QUALITY ASSURANCE: Meaning, Process, Software, Engineer & Difference

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It is one thing to finish a project on schedule and within budget; there’s more to regard such a project as a success. Another factor that matters, in this case, is quality. Besides, no stakeholder will be pleased if the final output of a product or service is of poor quality. How therefore can managers of projects ensure high quality? Quality assurance is key. Quality assurance programs enable organizations to more easily meet customer needs and exceed their expectations. If implemented correctly, it will inspire trust and give the company more leeway when marketing its products. Read on to find out more about the quality assurance process and the difference between QA and QC (assurance vs quality control). We”ll also discuss the Society of Quality Assurance and QA Engineer.

What Is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance (QA) is a component of the quality management process that involves establishing standards, guidelines, and processes to prevent quality problems and maintain the integrity of the product or service throughout its creation.

QA) is used to describe the measures taken by a business to guarantee that its goods and services are up to par. Before the goods or services are made available to the public, quality assurance seeks to find and correct any flaws or faults.

In order to ensure that products are consistently high quality, QA creates and updates standards. Having a quality assurance system in place can help your business stand out from the competition by boosting your customers’ faith in you and the reliability of your operations.

A corporation can make sure that its products adhere to industry- or company-set standards for quality by using the quality assurance procedure. QA can also be thought of as a business procedure a corporation takes to improve the quality of its products.

Originating in manufacturing, the concept of quality assurance as a structured procedure has now permeated most sectors, including software development.

What Are the Four Types of Quality Assurance?

The four basic types of quality assurance are: 

  • Pre-production inspection (PPI)
  • During production inspection (DPI)
  • Pre-shipment inspection (PSI)
  • Container loading/loading supervision (LS).

What is the Role of QA?

The goal of quality assurance is to ensure that a company’s goods and services consistently satisfy its target market. In addition, it produces trustworthy and reliable goods that inspire patronage. Adhering to the standards and processes established by a quality assurance program, results in a defect-free product.

The focus of QA is implementing administrative and procedural duties that establish objectives for the project’s deliverable. This allows for a standardized method of measurement and comparison, as well as monitoring of processes and a feedback loop to guarantee that no mistakes are made in the manufacturing process. Yet, the output of the process itself is the main focus of quality control.

Quality Assurance Process

The processes in quality assurance process might be numerous and intricate. We may connect it with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model, a popular method for managing continuous process improvement, to make it simpler. The PDCA model can be used to lay out the steps of the quality assurance process as follows:

1st stage: Plan

A quality assurance technician or manager will establish precise goals to manufacture high-quality products during this first, important stage. They will also recommend appropriate techniques to carry out those aims. The company can already anticipate any potential issues at this point.

Second Stage: Act

The processes identified in the earlier phase may now be put into practice, as the name suggests. The company executes its quality strategy, which calls for creating policies, hiring employees, and putting quality controls in place.

Third Stage: Verify

Step 3 involves checking and comparing the test findings to what was predicted. This aids in determining whether the goods adhere to the necessary requirements. If they succeed, the experts go to the last phase. If not, they return to the initial stage to make the necessary adjustments.

Last Stage: Act and Modify

Based on the outcomes of the previous stage, the business takes action in this last stage to improve the quality plan. This entails modifying the quality strategy, putting new practices into place, and continuing to keep an eye on the quality outcomes.

What Are QA Skills?

They are essential abilities for test engineers and quality assurance managers, but everybody in a company can still possess them. Below are some of the exemplary skills of QA;

  • Attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Knowledge of quality standards
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Quality Assurance Methods

A corporation can produce goods and services that satisfy consumers’ demands, expectations, and standards with the use of quality assurance. It produces high-quality product offers that encourage consumer trust and loyalty. A QA program’s rules and guidelines aid in preventing product flaws before they occur.

Generally, when it comes to quality assurance, one can utilize one of the following methods:

#1. Failure testing

This method continuously examines a product to see if it fails or breaks. It involves testing the product under extreme conditions like heat, pressure, or vibration, which may be necessary for physical products that must withstand stress. Failure testing for software products, for instance, may entail subjecting the software to heavy usage or load situations.

#2. Statistical Process Control (Spc)

a methodology created by Walter Shewhart in the 1920s and 1930s at Bell Telephone Labs and Western Electric Corporation that is based on factual information and analysis. This methodology manages and regulates product manufacturing using statistical techniques.

