I must implement SOPs within a tech group that still requires developers to create their own test cases.. ( i know, its sad). I would like to join a discussin group with topics related to Implementing Standard operating Procerues and practices. or simply ask this group. How would I go about engaging IT project managers in QA activities?
In my opinion, the first thing is to sell them on the idea of "Quality", then "Quality Standards". Everyone wants to put out a quality product, but everyone probably has a different idea of how to go about it. You need to pull them together and explain, in detail, just how to ensure a quality product and maybe, if they don't understand, the importance of delivering a quality product. Guide them to making their own decisions about it. If they think they invented the idea, it will become an easy sell.
I think the best approach is to talk to the managers you would like to have involved and ask them what their perceptions are in terms of QA. What would they like to see? What do they feel needs to be changed? What would they like to see stay the same?
If you then concentrate on those things the majority consider important, you will get more buy-in and cooperation right away. In addition, the fact that you consider their input important and will act on it does a lot for your future relationships. I would also be very sensitive to those areas that "worry" the IT managers; often the move to any type of more formalized QA/QC model is extremely traumatic for development staff, especially the first time through. I've found that the area of most concern to development is usually (public) reporting of defects.
You will have to work with the developpers and project leaders. They (and management) must have an idea of where they need more quality.
I would suggest you focus on one aspect at a time with *measurable* results. So the first thing would be to start measuring the actual process, and finding what are the processes that lead to a lack of quality (FMEA might be handy, as well as analysis of the causes of the bugs logged in defect tracking).
You might wish to look at the works from Tom Gilb about this.
Standard practices will depend on your context and on the applicable norms or standards within your company, as well as the amount of time you have at hand. The EVO principle (see Tom Gilb at www.gilb.com) might be useful to have results faster.
Hope this helps