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Quality Assurance & Quality Control (QAQC): Why Does It Matter in 2022?

16 mins

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Software QAQC (Quality Assurance & Quality Control) is essential to agile software development projects. Through every stage of the software development life cycle, quality assurance, quality control, and software testing combine to deliver a holistic framework for quality management—minimizing risk, upholding standards, improving transparency, and saving money.

But what is software QAQC and why is it so important to successful project delivery? The continued growth of agile in 2022 has made these terms even more important. Faster development life cycles pressure developers to mitigate risk and avoid costly disruptions. According to Zippia Research, in fact, more than seven in ten US development companies now use agile, and agile projects boast a 64% success rate—15% higher than the success rate for waterfall projects. 

Quality assurance and quality control, together with software testing, combine to make such rapid-fire success possible. Learn more about software QAQC below and discover how it can benefit your next development project.

What Is Quality Assurance?

quality assurance

Quality assurance refers to the methodology used to assess software development processes to ensure they meet their defined standards. It is the process-oriented component of the broader quality management infrastructure for the project.

Quality assurance is applied throughout the software development life cycle, from defining requirements, coding, and testing to the project’s release and beyond. The process works alongside development to maintain high process standards that minimize the risk of bugs and other issues becoming significant setbacks down the road. Quality assurance encompasses a range of activities throughout the process and typically includes:

  • A heavy emphasis on quality management
  • A sophisticated, multi-phase testing strategy (although testing will fall primarily beneath the umbrella of quality control)
  • Detailed reporting and measurement mechanisms for clearly defined standards
  • Comprehensive reviews of technical elements
  • Modern software engineering solutions, methodologies, and technologies
  • Quality assurance plan

Quality assurance also includes quality control, which we’ll explore in more detail later in this article.

Benefits of Software Quality Assurance for Businesses

Quality assurance is important since it provides a wealth of measurable benefits to developers and customers alike, including:

  • Saves Money – Errors and breakdowns can be expensive, requiring further investment in resources, labor, and time. Quality assurance works as an insurance policy for the development process; investing meaningfully upfront in oversight and prevention is cheaper than the cost of breakdowns.
  • Prevents Breakdowns & Catastrophic Failure – Catastrophic breakdowns are damaging in numerous ways, from additional costs and lost time to reputational damage.
  • Boosts Customer Confidence – The trust of your customers is hard to earn and easy to lose. Quality assurance helps you preserve the goodwill you’ve built for your organization.
  • Increases Product Safety – Software bugs can be significant cyber security risks. Software QAQC helps to ensure you’ve taken the safety of your clients’ data seriously.
  • Enhances User Experience – Beyond the risk of catastrophic breakdowns, software quality assurance helps to ensure the project delivers a seamless UX.
  • Saves Time – Errors take far less time to correct in the design stage than after the product has gone to market. Quality assurance implements and oversees process metrics from the outset that minimize the risk of time-consuming repairs and revisions.
  • Reduces Maintenance Costs & Increases Profit – All of the above benefits combine to deliver higher profits for the project and safeguard those profits with reduced maintenance costs, as fewer issues will arise later that had eluded developers in the design stage
  • Promotes Organizational Efficiency & Productivity – Quality assurance helps to build a culture in software development organizations of efficiency, productivity, and accountability. This can have a ripple effect that improves the company’s overall performance and the standard of its work.
product planning

What Is Software Quality Control?

When we talk about quality control, we’re talking about the methodology by which a project’s testing team assesses the software product to ensure it meets clearly defined performance standards. It is the element of the broader quality management infrastructure, including most testing, focused on the product itself.

Software QAQC professionals begin the project’s quality control stage only after the development team has completed the product. They implement testing and review measures to identify any code issues that may have emerged from development, even if stringent quality safeguards were in place. Quality control involves the review of:

  • Coding
  • Deployment
  • Design
  • Requirements
  • Test cases
  • Test plans

Ultimately, you can think of quality control as a subsidiary component of quality assurance. Software quality control, however, also encompasses the software testing program.