#3. Total Quality Management (TQM)

It uses quantitative techniques as the foundation for ongoing improvement. TQM uses data, analysis, and facts to assist product planning while also evaluating performance.

Quality Assurance Engineer

A quality assurance engineer is a professional in charge of the testing and quality control of the program prior to the release of the product or application. They plan and carry out testing at various stages of the development process to uncover and pinpoint flaws and potential issues with new software.

A quality assurance engineer ensures that every piece of software complies with company standards by testing the program and constantly searching for issues. These tests generally involve additional duties like creating and executing brand-new tests and communicating the results to stakeholders so they can work together to resolve any defects or issues with the application.

They also collaborate closely with the software development team to test the program and record its functionality before making it available to the general public. Additionally, the quality assurance engineer must guarantee that the program satisfies or exceeds corporate and legal requirements.

What Does a QA Engineer Do?

The work of a quality assurance engineer basically involves managing the software development life cycle. They create test cases based on expected user behavior and run the product to ensure it is up to par. They also act as the go-between for the software development team’s management and the application’s end users.

QA engineers perform a wide range of duties on a weekly or even daily basis. The following are some examples of the tasks a QA engineer performs:

  • Establishing company quality requirements and standard operating procedures for developers.
  • Making sure products adhere to these requirements.
  • Creating scripts for both human and automated tests.
  • Conducting research to find potential fixes for software issues
  • Follow up on problems to guarantee the software development team fixes the product before releasing it to the client
  • Do extensive security testing to ensure the safety of your software and infrastructure
  • Check that the final items adhere to all standards set by authorities and the market.
  • Oversee the launch of the program, and keep tabs on any updates or fixes that need to be made.

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control

Quality assurance vs quality control are generally two aspects of the quantity management process.  And even though there is an overlap between the two terms, they refer to distinct processes. The actions and duties of QA often encompass the vast majority of the quality system, while those of quality control (QC) are more narrowly focused.

While QA focuses on preparing to prevent risks that could affect quality during the production of services or goods, quality control (QC) focuses on checking the output’s quality after production.

Quality Assurance

It is “the branch of quality management that focuses on reassuring stakeholders that their quality needs will be met.” QA instills trust not only within management but also with external stakeholders, including customers, government agencies, regulators, and certifiers. It involves all the systematic and planned operations carried out within the quality framework that can be proven to guarantee assurance that a product or service will meet the standards of quality.

Quality Control

On the other hand, quality control is the branch of management concerned with ensuring that quality standards are met. Quality control focuses more on the inspection part of quality management, while quality assurance is more concerned with the execution of a process or the creation of a product. It also involves the operational techniques and activities necessary to comply with standards of quality.

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control

The subsequent table is a summary of the distinction between quality assurance vs quality control;

Quality AssuranceQuality Control
Takes place all through the constructionOccurs subsequent to the formation
The aim is to avoid poor-quality results.The purpose is to locate manufacturing defects.
Broad processNarrow process

Society of Quality Assurance

The Society of Quality Assurance (SQA) is a nonprofit international professional membership association in the United States with more than 2,300 members in more than 30 countries. Society of represents experts working for regulatory organizations, academic institutions, contract testing and research organizations, and the pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

SQA generally acknowledges and encourages high professional standards, knowledge, and expertise through the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) disciplines’ registration examinations.

The goal of the Society of Quality Assurance is to develop the ethics, standards, and understanding of QA that are crucial to the welfare of people, animals, and the environment.

On the other hand, the mission of SQA is to ensure that all biologics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices used on humans, animals, and the environment are safe and effective. 

Final Thought

The core concept of quality assurance generally focuses on preventing errors and flaws throughout the creation and production of both manufactured goods and provided services. Besides, products and services that stand out from the crowd do so because of their high quality. 

Quality assurance makes sure that businesses produce and deliver goods that are free of flaws and satisfy client wants and expectations. Satisfied customers are more likely to be loyal, make repeat purchases, upsell, and advocate for your products.

By reducing the likelihood of defective products, QA can also help save money. A company will have to spend money on customer support activities like receiving defect reports and figuring out how to fix them if a faulty product has already been distributed to consumers. It also takes on the expense of correcting the issue, including the price of testing the remedy and bringing the revised product to market. And since businesses aspire to provide customers with the highest quality service or goods available. QA helps businesses accomplish this goal, which in turn fosters client loyalty.


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