Major Difference Between QA (Quality Assurance) And QC (Quality Control)

Introduction

Simply engaging in digital transformation is not enough for organizations. Today, everything is digital, thus businesses should deliver exceptional digital experiences that ensure customer loyalty, retention, and a constant revenue stream. Digital quality could be approached in two main ways, namely, Quality Assurance or QA and Quality Control or QC.

Are both the same? Let’s delve into the difference between quality assurance and quality control.

Distinguishing Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Both QA and QC are paramount in software testing services. A software testing company could deliver the right services to make the most of the digital experience for both business organizations and customers.

Quality Assurance or QA

A quality management subset, QA involves a set of processes and activities that occur during the development, which helps ensure high-quality release. Moreover, quality assurance includes members of the team from across the software testing company doing plans, discussing, and executing tests to validate the quality of the product.

Quality Control or QC

Quality control, in development teams, is a QA subset. It makes sure that the developed product meets the company’s quality standards. Software defects, like imperfections in the design, glitches in the UI, security gaps, and issues in accessibility could cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the organization.

A systematic quality control process enables the organization to correct products to ensure that they meet both the business requirements and the customer expectations.

QA Vs QC—the Key Difference

Proactive Versus Reactive

Quality assurance commences at the very start of the software development project, injecting several much-needed guardrails that keep products testable. The quality assurance’s goal is to establish a framework for bug minimalization from the start.

Furthermore, it even influences the way programmers work.

QA influences the quality that will be integrated and ensured in the software product. Quality Control on the other hand reacts to the product developed by determining and fixing or triaging some defects that remain.

Product versus Process

One of the main differentiators in QA Vs QC is the work focus. Quality assurance focuses primarily on the procedures and processes that boost quality. This includes documentation, training, audits, and monitoring. Quality control focuses on the product to look for defects that could stay after the development process.

Quality professionals in a software testing company look for these issues in different ways, which include software testing, and canary or beta testing.

Quality Assurance Processes include:

–   Documentation

–   Supplier management

–   Audits

–   Change control

–   Personnel training

–   Investigation procedures

Quality Control Processes include:

–   Product sampling

–   Batch inspection

–   Laboratory testing

–   Validation testing

–   Software testing

Occurrence

All throughout the software development life cycle, the quality assurance occurs. It’s not a development stage but rather a continuous effort to enforce, implement, and ensure the quality of the digital product. However, quality control could only happen when there’s a finished product to test.

Quality control could occur both before and after the initial release of the software product.

Preventing Defects, Identifying Defects

Solid practices in software development, and even quality-forward practices like test-driven development, could lead to lesser defects. Quality assurance intends to prevent some defects from happening by collaboration practices to align methods and development teams, like code reviews.

In quality control, testers identify the remaining defects and make them the priority.

The goal is similar despite the different emphases.  

Who does the Work?

Truly, quality assurance is an organization-wide effort. If the development side, business side, and testing side could not agree on software quality parameters through the Scrum framework, there simply are too many defects that could go to quality control.

Quality assurance helps guide the product development so that when it reaches a smaller quality control team, those people could perform testing with the time and resources allotted.

Quality Maintenance from Beginning to End

Although there are elements that divide QA Vs QC, the two approaches depend on each other to be effective. An inefficient quality assurance could lead to quality control that’s filled with defects, many of which could escape into the hands of the customers.

Moreover, without effective quality control, the company is unable to verify the latest product works iteration as intended.

System Versus Parts

QA control systems are procedures and methods used to safeguard quality standards. QC control systems measure parts, which include system outputs. Quality control efforts could also be focused on the parts used to make the final product, such as for instance, raw materials from a supplier.

The quality assurance system for quality management could dictate different activities to ensure that inputs are effective and safe in a consistent manner, such as batch sampling raw materials and auditing suppliers.

Entire Team Versus Dedicated Personnel

Activities in quality assurance involve the whole team. Every team member is responsible for quality assurance activities by adhering to the SOPs or standard operating procedures. Although the quality management system or QMs generally is responsible for the leadership team and quality unit, the activities include documentation, training, and review standards.

Generally, quality control is the responsibility of specific personnel within the company. The duties include testing of the product and SOPs. The quality control staff adhere to the standard operating procedures for quality control and document the findings based on standardized processes for testing and process validation.  

Creation Versus Verification

The result of QA is a roadmap for building products of high quality. It involves defining standards for designing, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, distributing, and sales. Quality control involves verifying products after manufacture and before distribution or confirming efficacy and safety.

Conclusion

Quality assurance and quality control both are different from each other. Furthermore, they’re required as part of management and could not be interchanged. Quality assurance aimed to avoid the occurrence of future issues by boosting processes.  

Quality control inspects something to ensure that it’s working fine. Quality assurance, in summary, does not eradicate the need for quality control since QC lies at the very center of quality management.

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