2011 ambartsoumian

The concept of quality gates has been successfully applied as a quality assurance mechanism in several industries. The quality gates approach combines aspects related to project management, decision modeling, and work flow management to increase measurability and promote quality. Software development and testing organizations are now investigating the use of this approach for the purposes of promoting software quality and improving software development processes. This paper summarizes prior literature on quality gates and applies the concept of quality gates to the software development context. It reports a case study of implementing quality gates in enterprise IT production process in the context of a large Fortune 500 company. A conceptual framework is also proposed to represent the various levels and disciplines where quality gates may be implemented. This framework suggests that 1) quality gates can be applied at many different levels throughout the organization such as system, project, and release, 2) the format of quality gates varies by level of implementation, 3) quality gates are useful both as part of an overarching software development methodology as well as for targeted IT projects where quality assurance standards have to be established for procedural success (e.g.,, transitioning enterprise data centers), and 4) more than the increased measurability promoted by quality gates, greater value may be yielded by a change in developers' and testers' mindset of building quality into the software product and development processes.