOS based system, which is no longer supported by the vendor. I was responsible for managing the personnel that has been used to evaluate the current workflow of the accounting department along with the marketing departments and human resources. Part of the analysis of the current processes also included new system workflows that show how the new system will need to support unique and proprietary procedures within the entertainment industry. The teams were responsible for end-user analysis, business objectives, application and information objectives and technology analysis. Once the requirements and functional specifications have been defined, than an RFP can be sent out to various software vendors so as to solicit bids for the system purchase.

Paramount Studios

As a consultant, I was responsible for auditing Paramount Studios Y2K test activity. This entailed managing various development groups and the Y2K test activity that took place until after the millennium change. Activities included review of production products for the TV Systems Group, Studio Group, Home Video Group, Financial Group, and Human Resources. Projects ranged from stand-alone system to mainframe applications. I was responsible for verifying that test plans and test cases were appropriate for the products targeted for Y2K test activity along with managing the audit team that reviewed all test results. Verified that test systems were configured to best simulate production systems. Test results were reviewed, documented, evaluated for retest and then archived.