I am a newbie to this site, and need feedback on how to implement quality improvement procedures. Currently most of the procedures presently in place in my dept is manual and there is nothing scripted or used as a guideline for technical and business rule testing. One of my suggestions to my team was to have our technical coders develop a technical/functional spec document and have a Sr BA develop a high level test plan which would include product requirements and high level testing based upon those requirements. Does any have any other suggestions that can improve my departments quality procedures without having to develop checklists?
Are you suggesting that the test plans, et al, be generic in nature? Or specific to a project you are working on?
A couple of things stand out. If you are not developing to a technical/functional spec, what are you developing to? Do your BAs also have QC experience? If not, then they are the wrong people to be writing test plans. Why do you not want to develop checklists?
The short answer is that consultants are paid big bucks to come in and analyze processes such as yours and suggest improvements. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for improving quality. It is very much a case-by-case situation. Without tons more detail, there isn't much you will be able to use from here, without having the context to put it into.
Do you have a quality problem? I mean, aside from the fact that you don't have procedures in place.
Do you know what your quality problem is? What are the identifiable causes of the poor quality?
Who represents the interests of your customer?
Are you in a position to influence, impose of enforce changes to improve quality? If not, who in your organization would fit that description and are they aware of need for change?
Who is responsible for quality?
Who is responsible for accepting the product?
Understand first what the problem is ...
Then, start looking for the solutions.
There is nothing inherently wrong with doing things manually. Just make sure you do them well.
Checklists are a great way to ensure some level of consistency in how things get done. If nothing else, they document when things DON'T get done.