All posts in Quality Control


5 Essential Tools for a Successful QA Process in Your Startup

5 Essential Tools for a Successful QA Process in Your Startup

Alex Zubkov is a technical writer at LITSLINK from Dnipro. Alex has 15 years experience in sales, marketing, and product promotion for both local and international markets. He’s also a techno geek and amateur photographer with a love of gadgets and the Arsenal FC.

Quality assurance (QA) is an essential stage of any software development cycle. It helps developers catch the lingering bugs and inconsistencies in the product’s functionality before you deliver it to your customers.

According to Statista, companies spent 35% of their financial resources on software testing in 2015. In 2019, this figure went down to just below a quarter of the company’s budget, but it is still taxing in 2020 to balance financial expenditure and product performance.

A sophisticated QA process can cut costs by reducing the number of errors that need fixing and, subsequently, the amount of iterative testing required. It can also improve the reliability of the testing process, further reducing expenses, which is crucial for startups and low-budget, middle-size enterprises.

In this article, we’ll briefly run through the key stages of the QA process:

Let’s get started!
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Stop Profits Plummeting with a Quality Management Plan

quality management plan

Quality management. Oh, how I love thee.

You’ve given us rubber flavored cookies, phones that go up in smoke, and exploding car airbags (we’ll get to all of that later).

Last year, 337 food products passed through stringent quality management procedures and went to market with major issues. So major, in fact, that each and every one of those products had to be recalled. This cost the US economy over $7 million.

But, the cost of poor quality management surrounding the production of food is only a tiny part of the picture:

Defective product incidents have caused in excess of $2 billion of losses over five years” – Allianz, Product Recall, Managing the Impact of the New Risk Landscape

When you consider that the global quality management software market is valued at $7.96 billion, why are we, as consumers, still being exposed to low quality, defective products?

Because, contrary to what most organizations think, there is more to quality management than simply making a good product. You need to know how you’re going to make it good and how you’re going to make sure it remains good.

In other words, you need a plan. A quality management plan to be exact.

The reasons for this will become even clearer as we make our way through this Process Street post and discuss:

Let’s get planning.
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How to Make Your Call Center 5 Star: Quality Assurance 101

How To Make Your Call Center 5 Star: Quality Assurance 101
Call center quality assurance is like going to the dentist: everyone agrees it should be done regularly, no one likes doing it, and it’s probably been put off much longer than it should.

No one’s blaming you – agents hate it, supervisors hate it, even quality assurance auditors hate it. It’s tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive. Add to that the high call center attrition rate and low job satisfaction, and you may be wondering: why even bother?

Well, I’ll tell you. In this post, I’ll cover:

Plus I’ll provide you with 11 free checklists to take the drudgery out of QA audits!

If you came for the templates, grab them here:

If you want to use these checklists, just sign in with your Process Street account and start customizing your templates. If you don’t have an account yet, sign-up here to get started with your free trial!

Otherwise, let’s get to it.
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EQMS: The Best Way to Crush Competition, Push Productivity & Reduce Recall

EQMS

Would you eat a McDonalds Big Mac that was out-of-date, had been dropped on the floor, and made with a stranger’s bare hands?

No! Me neither.

Unfortunately, that’s what thousands of people in China, unknowingly, did.

Back in 2015, the Chinese meat suppliers for McDonald’s were secretly filmed and caught:

Handling meat and chicken with their bare hands, taking meat that had fallen on the floor and adding it back on to the production line…and forging production dates on beef patties.” – ET2C, Lessons on the Importance of Quality Control Checks

Around 4,300 McDonalds beef patties were tested and found to be out-of-date and contaminated with bacteria.

As a result, over 2,000 McDonald’s outlets across Asia were dramatically affected. The reputation of McDonald’s and their meat supplier was irreversibly damaged, and McDonald’s saw a 7.3% drop in sales.

McDonald’s was definitely not ‘lovin it’.

