From the very first day of their creation, “quality assurance” (QA) and “quality control” (QC) terms have often been confused. As a company deeply interested in providing only top-notch website quality assurance services, Whidegroup knows a lot about every little aspect of quality when it comes to the development sphere, and can tell you the difference between quality assurance and quality control. So, let’s examine the details!
It is a good idea to address QA and QC standards in order to determine what “quality” is. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems – fundamentals and vocabulary state the following: quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfills requirements. In simplest terms, quality means meeting customer requirements.
If we talk specifically from within the development sphere, the definition of quality remains virtually the same – quality is a set of features of the software that are related to its ability to satisfy established and perceived needs, according to (ISO) 8402:1994 Quality Management and Quality Assurance.
Both QA and QC are used to ensure the all-around quality of a product. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Quality Assurance: Strategy for Prevention
Quality assurance is a testing procedure that is a part of quality management. Quality assurance narrowly focuses on providing confidence in the fact that quality requirements are fulfilled. The confidence provided this quality management procedure is two-fold – internal to management and external to customers and third parties.
The quality assurance process is a proactive management practice. As a rule, QA testing is a manual process carried out by a separate specialist or team.
- Strategic planning – This function is responsible for enhancing the quality of products, as well as setting and disseminating biannual quality targets.
- Organization – This function assigns a corporate officer to be in charge of QA, organizes Quality Review Meetings, and establishes and manages organizations to promote quality assurance.
- Education – This function educates all employees about quality with an eye toward improving their problem-solving skills through specialized trainings.
- Standardization – This function establishes common rules, and organizes, maintains, and improves the business standards for each business or the product characteristics.
- Settlement – This function confirms whether the work process is established within the product providing organization and evaluates its conformity to the Quality Assurance Program.
- Verifying the declared level of quality for a particular product.
- Identifying process improvement areas.
Quality Control: Strategy for the Detection
Quality control is described as a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. ISO 9000 defines QC as “a part of the quality management which focuses on fulfilling quality requirements.” Or, in a nutshell, QC is the part of quality management which focuses on meeting definite quality requirements on the very final stage of the production.
The main aim of the quality control process is verification of output conformance to the desired quality level. This means that the ready solution is checked against every customer requirement, on a strict plan, over specific points in the development lifecycle. Amongst other techniques, engaged teams use structured walkthroughs, testing tools, and code reviews to make sure that the solution meets the predefined set of requirements.
- Testing – QC specialists perform quality control tests for services provided, as well as evaluating the quality of a specific service at specified intervals throughout the time of service. Testing provides quality results as of the date of testing.
- Monitoring – this function consists of ongoing testing that the quality control specialist performs on a regular basis. The specialist repeats the testing and records the results of each test.
- Auditing – the QC specialist reviews the results reported by the regular quality control workers to determine if they performed the original tests correctly.
- Reporting – periodically, the QC specialist reports the quality results to management. A high number of quality problems means something is wrong with the process and the company may then be expecting many unhappy customers.
- The readiness of the software for its release
- Compliance with the declared requirements
- Compliance with the declared quality of the product
Understanding the Difference
So, we’ve reviewed both quality assurance and quality control. Now it’s time to learn the differences between these two terms, distinguish the advantages and disadvantages, and make a comparison. In order to simplify this process, we’ve prepared a comparison table. So, let’s begin.
As you can see, it’s absolutely impossible to answer the question “QA or QC: which is best?” – even after thorough quality control and quality assurance comparison. They are both two sides of the same coin, but combining them wisely can bring you success and profits.
It’s difficult to overestimate the effectiveness of such a complex and structured quality management approach with QA and QC both at the helm. The benefits of such a powerful dual application lay on the surface:
- Providing a high-quality output – since both QA and QC are closely related to each other, their objectives are similar: to deliver a defect-free service or product.
- Increased efficiency of operations and waste management.
- High level of confidence and a motivated team.
- Less rework and after-sale support are required, which help you to save funds!
- A higher level of customer satisfaction, which will very likely result in repeat business, as well as referral business.
We aspire to provide top-level services, which is why we’re aware of both the peculiarities and the benefits, of quality assurance. We can say the same about the features and advantages of quality control. Still not sure about what exactly do you need for your project? If you need qualified assistance with either of these two – you can count on us.