Integrated QA Approach is a paper that we are working on internally and this is something we have been practicing all these days and years and we wanted to bring out the value of this in the form of  a paper. We have been brainstorming about this for quite sometime. This primarily is a way by which you bring all the stakeholders to the table and ensure that the product released is of very high quality. One of the key things that we wanted to cover as an extension of this paper was the real-time collaboration that is required between various stakeholders and some of the techniques that we use to get all of them on the same page.

We also were doing a number of activities towards this collaboration that we wanted to bring out as an extension of this paper. During this work, we came across a document published by Aberdeen Group and it has interesting findings which I wanted to share here.  This release was around usage of video conferencing towards effective collaboration.

Some of the top corporate goals for doing collaboration was identified as follows:

  • 67% of the respondents responded accelerated time to market
  • 54% said about the ability to produce higher quality products
  • 52% said about the ability to better respond to market and customer requirements

Some of the collaboration activities that the respondents used real time virtual collaboration to support are:

  • Review designs in an interactive enviornment – 63%
  • Include suppliers in regular project status meetings – 55%
  • Include customers in regular project status meetings –  47%
  • Simulate real-time meeting environments for dispersed teams – 47%
  • Enable virtual brainstorming/white board sessions – 40%

But then any collaboration needs to be tailored to the requirements of the organization. These come with their own set of challenges. The identified challenges in the study are:

  • Adapting presentation/meeting styles to incorporate remote teams – 75%
  • Learning to use meeting collaboration tools quickly – 64%
  • Being able to access meeting collaboration tools – 56%
  • Smoothly transmitting high density design imagery – 51%
  • Protecting intellectual property in the global design – 66%

Video conferencing is one solution that addresses most of these challenges while still meeting the goals of real-time collaboration. Based on the requirements of the organization and the comfort levels of stakeholders, many different systems can be used that can address the challenges faced by teams both in terms of using the collaboration environment as well as addressing the quality, time-to-market and customer support issues.

The existing collaboration solution that we use at Aspire Systems, addresses many of these challenges and we have been successful in using them for the betterment of the Product Engineering (Producteering) activities in all our engagements.