How to use quality gates to guide IT projects

Avatar for wadminwby wadminw
February 22, 2022

To ensure we stop the deployment from going ahead if the scan flags any vulnerabilities, we can write a scan policy, like the below example, that will fail or pass based on the results. Similarly, the smoke tests could be placed after the code is deployed to ensure that the systems are still operational post-deploy. Any final manual or automated validations can also be conducted at this time by the testing team.

quality gate

Developers and QA personnel can become frustrated if they feel that they are being held up by quality standards, especially if they feel they can resolve the issues at a later date. Organizations run into trouble when they kick the can down the road — when they push quality standards and bug fixes to the next stage. Under intense pressure and deadlines, it’s easy to build technical debt.

What is a Quality Gate and Why Do You Need Them?

A quality gate is an indicator that tells you whether your code meets the minimum level of quality required for your project. It consists of a set of conditions that are applied to the results of each analysis. If the analysis results meet or exceed the quality gate conditions then it shows a Passed status otherwise, it shows a Failed status.

  • Ahead of a quality gate meeting, the project manager will go through the relevant QG checklist and answer each question truthfully, taking into consideration the current project status.
  • At the end of the day, project management isn’t always about delivering a project as quickly as you can.
  • The relevant static analysis scans and security scans are run against the code base to ensure that certain coding and security best practices have been adhered to.
  • Since SonarQube 7.6, operator is always defined by the system and there is no warning threshold.

With automation, testing can be carefully planned and implemented throughout the entire development pipeline. Quality Gates can be set up in line with customer requirements at key points in the development pipeline. Creating Quality Gates optimizes the QA process by aiding in test automation.

No quality gate without a checklist

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how quality gates can improve deployments and how to effectively introduce them into the CI/CD pipeline. After setting the new code definition, perform another analysis (by pushing some code change) and a quality gate should appear. For more details on setting up the definition, see New Code Definition.

quality gate

The more automated your testing processes are, the easier enforcing your DevOps quality gates will be. It’s an important process for your project when transitioning from one environment to the next. Don’t torpedo your IT project by thinking that this is yet another series of useless documents to be completed. More and more IT organizations are now starting to compile and use such checklists on their projects.

How quality gates are defined

While you rarely see QG-based processes in smaller organizations, large companies use them extensively to manage their project portfolio. Think of companies like Microsoft or General Electric, who spend billions of dollars on projects. If — through better quality management — they are able to increase the success rate of their projects by even 3%, it will save them millions every year. In this command, the –fail-threshold option configures the cloud security companies. The quality gate and fail threshold terms are used interchangeably with the former being a feature in overall, and the latter meaning a configuration option. Managing where they are included in your QA process needs to be deliberate with attention for balancing time, complexity, and cost against ROI.

And as a result, it provides the user with a high-level view that can certainly act as a quality gate. Instead, consider adopting tools that can correlate metrics from various sources, such as your repository and your project management software. That way, you can have a more general view of the health of your project and dev team.


The concept of a quality gate combines aspects of project management, decision modeling and workflow management to increase measurability and promote superior conditions. Quality gates can be applied at many levels throughout an organization such as system, project and release. Additionally, they can be used as part of the overall product development or quality assurance (QA) methodologies.

Keep in mind is that implementing formal project management procedures with quality gates requires a cultural change in the organization. People have to get used to the added bureaucracy and the increased level transparency which eventually benefits the entire organization. During the quality gate meeting, the attendees will go through the checklist and discuss the most critical checklist items.

What are the best practices for designing and implementing quality gates?

Smooth development and testing integration are important for supporting more efficient build and release cycles. Quality management automation is an integral part of optimizing modern development processes. Software methodologies like Agile, DevOps, or Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) promote agility and expedient releases, but speed can often come at the cost of quality. Deployments must be clean and up to standard to pass through the gate. While this can mean some short-term delays, it also preserves quality over the entire development lifecycle. DevOps deployments are fast, small, and agile — but they aren’t reckless.

The QODANA_TOKEN variable refers to the project token required by the Ultimate and Ultimate Plus linters. Providing efficiency-boosting quality and team productivity metrics to maximize your ROI on software development. Automated testing is a great option for carrying out repeatable tasks.

What are Quality Gates?

A quality gate is a critical point or milestone in a project at which certain quality criteria are checked before the next project phase can start. If the quality criteria are not met at a quality gate, the next project phase cannot start. The goal of quality gates is to identify and solve problems at an early stage in order to reduce the effort and costs for rework and corrections. If you think deactivating some rules makes sense for your organization, one approach can be to create a top level profile as a copy of ‘Sonar way’. From this Copy, you can then Extend to create specific department/team level profiles as needed. This ‘nested’ approach gives you the best of both worlds – the Copy QP allows you to enforce organizational-wide standards and the Extend QPs let you get more granular for teams.

Limiting the number of such gates to key handover phases in the development pipeline can help reduce complexity. While such quality measures seem simple in concept, automating them can become very complex when speed is a deciding factor in the development process. Adding more gates increases complexity in testing, leading to longer pipeline execution times. While it may seem like the silver bullet for software quality issues, remember that quality always comes at a price. Automation strives to reduce costs and make processes more efficient, but even setting up and implementing automated Quality Gates takes time and resources. We all know how important managing software quality can be to improving business impact.

Quality Gates in Agile Software Development?

These tests include both the unit tests written by the developer for the modules under development and some broader component tests which will represent the execution across all the modules, but at a mocked level. A quality gate is a set of conditions that indicates if the project analyzed is “good enough for you or not” to be delivered to the next stage in your software life cycle. Those conditions are defined using the metrics and KPI collected for each project. With the quality gate, you can enforce ratings (reliability, security, security review, and maintainability) based on metrics for overall code and new code.

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