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Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is a continuous process that will result in improving performance and product quality over the life of the contract and ensuring that customer expectations are met. LSI’s senior managers are trained in ISO 9001:2000 quality standards and are strong advocates of performance improvement. In addition, our subcontractors have implemented quality processes under either the ISO or Lean Six Sigma quality standards.

Our quality assurance methodology is detailed below and consists of several interrelated phases. These phases are repeated on a continuous basis to ensure that quality is monitored and improvements/corrections made on a regular and timely basis.

Phase I: UNDERSTAND
Understanding what is to be done is critical to successful performance on a Task Order. Therefore, during this stage, the Task Order Manager will create a requirements matrix based on the Task Order PWS. If the customer has provided a Quality Surveillance Plan (QSP), this will be incorporated in our Quality Assurance Plan as well. This identifies the tasks that need to be performed as well as what the customer will be evaluating and how they will evaluate it. We will review any Task Order specified performance measures (from the QSP or other source) and direct questions or requests for clarification, if required, to the COR and/or the TOCOR.

The incentives as well as the penalties criteria, as defined by the customer, are also analyzed and understood in this phase. These are usually a part of a Quality Surveillance Plan (QSP) that the customer may provide for a Task Order. The incentives address the situation where the performance of the contractor exceeds the acceptable performance standard whereas the penalties, usually in the form of credits from the invoices, address the situation where the contractor’s performance falls short of the acceptable minimum standards.

Before monitoring the performance, it is essential for everyone on the Task Order team to understand the Performance Standards, including the delivery times of the deliverables. Therefore, immediately upon the award of a Task Order under this contract, LSI’s Task Order Manager will define our detailed Task Order plan and Quality Assurance Plan.

The QCP will very clearly detail the performance measures and the associated acceptance criteria that the Task Order team will be measured against. We will also explain our contract monitoring process and the acceptance criteria (in terms of schedule and quality) for each deliverable for which we are responsible. By the end of this phase the Task Order team will clearly understand which tasks they will perform on a particular Task Order, what comprises an acceptable performance, how they will report their progress, the review meetings schedule, the communication mechanism, when they have to produce their deliverables and the contractual rewards and the penalties impacts for performance as defined in the Acceptance Criteria.

Phase II-MONITOR
The following tools will be used to monitor the performance of the team members in terms of scope and schedule:

(1) Regular Weekly Meetings- All Task Order team members will be required to attend regular weekly “progress review” meetings. Each team member will give an assessment of the progress that they have made in their respective tasks, the problems or issues they are facing, and any schedule impacts. Meetings are a good way to identify issues, if any, early and take corrective action quickly.

(2) Status Reports- Task Order team members will be required to submit, to the Task Order Manager by e-mail, weekly status reports on the tasks for which they are responsible. Weekly reports will be used to generate the Monthly Progress Report input. These progress reports will include, at minimum, the following information:

  • Identification of progress made and work completed during the reporting period.
  • Statement of work accomplished with contractors’ hours.
  • Identification of the impact of any schedule delays.
  • Status information regarding tasks not yet completed.
  • List of deliverables submitted.
  • List of deliverables scheduled for completion in the next reporting period.
  • List of issues and problems encountered, both resolved and unresolved, together with recommendations and alternatives for resolution.

(3) Time Sheets- Prior to the commencement of each Task Order, team members will be provided with a copy of the LSI Time Sheet, which will require completion and signature approval by the LSI Task Order Manager on a regular basis. The Time Sheet will detail the tasks completed on a daily basis, time taken to complete the tasks and whether the tasks were satisfactorily completed in accordance with the Quality Assurance Plan. Task Order Managers will carefully review the work performed by the subcontractor personnel and only sign the time sheets if performance is consistent with pre-established acceptance criteria. Time sheets will, therefore, provide a simple yet effective means of constant monitoring and evaluation of subcontractor, as well as, team performance.

Phase III: MEASURE
Internal audits are extremely effective in the early identification of performance issues. Audits of each Task Order regarding work performed and quality of deliverables will be conducted on a regular basis along with root cause analyses. Deliverables will be measured against the acceptance criteria (as noted in QCP) and the results logged on QA audit sheets.

Phase IV: REPORT
The results of internal audits will be documented in a pre-approved format and sent to the relevant Task Order Manager. The Task Order Manager will assign each issue to the appropriate team member and discuss root causes as well as possible measures to correct the performance issue. Some corrective actions may require customer approval if customer processes or activities are affected. In these cases, the LSI Task Order Manager will work with the customer to gain approval for such corrective actions and generate a cooperative plan with the customer for implementation. Once an issue has been corrected, it will be validated against the acceptance criteria and then identified as complete on the audit sheet.

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