How Quality Control Benefits Businesses

Quality control delivers many benefits to the project, developers, and customers that quality assurance also delivers. Some of the largest benefits provided by software QC include:

  • Increased productivity for developers – Developers spend, cumulatively, less time on repairs and revisions when they detect bugs earlier.
  • Higher Quality Products – The central benefit and ambition of QC for software projects. 
  • Decreased revision costs – Quality control minimizes compound defects and the risk of catastrophic failure by detecting defects earlier across the full project.
  • Increased developer confidence – Developers will have a more holistic perspective on the software’s capabilities and will have safeguarded against common defects.
  • Increased developer credibility – Developers enjoy greater credibility when software projects exhibit fewer defects after going to market.

Relationship Between QA, QC, and Testing

discussion

As we mentioned above, you can effectively visualize software QAQC and testing as a nesting doll. QA centers primarily on the work of the developers and defect prevention, but also encompasses QC. Quality control homes in on the product and defect detection but also encompasses testing. Testing refers to the series of test methodologies that the broader Software QAQC efforts apply, with an emphasis on the source code and design of the product.

When we factor software QAQC into the broader software development life cycle, we ensure both that high product standards will be achieved and that systems will be in place to make this possible. Together, they involve the full development team, from developers to testers.

This hierarchy is not linear, however. Quality assurance does not stop once quality control begins. In fact, the processes outlined by quality assurance will govern the quality control and testing processes, just as they have with planning and development. QA specialists will continue to oversee preventative processes throughout the quality control and testing, which can be quite involved depending on the number of tests deployed and the number of defects detected.

An Example of Software QAQC in Action

A software development company is working with an eCommerce application that will help clients track the pricing and inventory of their biggest competitors. The software faces numerous challenges; it must continuously crawl competitor websites for relevant data while maintaining up-to-date information across an accessible interface.

As an agile development company, the quality assurance team collaborates with the development team from the outset, establishing and overseeing both a carefully defined set of measurable quality metrics and the processes by which those standards will be achieved. These metrics will be clearly defined even as planning gets underway, so all work enjoys transparent benchmarks.

The development team works within these metrics until an early but complete version of the software exists. From here, quality control teams will begin assessing the software to identify potential defects, rigorously testing the software using a variety of methodologies in both functional and non-functional testing.

As bugs are located, the testing team sends them back to the development team for corrections. The development team, still working within metrics developed and overseen by the quality assurance team, will have clear visibility into what must be done to correct these issues.

Upon addressing and fixing these defects, the development team then sends the product back to the testing team to validate the work with another round of software testing. They find no further defects and approve an error-free product for release to the market.

How Does Quality Assurance Compare to Quality Control?

QA vs QC: The Basics

Aspects Quality Assurance Quality Control

Approach

Approaches quality standards proactively.

Approaches quality standards reactively.

Function

Verifies the quality of the software.

Validates the quality of the software.

Focal Point

The developers’ processes are the focal point.

The product itself is the focal point.

Personnel

The entire team is QA personnel

The testing team is QC personnel.

Stages Involved

QA oversees everything, from the planning stages to product control.

QC applies to testing, mostly during the control stages.

Goal

Enacts and oversees a high standard of operations to ensure a high standard for the final product.

Fulfills the testing necessary to ensure the requested quality for the product.

Below, we’ve expanded this breakdown to take a more comprehensive view of the role software QAQC plays in the successful delivery of software products.

Detailed Comparison

If you want a more comprehensive look at software QAQC, check out our detailed breakdown below as we draw important distinctions between the two.

Quality Assurance Quality Control

Processes are planned, realized, and overseen to prevent defects before the finished product reaches the market.

Processes are planned and implemented to diagnose bugs after they’ve occurred, allowing the development team an opportunity to correct them.

Defines and establishes quality metrics that developers must adhere to throughout the software development life cycle.

Uses a testing regiment to ensure developers met the defined quality metrics.

Focuses on what developers have delivered, as well as how they delivered it.

