Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006 - Surviving Directional Changes Part 1

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to the Orange County Southern California Quality Assurance Association ( ) about surviving directional changes. The presentation focused on lessons learned by the Quality Assurance group at one of Keane’s largest AO engagements.

This particular Quality Assurance group combined responsibilities of the project office and the process definition and audit group. Their focus was on training, mentoring and auditing project managers to ensure that projects were performing according to the documented procedures. In order to gain and maintain stability in a changing environment the group had to do 3 things: 1. Setup for Success
2. Continuously Improve
3. Recognize Change

Setup for Success. The first key to a successful start is to identify your sponsor. The sponsor is the person you derive your authority and direction from. Ideally for a QA group the sponsorship and reporting structure should be different than the one for the delivery team. This alleviates any pressure to alter or water down the auditing if the results reflect poorly on your own management. It gives the group a route to report decisions and actions that may place the company or project at risk.

After the Thanksgiving weekend we will take a look at each of the remaining keys to setup for success.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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