Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

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semplerfi
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Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by semplerfi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:12 pm

'place holder'
Last edited by semplerfi on Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by semplerfi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:13 pm

QC (quality control) and QA (quality assurance) monitoring can go a long way in preventing issues from manifesting.

[[My thought is to leave this post for defining the definitions and being update as need.]]

Basic starting premises for discussion & debate. Links to wikipedia.org for more in depth definitions.
__________
quality control - is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. This approach places an emphasis on three aspects :

1.Elements such as controls, job management, defined and well managed processes, performance and integrity criteria, and identification of records
2.Competence, such as knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications
3.Soft elements, such as personnel integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit, and quality relationships.

The quality of the outputs is at risk if any of these three aspects is deficient in any way.

__________
quality assurance - refers to a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.

It is important to realize also that quality is determined by the program sponsor. QA cannot absolutely guarantee the production of quality products, unfortunately, but makes this more likely.

Two key principles characterise QA: "fit for purpose" (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose) and "right first time" (mistakes should be eliminated). QA includes regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components; services related to production; and management, production and inspection processes.

It is important to realize also that quality is determined by the intended users, clients or customers, not by society in general: it is not the same as 'expensive' or 'high quality'. Even goods with low prices can be considered quality items if they meet a market need. QA is more than just testing the quality of aspects of a product, service or facility, it analyzes the quality to make sure it conforms to specific requirements and comply with established plans.
Last edited by semplerfi on Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by semplerfi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:50 pm

QC (quality control) and QA (quality assurance) monitoring can go a long way in preventing issues from manifesting.

Basic starting premises for discussion & debate.
Nalates wrote:The plan is to take what we gain from these discussions and create a wiki article that has the extracted 'wisdom' gained as rules, guidelines, examples and definitions. The forum will retain the throught process of how we came by our content.

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by Zardoz » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:43 am

To assure and control quality, one must, of course, begin by defining quality. So, in the context of a forum and its posters, threads, and moderation, what, pray tell, is quality?

:ugeek:

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by semplerfi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:49 am

Thanks Zardoz, for throwing the first pitch of the discussion. I will gladly take the first swing at it.

__________
Simplistic definition of “quality”: a degree or grade of excellence: forum moderation of high quality.

__________
In the context of a forum and its posters, threads, and moderation, what, is quality?

In this instance; the consistency of forum rules in:
- interpretation of
- application of
- enforcement of

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by Nalates » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:19 am

Also, quality is assured for a purpose... in a product it is usually marketability and usefulness, suitability for task. Most of these the product related aspects are easily quantified. Does the paint stick? Is there lead in the paint? These things are related to what they customer or end consumer thinks of the product/service. The business always had the challenge of finding out what the customer thinks. That is being touched on in the the 'Enough' thread. How does one know what the forum membership thinks?

When we move into assuring the quality of forum moderation things seem fuzzier. Why does the forum exist, what is it to accomplish, and what will it look like when it accomplishes that? How does a moderator accomplish those goals? What in the moderators job could be quantified?

On a commercial site there are likely many 'whys' at work. Things like PR, proprietary rights, customer service, and other business related motivation will come into play. Understanding these factors allows moderators and admins to make decisions beyond what the specs, rules, and guidelines may set forth. While the 'why' influences moderation of the forum, I think it may be beyond the scope of this effort.

Once the 'why' has been decided how we go about assuring the goals are met should fit within the scope.

What are a business' goals for their forum?
What are the goals for this forum?
Which are common?
What does a moderator do to meet those goals/purposes?

For now the most information we have to answer those rules is the existing forum rules and guidelines.

Wile those are interesting questions and probably important, the spin coming into this thread was how do we assure a moderator is doing their job more than it was about what is their job. I think enforcement of forum rules and guidelines is the basic task. So, how do we know if things are working?
Last edited by Nalates on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Minor edit per member request...
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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by Zardoz » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:40 pm

Nice handoff, Nalates. QA & QC is built on measurement. Defining quality in aspirational terms ("A moderator should be good!") is almost always a bad idea because aspirational standards are almost impossible to measure. QA & QC was developed around the concept of defects, which could be defined objectively and measured. Critical to the definition was the idea that one should measure "quality" both in terms of inputs and outputs. This was critical because a worker should not be responsible for a defect that was present prior to the worker's stage of production.

This actually has some important implications for setting standards for moderators (and for anyone who is familiar with standards for teachers, this will ring a bell). Evaluating a moderator's performance must take into account the quality of the "inputs" - that is, the forum members whose posts are being moderated. There are certain groups that are involved with Uru whose members can only be described as rambunctious. Other groups or large sets of members are more, well, docile. How does one measure the quality of moderation without acknowledging this wide variation in the "quality of the inputs"?

Which is a long-winded route back to semp's response: consistency. Come up with an objective measure of consistency and I think you start to have some important insights into standards for moderators. The variation in the "quality of the inputs" strongly suggests that a measure such as # of complaints is not a good measure, as any forum with more rambunctious posters will always have higher #s of complaints. (# of complaints is also a metric manipulable by posters, and so is not a good quality metric.)

I'll stop there, to see if I'm making any sense.

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by Nalates » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:44 am

You’re making sense… I would probably not class problem posters as rambunctious or the more socially acceptable as docile. I think you meaning is clear enough but gives a slant some will find objectionable. I don’t get that was your intent. Whatever their nature I think it is the passion they feel for an issue that makes much of the difference. On some issues, I just don’t care, so some could think I am docile. But, I would fine the word objectionable.

Regardless of how passionate I might be about an issue there is no reason for me to fail to be civil and conform to forum standards. I consider that civility not docility... (wow, its a word o.o )

I understand that when a moderator fields the post of a problem poster they are likely to draw more complains no matter what action they take. So, obviously we can’t look just at the moderator complaint count. As you point out, the input, poster, has to be examined too. I think the information would show who might handle a particular problem or person better than others. I don’t know I would condemn them to always having to handle that person but they could give their insight to other moderators.

So… we can count complaints received regarding a moderator. That should probably be measured as a percent of posts handled. We can track those in relation to the author of a reported or found problem post. We probably need some measure of how successful the moderator was with the problem resolution. While the prior items are probably easy to automate, I think the later is subjective and labor intense. That makes it more of a problem, especially in a busy and under staffed forum.

How does one count the complaints made by the one receiving the ... reprimand? Not at all seems unrealistic...

What other aspects of moderation can we track?
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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by semplerfi » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:50 am

Nice drilling into the subject folks. TY

I want to take this one step further. I need a known foundation to work from.

If I am following you both right, it seems to me that the mood, atmosphere, ambiance (at a loss for the correct adjective) of the forum has to be set.

The desired “atmosphere” of the forum, in this discussion I think we are looking at the 10 year old to adult range. The 10yr old side of this make it very difficult for adults to communicate unhindered. What is too much rambunctious argument for children to name one?

So to define what is consistency we have to measure and or have a set atmosphere to develop what would be consistent with that space. What is the forum trying to do, what are its goals? Might save us some time? Or do we want to come up with a couple of plausible scenarios to work with?

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Re: Importance of QA & QC as a Best Practice

Post by Dot » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:15 am

Looking at a couple of contrasting scenarios might be productive. Then you can see what might work for both and what would need to be different.

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