Quality Assurance

Stardust provides the option to mark interactive activities for quality assurance. Quality assurance criteria are specified for such activities and they are reviewed by a quality assurance operator.

Common Usage Pattern

This section describes common usage patterns, where different criteria for quality assurance performance are described.

Determining Quality Assurance based on Environment Variable

Assuming an activity, which is performed in a test environment as well as in production mode. Quality assurance on this activity is only required in production mode. To decide if quality assurance is required, create a configuration variable and evaluate it in the quality assurance formula. For a more detailed description on this use case, refer to section Using a formula based on configuration variables.

Determining Quality Assurance based on specific Criteria on Input Data

An accountant has to type in data for accounts of users. To avoid known invalid inputs, quality assurance should be performed on all activities, in case one of these invalid inputs were given. For a more detailed description on this use case, refer to section Using Primitive Data to evaluate the Formula.

Determining Quality Assurance for Specific Document Types combined with Probability

A use case for a combination of the formula and a probability value is a document processing workflow. Quality assurance should only take place in case the document is of a specific type. Documents of this type need review on a percentage basis, e.g. 25% of these document types need quality assurance.

For a more detailed description on this use case, refer to section Using a Combination of Probability and Formula.

Specifying Quality Assurance Criteria in the Modeler

You can mark an interactive activity for quality assurance in its property page. If an activity is marked for quality assurance, the following criteria for quality assurance can be set:

Quality Assurance Performer

The quality assurance operator specified for an interactive activity reviews the according activity instances. They are able to:

Quality Assurance Rate

The default quality assurance sample size will be used whenever no specific probability has been configured for the current performer. The rate is a value between 0 and 100 percent. For example:

The default value is 100%.

JavaScript Expression

Stardust provides the ability to use process data for quality assurance evaluation. These can be used instead of or in combination with the quality assurance sample rates. JavaScript based expressions can be added in the property page of interactive activities in the modeler. These are evaluated as described in section Determining whether to perform Quality Assurance or not.

Influence of the Formula and Quality Assurance Rate specified in the Modeler

The specified formula and quality assurance rate are applied in combination. First, the formula is executed. If it returns false, no quality assurance will be performed on this activity instance. In case the formula returns true, the probability configured will be applied for the activity and the activity instance will be marked for quality assurance depending on the resulting probability experiment.

Quality assurance is applied in the following way for specific cases:

Determining whether to perform Quality Assurance or not

The runtime algorithm to determine whether or not to perform quality assurance for a given activity instance is as follows:

Quality Assurance Lifecycle

If an activity is completed, the following steps are performed to check for quality assurance:

  1. The performer of an activity tries to complete the activity.
  2. It is checked, if the activity is marked for quality assurance:

The following graphic illustrates this process:


Figure: Quality Assurance Lifecycle

Handling Data Mappings for Quality Assurance Activities

Data mappings for activities marked for quality assurance should be modeled in a way that all data that goes out could be read and displayed.

Suspending quality assurance activities

Changing data values via the following suspend methods:

in not possible for quality assurance activities. Calling suspend() with a nonempty data map results in an InvalidArgumentException.

Completing quality assurance activities

Note that completing a quality assurance activity instance only executes out data mappings and hence persists changed data values if the quality assurance specific activity properties indicate a "Pass with Corrections" result. In all other cases data mappings will not be executed and changed data will not be persisted.

Quality Assurance Codes

Stardust provides the option to create quality assurance codes to indicate results of quality assurance. These can be specified in case of failure as well as pass condition. You can define a set of available codes and their values as model property. It is possible to restrict quality assurance codes to a subset of the available list for each activity. In the Stardust portal, the performing user can select codes from the provided list.

Example Use Cases

This section describes some example use cases, where different criteria for quality assurance performance are described. For a detailed tutorial on using quality assurance code, refer to chapter Performing Quality Assurance on interactive Activities in the Tutorial Guide.

Using a Formula based on Configuration Variables

Assuming an activity, which is performed in a test environment as well as in production mode. Quality assurance on this activity is only required in production mode. To decide if quality assurance is required, create a configuration variable and evaluate it in the quality assurance formula:

  1. Create a configuration variable as a flag to determine if the activity is in test or production mode.

  2. In the activity property page, enter a formula evaluation this configuration variable. If the configuration variable is set to PRODUCTION, the formula returns true for quality assurance.
    "${Environment}" == "PRODUCTION";
  3. Quality assurance is performed on the activity, if the configuration variable Environment evaluates to PRODUCTION. In case the configuration variable changes to TEST, no quality assurance is performed.


Figure: Configuration variable used in formula.

For details on configuration variables, refer to chapter Using Configuration Variables.

Using Primitive Data to evaluate the Formula

An accountant has to type in data for accounts of users. To avoid known invalid inputs, quality assurance should be performed on all activities, in case one of these invalid inputs were given.

  1. Create two primitive data with ID AccountNumber and AccountName respectively.
  2. In the quality assurance formula of the activity, use the Ids of the primitive data:
    var accnr=AccountNumber;
    var accname=AccountName;
    if ( (accnr > 9999) || (accnr < 1000))
    {
        true;
    }
    else if ( accname == "" )
    {
        true;
    }
    else 
    {
        false;
    }
    
  3. In case the entered account number has less or more than 4 digits or the account name is empty, quality assurance will be performed on the activity instance.


Figure: Quality Assurance Criteria

Using a Combination of Probability and Formula

A use case for a combination of the formula and a probability value is a document processing workflow. Quality assurance should only take place in case the document is of a specific type. Documents of this type need review on a percentage basis, e.g. 25% of these document types need quality assurance.

Combination
Figure: Criteria in Combination of probability and formula.

Quality Assurance in Stardust Portal

The Stardust portal provides a Quality Assurance Management View, where you can specify quality assurance sample sizes for activities that are marked for quality assurance. If the activity default performer is scoped, an additional table is provided for departments to allow a quality assurance sample size to be specified for each data scope. Only administrators have access to the Quality Assurance Management View. For details on this view, refer to chapter Modifying Quality Assurance Probability of the Stardust Portal in the End User Handbook.

Activity Execution

When a quality assurance activity is performed, for example in the second execution of the activity by the quality assurance participant, options to pass or fail the quality assurance are provided. The option to pass quality assurance allows the user to mark whether any corrections were done and to select according quality assurance codes. If choosing to fail quality assurance, you can select an according quality assurance (error) code and choose whether the activity should be delegated to the last activity performer.

Refer to chapter Executing Quality Assurance Activities of the Stardust Portal in the End User Handbook for details.

Activities are marked with different icons for:

Quality Assurance Reports

Quality assurance reports are available in the Monitoring Reports category, providing the following details:

For details refer to section Quality Assurance Reports of chapter Monitoring Reports.

Quality Assurance Reporting Runtime Views

The following reporting runtime views are available for Quality assurance details:

For details on these runtime views refer to sections Quality Assurance Codes View and Quality Assurance View of chapter Runtime Views in the Business Analysis and Reporting guide.