Assesses developers’ output to determine whether they have met the project’s success metrics.

In an agile development environment, QA begins in preliminary production and is in place in time to apply to the full process.

Quality control cannot occur until after the primary development phases are complete, as QC applies to the product rather than the process.

The QA process includes:

  • Audits
  • Change control
  • Documentation
  • Investigative procedures
  • Training and development for developers and testers

The QC process includes:

  • Batch inspection
  • Functional & non-functional testing
  • Lab testing
  • Program execution
  • Quality validation

Quality assurance involves everyone participating in the project, as everyone operates within the metrics and procedures defined by QA across the full project.

The testing team bears sole responsibility for quality control, which only involves developers again after diagnosing any concerns.

Depends on QC to ensure that the success metrics established by QA at the outset have been followed.

Depends on QA to produce sound benchmarks against which they may measure test cases.

Applies SQC (Statistical Quality Control), considered a component of QA methodologies.

Applies SPC (Statistical Process Control), considered a component of QC methodologies.

What Do QA & QC Have in Common?

Software quality control resembles quality assurance in many ways, namely that both are dedicated to successful project outcomes.

While we’ve explored the key distinctions between the two in great detail, the truth is that QA and QC also share a wealth of meaningful similarities, including:

  • Both are considered parts of the larger quality management apparatus and overseen by the same quality management apparatus.
  • Project stakeholders hold both in high regard because they signify value and efficiency across the entire software development life cycle.
  • They’re both the results of deliberate and successful planning, as well as a commitment to streamlined, data-driven workflow.
  • Both rely on standards that organize the project’s policies and procedures. Neither leans heavily on improvisation or creativity, opting instead for strict adherence to clearly defined benchmarks for both the process and the product.
  • Both save time and money across the delivery of the project. However,
  • …both also require an investment of time and money upfront. Software QAQC is the unofficial insurance policy protecting the project. It represents the deliberation and accountability that will be crucial to the project’s success.

Software Quality Assurance and Quality Control Is Better with Experts from SumatoSoft

Ensure your app or software is developed to high standards and clear requirements with help from SumatoSoft! Our software QAQC specialists have experience with all our leading QA and testing services, which include:

We understand the crucial impact that quality assurance and testing can have in custom software development, which is why our team has delivered over 100 successful projects. Our Software QAQC specialists work with developers to define executable requirements to guide coding, conducting incremental and iterative testing to reinforce each feature until the product is sound enough for release to production.

We apply only the best available testing practices and a user-oriented approach to analyze development processes and provide the best possible services. We’ll work with you to develop a helpful Quality Assurance Plan that accounts for the unique requirements and objectives of your project. Your business will enjoy unparalleled cooperation, transparency, and predictability when you choose to work with the Software QAQC specialists at SumatoSoft.

Talk to us today and let us know about your project.

Key Points

qa team

Software QAQC, or Quality Assurance and Quality Control, is an essential component of agile software development projects.

  • The continued growth of agile development in 2022 has made software QAQC as important today as it has ever been.
  • Quality assurance implements and oversees the processes that will empower developers to deliver projects to their requested quality.
  • Quality control appraises the product to ensure it meets or exceeds the requested quality.
  • Software testing is considered part of quality control, which is considered part of quality assurance, which is considered part of the wide-ranging quality management strategy for the project.
  • Quality assurance takes a proactive approach, while quality control takes a reactive approach.
  • All facets of software QAQC are similar in that their central purpose is to ensure the successful delivery of the project to the quality standards requested.
  • SumatoSoft’s experienced software QAQC specialists have knowledge and experience with agile software development, ensuring full cooperation, transparency, and predictability.

Conclusion

As you can see, quality assurance and quality control are distinct yet equally important components in the successful delivery of today’s agile software development projects. By minimizing risk and improving the overall quality of the work, you can position your business for success with the delivery of more effective software solutions.

Let us know if you’re keen to learn more about the role software QAQC can play in the delivery of your next project. We’ll be happy to relate the potential benefits of our services to your unique requirements.