Technical assurance is the prevention of errors and mistakes in the delivery of information technology services. This is an ongoing process of monitoring the quality of IT services, managing issues and improving things. The following are common examples of technical assurance.
Right First TimeDeveloping and implementing non-functional requirements for new products, services and features that define the quality of a technology. For example, a banking website may establish a non-functional requirement that the site be available 99.99% of the time. Implementation of this requirement requires high-availability infrastructure and well tested code that is stable.
Managing incidents using techniques such as a service desk. This involves detecting and escalating incidents to teams that can fix it. The focus of incident management is getting things working as quickly as possible with temporary fixes being acceptable.
Problem ManagementProblem management is the practice of applying sustainable fixes for incidents. This involves root cause analysis and sponsoring changes that address the underlying causes of incidents.
Architectural ImprovementsIn some cases, a platform, technology, process or service has architectural problems that cause a large number of quality issues. For example, an insecure operating system might cause a number of security incidents. A technical assurance team plays a central role in sponsoring architectural improvements that are relevant to quality.
Process ImprovementsIT quality issues may be addressed with policies, procedures and processes. For example, human error can often be prevented with checklists or training processes.
ReportingIt is common for a technical assurance team to development dashboards that report IT quality metrics such as availability by system or the number of incidents in a month by severity. In many cases, the team also delivers an overview of incidents to an IT governance board on a regular basis.
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