Would you please distinguish the different types of audits 1) Projects, 2) Process and 3) products? Does PPQA audit the Project, Process, or Product? Or all the three? And from which area do we need to collect improvements, 1, 2, or 3? I'm confused, can you help?
You say that you are confused. I Let me try to provide an explanation for what I think you are asking about PPQA. The intent of PPQA is to act as the eyes and ears of senior management to ensure that the practitioners are following the documented processes to produce the work products. So PPQA performs two types of audits: process audits and work product audits. Now the processes being audited can be at the individual level, project level, or the organization level. And the processes being audited are not restricted to the CMMI Process Areas. The organization has to determine which processes to audit based on its business goals and objectives, so there may be processes audited in addition to the processes covered by the CMMI.
A process audit is conducted by first studying the documented process and then interviewing the practitioners to determine if they are following the process as documented.
Each process has one or more work products that are produced by following the process. These work products can be at the individual, project, or organizational level as well. The work products can be audited by sitting at a desk and reviewing the work product against the documented requirements for the work product. Is the work product produced correctly? Does it contain the proper level of information? Etc.
Both process and work product audits will identify non-compliances. By analyzing the non-compliance issues, PPQA should be able to identify the underlying causes for the issues and recommend one or more process improvement suggestions.