Software Quality Assurance (QA) v/s Software Quality Control (QC)

The terms Quality Assurance and Quality Control are often used interchangeably in the IT industry with testing professionals; many times, I have observed people talking about Quality Assurance when they actually mean is Quality Control.

Although QA and QC are closely related concepts of quality management, they are fundamentally different. Let’s see those key differences.

Definition:

Software Quality Assurance is the function of software quality that assures that the standards, processes, and procedures are appropriate for the project and are correctly implemented to reduce the failure and improve software quality.

Software Quality Control is the function of software quality that checks that the project follows its standards, processes, and procedures, and that the project produces the required internal and external deliverable.

Approach:

The goal of Quality Assurance is to improve development and test processes so that defects do not arise when the product is being developed and so the approach is proactive.

Quality Control follows reactive approach since it aims to identify defects after a product is developed and before it’s released.

System:

Quality Assurance is a failure prevention system that predicts almost everything about product safety, quality standards and legality that could possibly go wrong, and then takes steps to control and prevent flawed products or services from reaching the advanced stages of the supply chain.

Quality control is a failure detection system that uses a testing technique to identify errors or flaws in products and tests the end products at specified intervals, to ensure that the products or services meet the requirements as defined during the earlier process for QA.

Responsibility:

Everyone in the team involved in developing the product is responsible for quality assurance. Whereas Quality control is usually the responsibility of a specific team that tests the product for defects.

Orientation:

Quality assurance is process oriented which focuses on the improved processes for developing required software. On the other hand, Quality control is product oriented which has full focus on quality of the software which is being developed.

Levels:

Quality assurance processes are applicable at organization level while quality control process are software product specific that means for different software your testing approaches may vary.

Occurrence:

In general, the Quality assurance activities are done before software development process like Process Definition and Implementation, Audits & Training
Quality control activities are done post software development process like review, functional and regression testing.

Conclusion:

Comparing various aspects of Quality Assurance and Quality Control tells us that Quality Assurance is more critical than Quality Control as QA has responsibility to control the defects in future. QA has a role of defining the quality policy and how to follow the policies in better way so that there won’t be any issues to customer.

Finally, QA is overall development and management process while QC is checking at the end of some development process.

It is recommended that organizations carefully consider the various possible challenges and have appropriate plans in place prior to embarking on quality management processes.

 

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