The term Quality Assurance, while new to the IT industry, is used widely across many industrial sectors.
The aim of Quality Assurance activities in IT development is to ensure that output from a system is of acceptable quality and in line with the project specifications set forth by the business need it is to support.
Despite the fact that such a requirement seem logical and essential for any project work, a study conducted recently across approximately 3500 IT projects came with surprising results: nearly one third of IT projects launched are subsequently cancelled due to low quality of output data. In addition, the study found that half of those projects that are actually finished do not meet the original requirement specifications.
From those results it was not made clear how many projects incorporated QA activities. However, based on our own experience and inference, we can draw the conclusion that insufficient QA activities and support can lead to severe consequences. In addition to the negative financial implications, extensive redevelopment and/or maintenance can damage both end-users' and management's trust in the system's integrity and data output. Lost support for a system implementation is much more damaging than a project budget overrun.