For these tasks required in quality management, it is essential to consider a quality model specifying each of the necessities and objectives already achieved and essential to achieve in the future as a result of quality management.
QuEF (Quality Evaluation Framework on framework for quality assessment) is a framework that takes into account all of the above and can be defined according to a model that dictates all software devices used for quality management, can be generated automatically or semi-automatically, based on the definition of this model.
QuEF was initially developed to analyze, evaluate and improve the quality of MDWE proposals (Model-Driven Web Engineering Web engineering guided by models).
Currently, there is a generic framework for managing the quality of products, processes and services; this framework plans, controls and improves those organization’s elements that influence customer satisfaction and achieve the results desired by the organization.
It consists of the following phases:
- Quality Model Strategy Phase: This phase is central to the concept of quality management based on the lifecycle quality model. Its main objective is that the quality management becomes a strategic asset.
- Quality Model Design Phase: This phase covers each of the elements necessary to design the Quality Model.
- Quality Model Transition Phase: The Quality Model may change due to identifying new trends or changes in the product technology, service or process. This phase focuses on the necessary elements to ensure that the changes in the model of quality do not affect the operation phase.
- Quality Model Operation Phase: In this stage the quality model is used to manage the worth of the products, services or processes. It is the realization of each of the activities using the Quality Model for one’s own quality management such as analysis, evaluation and plans for continuous improvement quality.
- Quality Continuous Improvement Phase: This phase aims to align the Quality model with the properties and quality characteristics that should be covered.
It should be the basis to ensure the stabilization of the process and the possibility of improvement.
QuEF is useful for the implementation of processes, quality standards, ISO standards and best practices such as ITIL for service management in an organization or project management as PMI. Furthermore, it can be used as a support structure to implement older models such as CMMI.
Moreover, it is also useful for managing the quality of products, processes, services and resources; and it is useful to assist in the implementation of quality models such as EFQM or methodological environments such as Prince2, COBIT, Metrics 3, etc.
In order for QuEF framework to be a business reality, it should offer tools that support each of the phases that are defined in QuEF for quality management. For this reason, the research group IWT2 is developing a set of factories that are capable of generating a set of tools to apply the QuEF in a practical context for each of the phases’ environments.
Using the set of QuEF factories, the number of people responsible for managing quality decreases drastically as it provides a tool for automating the analysis, evaluation and control of product quality, service or process. Moreover, thanks to the defining of the quality model, this knowledge can be shared among those responsible for quality management in the same context.
The purpose of QuEF framework is to converge towards the continuous improvement of automatic quality through the generation of control lists, documentation, automatic evaluations and creation of plans to monitor and improve the quality automatically and to achieve a reduction in effort and time, resulting in reduced costs and increased quality in one’s own quality management.
The definition of quality model is supported by EA (Enterprise Architect), tool of SPARX Systems and through a plug-in developed by the IWT2 group; it is possible to generate each of the software applications that support each of the phases of QuEF.
QuEF-S Factory is the factory that, given the Quality model, generates the application QuEF-S that supports the QuEF strategy phase. This strategic phase establishes the plan, tactics and objectives of the quality management.
It needs to determine the domain properties and characteristics of the quality product process or service of interest and outline the tactics used to reach the required target. The Quality Management has to become a strategic asset.
QuEF-D Factory is the factory that, given the Quality model, generates the application QuEF-D that supports the QuEF Design phase. Quality Model Design Phase is where the Quality Model is designed from the previous strategic phase. In this phase only the present aspects are taken into account while in the previous phase, past, present and future aspects are taken into account.
QuEF-T Factory is the factory that, given the Quality model, generates the application QuEF-T that supports the QuEF Transition phase. In this phase the model change plans are defined. If the Quality model changes it should rebuilt the templates, determine new weights or change the foregoing, modify the schedule for improvement, etc.
QuEF-O Factory is the factory that, given the Quality model, generates the application QuEF-O that supports the QuEF Operation phase. In this phase the realization of quality management is effective and processes the model for analysis from the checklists. Evaluation and planning for quality improvement are used.
QuEF-QCI Factory is the factory that, given the Quality model, generates the application QuEF-QCI that supports the QuEF continuous improvement phase. This phase focuses on the continuous improvement of all processes and the Quality model.