If only they’d used Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) to regulate their supplier’s meat handling processes and control the quality of the produce they were delivering.

Companies who use EQMS to manage quality, experience fewer product quality issues (less than 1%), and improve their productivity by 20%.

Keen to find out more? Join me in this Process Street post as we run through the following:

Let’s make our way through the golden arches and get started! 🍟🍟🍟🍟
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How Process Control Can Cut Costs & Eliminate Errors

process control

I don’t want to alarm you, but without process control, you’d be dead.

What? How? Why? …What?!

Your body is continuously performing a series of processes to keep you alive and it’s constantly checking for irregularities in these processes. If it picks up an abnormality, it immediately takes measures to regulate it, and return it to its desired state. Like when you’re too hot, for example. Your body recognizes that your temperature is above normal and produces water, in the form of sweat, to cool you down.

So you see, process control is the reason you’re alive and able to enjoy this Process Street post!

But this isn’t a lesson in biology (thankfully); the same concept can be applied to organizations too.

With adequate process control, businesses can perform efficiently, effectively, and safely. They can function at a consistent level and can even reduce operating costs by up to 6%. Without it, they would miss opportunities, make costly mistakes, and struggle to survive.

Process control is the ability to monitor and adjust a process to give a desired output.” – Beck Electric Actuators, What is Process Control?

To discover how process control can cut costs and eliminate errors within your organization, we need to find answers to the following questions:

To satisfy your curiosity (and return your body back to its normal state!), you’d better keep reading…
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How to Write a Project Proposal To Win Investment (With 4 Free Templates)

how to write a project proposal

I have a proposal for you.

I can build you a house, complete with walls, windows, doors, and a roof for $350,000.

Do we have a deal?

No. I didn’t think so!

To make a decision like this, you need cold hard facts. You need details, clarity, and proof! You need budgets, breakdowns, and solid guarantees.

That’s exactly how a project stakeholder feels when they receive your project proposal, and explains exactly why companies only win 15% of the proposals they submit.

Project stakeholders will, on average, receive around 50 proposals a week. To choose you out of this huge pile, they need clarity, details, specifics, lateral thinking, and a whole heap of persuasion.

You need to learn the art of how to write a project proposal, to stand any chance of winning their investment, and increasing your proposal success rate.

So, join me in this Process Street post where we will take the following lessons in how to write a project proposal:

If you’re in a hurry, grab this Project Proposal Template Checklist, and catch up with the class later:

Click here to access the Project Proposal Template Checklist!

Now, butts on seats, no talking, and let the class begin!
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Prevent Project Failure with this Free Statement of Work Template (SoW)

SoW

I once lost $45,000.

What makes it worse (or perhaps better?!) is that it wasn’t my money.

It was my previous employer’s.

I was managing a website build for a big client and was under huge pressure to meet a tight deadline. So, as many do, I decided to start the project before the Statement of Work (SoW) was signed by the client.

This was a big, expensive, mistake to make.

It cost an additional $45,000 to re-work parts of the build that the client had verbally approved, but hadn’t legally signed off.

Ouch.

(Despite what you might think, this isn’t the reason I don’t work there anymore!)

According to research, 37% of projects fail due to a lack of defined and approved project goals and objectives, which come with a Statement of Work (SoW). This causes around 80% of organizations to spend at least half their time on expensive rework.

Not using a Statement of Work – SOW during the project initiation is a major cause of project failure” – 4PM, Statement of Work – SOW

But what is a Statement of Work (SoW) and how do you create one?

All will be revealed in this Process Street post, as we go through:

If you’re in a hurry, grab this free Statement of Work Process Template now, and catch up with the rest of the post when you can:

Click here to access the Statement of Work (SoW) Process Template!

Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll go through this template, in a little more detail, later.

Let’s get into it!

