QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) are occasionally assumed to be the same thing. In this article, we will share how to differentiate between them and how they can contribute to a project’s quality.
What is Quality Assurance?
According to ISO 9000 standards, Quality Assurance is a set of activities to ensure that the product or service offered is in accordance with the required quality level. Its purpose is to achieve project objectives by evaluating performance against relevant quality standards and customer requirements.
The QA professional’s job involves systematic testing focused on the development process. This is mandatory to ensure that the customer doesn’t encounter errors in the final product.
For example, an e-commerce user interface allows users to switch prices by accident. This results in several mispriced orders for the sales team. The QA team reports the incidents to add UI validations that prevent the issue from occurring again in the future.
What is Quality Control?
Quality Control is a set of actions and techniques for continuous monitoring to identify and eliminate problems in the finished product. The focus of QC is on the results of a given project — it seeks to assess whether they are in accordance with the plan.
Therefore, QC generates a kind of feedback. It incorporates the information from actual user experience to improve the current product and lead future projects.
So, to summarize, Quality Assurance is a set of principles focused on evaluating the process to guarantee the final quality of the product.
Quality Control, on the other hand, is a set of activities that guarantee the quality of finished products. It will monitor the operation and correct defects, in addition to pointing out results that will be used and applied to the development of new projects. For example, batch validation, audits, product sampling, laboratory testing, etc., are related to Quality Control.
Why is Quality Assurance Important?
Until recently, a customer would buy a program, install it on their computer and use it, regardless of its quality or defects. Even if they weren’t completely satisfied, they had already made the purchase.
Today, the picture is very different. A typical user downloads an app, tests it, and deletes it if they are not completely satisfied. It takes them a few seconds to download a competing app. Therefore, it’s critical to nail the first impression of your application.
A few common issues reported by the users are:
- high load times
- occurrence of errors and problems
- confusing content
- non-intuitive navigation
- bad experience or incompatibility between different devices
- security vulnerability
And it’s not just about losing one user to a competing product. A poor-quality app damages the brand’s reputation and can cause irreparable damage to the company’s image. So why take a chance? QA is the process that aims to prevent precisely these defects in the results of a project.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control
The key differences between QA and QC are both concerned with product quality. Quality Assurance’ is process-oriented and focuses on defect prevention, while ‘Quality Control’ is product-oriented and focuses on defect identification. These two practices ensure that the final product or service meets the market’s quality requirements and standards.
Implementing Quality Assurance brings a series of benefits to your company:
- improves the customer experience and satisfaction
- helps to anticipate problems and know how to solve them beforehand
- elevates your company’s name in the market
- helps to reduce operating costs as it minimizes the need for reworking
Quality Assurance is vital for the success of your business and helps grow its presence in the market. Continuous optimization of both your product and process will make your business more user-centric, creating a solid foundation to outpace competitors.
This post was published under the Quality Assurance Community of Experts. Communities of Experts are specialized groups at Modus that consolidate knowledge, document standards, reduce delivery times for clients, and open up growth opportunities for team members. Learn more about the Modus Community of Experts program here.
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