UKOLN AHDS QA Focus in-house QA: Policy on Instant Messaging

QA Focus Policy

Instant Messaging

The QA Focus Team will make use of instant messaging software in order to support communications with remote workers and across the two project partners.

The QA Focus Team will agree on an appropriate IM tool. The MSN Messenger tool was selected.

The QA Focus Team will be aware of the dangers of interruptions in use of IM software. The use of conventions such as:

  • "Are you free to talk? when seeking to initiate a discussion
  • Saying no if you are not free to talk
  • Defining your status in the IM application (busy, away, ...)

is encouraged.

IM software may be used for formal scheduled meetings. In such cases standard conventions for running meetings should be used. For example an agenda should be produced, actions clearly defined, changes of topics flagged and a record of the meeting kept.

IM software may be used for direct communications between individual team members. For example it may be used for working on particular tasks, to clarify issues when working on collaborative tasks and to support team working. IM may be particularly suited for short term tasks for which no archive is needed and other team members need not be involved - for example, arranging a meeting place.

Highly confidential information will not be sent using IM, due to the lack of strong encryption.

File transfer will be used with care, due to the potential dangers of viruses,etc.

Instant messaging software will be used since the QA Focus officer at UKOLN is a home worker and there is a need to ensure close links with the QA Focus project manager. In addition the software will be used for regular communications between the two projects partners (UKOLN and AHDS) which are located in Bath and London.
The QA Focus project manager is responsible for this policy. QA Focus team members are responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are deployed.
Exceptions to this policy are permitted, as the policy is based on conventions for human use and humans are tolerant of changes.

Procedures For Ensuring Compliance

We will implement the following procedures on use of instant messaging to ensure that the policies are implemented.