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Quality assurance vs. Quality control – a complete guide

Together quality assurance vs. quality control can further improve the final deliverables of both products and software.

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Have you ever been engulfed in a debate over quality assurance vs. quality control? Most people do not know the key differentiators between quality assurance and quality control. 

Many software quality assurance service providers quality assurance vs. quality control questions from their clients and employees. It is a question we often hear as well. This article will clear up all the confusion around quality assurance and quality control and help you understand quality assurance services in a better way.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control 

Both these quality assurance services have significant and different roles for organizations. Understanding these two distinct and unique roles can help readers determine the key differences and get answers to the question “what is the key differentiator for quality assurance vs. quality control” debate. Furthermore, by understanding these differences, organizations can adopt effective software quality assurance services.

Quality Assurance: 

Popularly known as QA Testing, quality assurance is an activity performed by a group of QA testers or analysts to confirm that a company is delivering the best possible product or service to its clients. It allows organizations to make sure that their product or service meets the quality guidelines of the market and meets its general standards. Products are delivered defect-free and services help customers achieve their desired goals. 

Quality Control: 

Quality control is an organized set of practices used to safeguard the quality of software, products, or services. The reason for performing quality control is to ensure that the software/product/service meets the company’s actual requirements. This is done through testing and reviewing its functional and non-functional requirements. 

Quality assurance vs. quality control discussion can be narrowed down in terms of proactive software quality assurance services vs. reactive software quality assurance services. Good quality assurance services are proactive. They help avoid shortcomings before they can occur in the design process. Quality control, however, is reactive and is done to detect anomalies after they have transpired.

Additionally, another key differentiator for quality assurance vs. quality control is that quality assurance involves a specific design and alignment of procedures, such as documentation of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Each time the SOPs are followed, a reliable, efficient product/software will be created. Quality control, on the other hand, involves testing the product or software to safeguard standard and safety requirements. 

If quality control reveals quality concerns, they will result in reactive steps that stop a risky product/software from being sold or supplied. Quality control problems also result in a quality assurance review. Non-conforming test findings then result in corrective, preventive action investigations that examine the quality problems and revise practices to prevent such issues.

Quality Assurance services – Process vs. Product/Software

Quality assurance vs. Quality control can also be looked into by looking at the different focus (product quality assurance services and software quality assurance services) on process and product. Quality assurance is process-oriented, and it emphasizes avoiding quality troubles altogether. Quality control is more focused on product-oriented tasks such as isolating quality concerns in manufacturing concerns. It does not necessarily branch out to software quality assurance services. 

Controlling Systems vs. Controlling Parts

Quality assurance and quality control are both used as control systems but even in this context they are significantly different. Quality assurance control systems are fundamental practices that ensure that quality standards are acceptable. Quality control, on the other hand, is a control system that gauges the performance of parts. 

The quality control efforts are often focused on the parts that create the end product. These can include raw material etc. The quality assurance system is different – it focuses more on the activities that go into the production of the product/software, ensuring that the input is safe, consistent, and meets the quality requirements.

Innovation vs. Authentication

Quality assurance vs. quality control also allows for innovation and verification of procedures. A quality assurance procedure serves as a roadmap for innovation by enabling high-quality products/software to be created. Quality control entails authentication of products post-manufacture and before delivery or validating security and efficiency.

Software Quality Assurance – Use case:

Most of this article has focused on how quality assurance is more dedicated to software and product quality assurance services. In contrast, quality control’s focus is more towards product quality assurance. That is, however, not true in all scenarios. Both quality control and quality assurance can be applied to the field of software. For example, company A uses a bug tracking system to report bugs through the QA testing of a web application. 

In this scenario, quality assurance would be used to define the criteria for adding a bug and what specifics should be there in the bug report – such as the summary of the issue that it caused, where the bug was observed, the steps to reproduce the bug, a screenshot of the bug, and so on. The bug will be added to the bug tracking system based on these criteria, and the bug report becomes the deliverable of the QA tester. This entire activity is one part of the quality assurance process.

Eventually, at a later stage of the web application development, the tester realizes that adding the primary reason for the bug will help the company’s Dev team gain a better understanding of the issue that the bug is causing. Based on this the owner or tester will update his/her pre-defined method based on the analysis. This will also be echoed in the bug report.

Now, suppose some time at a later stage of the project, we realize that adding ‘probable root cause’ to the bug based on the tester’s analysis would provide more insight to the Dev team. We will update our pre-defined process, and finally, it will be reflected in our bug reports. This extra piece of data in the bug report will help resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. This resolution is a part of the quality control process.

Together quality assurance vs. quality control can further improve the final deliverables of both products and software.

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