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How to Solve Your Problems With Lean Six Sigma (Free DMAIC Checklist)

lean six sigma

Elisabeth Swan is the co-author of “The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit” and co-host of “The Just-in-Time Cafe Podcast.” She’s been a process improvement consultant, speaker, and innovator for over 30 years. She’s the Chief Learning Experience Officer for GoLeanSixSigma.com, a former cast member of ImprovBoston, and – if asked – may still be able to ride a unicycle.

Surgeon Atul Gawande made headlines when he told the world that a simple checklist could drastically reduce unnecessary deaths in The Checklist Manifesto.

Yet, checklists conjure images of forklift drivers on loading docks with clipboards counting boxes. How could they transform healthcare?

He has… produced a 90-second checklist which reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight hospitals around the world – at virtually no cost and for almost any operation.” – James Clarke, reviewing The Checklist Manifesto, Ulster Med J. 2011 Jan; 80(1): 54.

Aviation was transformed decades earlier when management and engineers at Boeing Corporation created the pre-flight checklist after the 1935 crash of the prototype Boeing B-17 at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. Checklists have become so essential to the airline industry that most crashes can be traced to the misuse or failure to complete a checklist.

A New York Times reviewer noted, “no matter how expert you may be, well-designed checklists can improve outcomes”. Since the purpose of process improvement is improving outcomes, Lean Six Sigma and checklists are natural companions.

To prove that, this Process Street blog post will show the relationship between checklists and lean six sigma, and provide you with a free DMAIC Improvement Project Tollgate Checklist that you can use right now.

Use the links below to jump to that section of the post:

Or, if you just want the checklist, check it out below!

Let’s get started.

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AS9100D: 6 Free Aerospace QMS Templates to Get Started

what is as9100d

During a routine cryogenic proof test on 28th February 2020, SpaceX’s Starship SN1 prototype suffered a catastrophic failure.

Musk indicated that the failure was due to bad welding at the base of the rocket, around the area of the puck that is designed to bear the engine thrust load.

Starship SN3 suffered a similar fate during a round of pressure testing, where the lower of the two tanks collapsed due to test configuration mistakes.

Of course, this is the whole point of testing; failures such as these are half expected, and should be planned for accordingly. Failures like SN1 and SN3 pave the way for future successes like the Crew Dragon launch to the ISS. Failure is an essential ingredient that is necessary to push the limits of understanding.

But it does raise an interesting and important question – when failure is a statistical inevitability, what role does process standardization and quality management play in the prevention and meaningful gain of failure?

In this Process Street article we’ll be looking at AS9100D, the foremost aerospace quality management standard. How can you implement, maintain, and utilize AS9100D to proactively mitigate failure, as well as a tool to learn from errors and failure to drive improvement and optimization?

We’ll cover:

Want to skip straight to the templates? No worries! Here’s a preview of the free templates to come and a list that you can use to cut straight to the chase.


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HACCP Plan: What It Is, Why It’s Important, & How to Do It (Free Templates)

HACCP plan

Growing up on an island, my favorite food was in abundance: Fish.

However, whenever I ate at a restaurant there was always a voice in the back of my head wondering if the fish had been mismanaged and, due to that mismanagement, I’d get sick.

My anxiety around food safety wasn’t exactly unfounded. Fish is the most commonly impacted food group when it comes to disease outbreaks, and a quarter of a million people in the U.S. get sick each year from contaminated fish. And when it comes to all food groups, the CDC estimates that a whopping 1 in 6 Americans (which equates to 48 million people) become ill each year due to foodborne illness.

However, by not coming at food safety with a HACCP approach – and by creating and following a solid HACCP plan – these figures could be far, far higher.

Ergo: HACCP is important and, as a business in the food industry, you can even be required by law to go about HACCP properly.

To help you out, in this post I’ll discuss what HACCP and a HACCP plan are in detail, HACCP’s history, the benefits, and how Process Street can help you with all-things HACCP and food safety.

Just read through the following sections:

Let’s swim through the rest of the post! 🐟

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