Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control — Ultimate Guide

QC and QA are often confused as being interchangeable because they are linked components of quality management. Both work together to ensure the end products meet the customers' expectations. However, this article will attempt to explain a distinct difference between the two.

Before examining the differences between quality assurance and quality control, let us accurately clarify the two terms according to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9000)

What are Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Quality ensures that the customer's needs, expectations, and requirements are fulfilled to the highest degree, free from errors or inconsistencies. There are specific standards that must be abided by to meet customer demands.

Assurance guarantees that the item meets the required standards and will function as anticipated or requested, with no issues.



Client Manager

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is an element of management to ensure that a developer upholds quality standards. This assurance is provided both inwardly to top management and outwardly to clients, state agencies, controllers, verifiers, and external entities.

Another definition of quality assurance is "all structured and organized processes executed within the quality system that can show that a product or service is up to the required quality standards."

Quality Assurance is responsible for creating and maintaining regulations and protocols that are applicable organization-wide. These should reflect business-related principles, technical limitations (like ISO 25010), or sector-specific demands (such as HIPAA for healthcare businesses). To ensure that products released meet all relevant standards, an organization must build up QA policies.

These are some of the tasks that QA covers:

  • establishing requirements;
  • design and prototyping;
  • programming and code control;
  • version monitoring;
  • keeping up with constant integration/continuous circulation (CI/CD);
  • taking care of configurations;
  • tests executing;
  • managing releases;
  • software deployment and its integration; analyzing customer feedback.

A successful Quality Assurance system relies on many separate components. It must be able to constantly adapt to meet the requirements of any item at any given moment. What used to be successful may not be effective now — that is why Quality Assurance must grow and change as product offerings develop.

Quality Assurance Tools

A Cause-and-effect diagram, also called an Ishikawa diagram or fishbone diagram, helps to pinpoint potential causes of an effect or issue and organizes ideas into functional groups.

A check sheet is a well-planned form used to gather and review information; it is a universal apparatus you can alter for numerous needs.

Control chart: A graph helps to track how a process changes over time. Determining if the process variation is controlled or unpredictable requires comparing the most recent data to historical control limits.

Histogram is the most popular graph for displaying frequency distributions — or how frequently each different value in a data set occurs.

Pareto chart. This is a bar graph that shows which variables are more important.

A scatter diagram displays pairs of numeric data, one variable per axis, to establish relationships.

Stratification: A technique that structures data collected from various sources so that you can identify patterns. Some lists replace stratification with flowcharts or run charts.

What Are the Benefits of Quality Assurance?

It is equally important to understand the advantages of carrying out the QA process as it should be since you are now aware of the risks of neglecting it.

Higher Security

A product that does not operate correctly is considerably more likely to be breached than one that functions properly. The safety of your clients' information depends on this fact.

Save time and money

You can save time and money by implementing an effective QA process. It is easier to identify and fix any problems when they are noticed early on rather than trying to correct them after they have already arisen.

High-quality product

A product that does not operate correctly is considerably more likely to be breached than one that functions properly. The safety of your clients' information depends on this fact.

Brand Reputation

Having a first-rate product is one of the aspects that can enhance your business's popular opinion. People typically regard a product free from mistakes as superior and a reflection of your attitude toward clientele.

What is Quality Control?

Quality control is a product testing process to ensure it meets quality requirements. Quality control ensures that the developed product satisfies the quality standards. Software product flaws like user interface errors, poor design, accessibility problems, or security holes can permanently harm a company's reputation. The company can correct products using a methodical QC process to ensure they adhere to customer expectations and business requirements. Tasks involved in digital quality control include:

  • spotting flaws or errors in the product;
  • QC testing. Testing following the standards for Quality established during planning;
  • ensuring compliance with laws or industry norms;
  • producing and keeping track of test reports;
  • recording the bugs that either need to be fixed right away or can wait until the following iteration;
  • identifying potential areas for improvement in Quality or user experience.

Types of Quality Control

Quality control fundamentally demands methodical research and close attention to detail. There are many different types of quality control techniques, such as:

Process Control. Processes are evaluated and modified as needed to maintain and enhance performance.

Control Graphs. A graph or chart helps to examine how processes change over time. The business and manufacturing processes are studied using statistics to determine whether they are "in control."

Acceptance Sampling Procedures: A statistical test determines whether a batch or sample of products adheres to the general manufacturing standard.

Processing protocol is a benchmarking technique that improves the design and implementation processes by developing performance indicators for each stage.

Why is Quality Control Important?

So, what does QA mean in business? Long-term investments in quality control measures can safeguard a business's reputation, avoid producing unreliable goods, and boost consumer confidence.

Furthermore, quality control is important because it guarantees that a business will examine factual data and research rather than relying solely on anecdotal observations to determine whether products meet expectations.

One crucial component of quality control is the routine evaluation of the product to ensure it continues to satisfy both consumer demand and manufacturing standards. The testing of a product can also affect marketing and sales because consumers may be more inclined to trust it.

How Similar Are Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

It would be wrong to consider these two strategies as rivals, as "quality assurance vs. quality control" or incompatible concepts. Many of the goals and objectives of QC and QA are similar.

QC and QA Common Features

Ensure highly competitive products. You can't just launch a product and hope for the best, says a business. QA aids the company in developing a strategy for its digital quality approach. QC makes sure the final product meets expectations. QC and QA are crucial to delivering a high-quality product to customers and ensuring financial success for the company.

Use policies and procedures. Both strategies adhere to the standards established by the organization to ensure high Quality, though QA is more process-oriented than QC. Although QC may involve some exploratory, unconventional, or user experience (UX) testing techniques that call for creativity on the tester's part, defect detection, and its fixing must be documented and performed systematically.

Soften problems and reduce costs. Defects can cause minor annoyances or significant, seriously disruptive business operations. It is also less expensive and simpler to fix a flaw the earlier you can identify it. The risk multiplies exponentially as the defect gets closer to the customer. Both quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) aim to cut costs; QA seeks to establish early detection policies, whereas QC seeks to find and fix as many bugs as possible in a developed product.

Both demand time & financial expenditure. Skimping on digital Quality could cost your company more in the long run, whether you invest internally in QC and QA teams or ask a testing partner for assistance. Invest in the people and equipment you need to maintain Quality throughout the organization. Although there are limited release windows, achieving a high test coverage is crucial. Take your time with quality assurance and quality control.

Streamline the manufacturing process. Developers are accustomed to the concept of feedback loops. Attempting continuous learning will help organizations improve their effectiveness and efficiency. The company can find out where it needs to improve by using QC and QA in areas like bug detection, test automation, requirements gathering, and user experience.

Differences Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control

There needs to be more clarification between the two terms, and there is even disagreement regarding which tasks belong in which category. Keep in mind that quality control is a component of quality assurance, which explains why there is some overlap when discussing the two concepts' differences. However, some broad conclusions set QA apart from QC.

Proactive vs. reactive. QA begins at the beginning of a project, adding some necessary guardrails that keep products within the scope and make them testable. QA aims to create a framework to reduce bugs from the start, and it even affects how programmers carry out their duties. QC responds to the developed product by identifying and either fixing or prioritizing remaining defects, while QA influences how a company will ensure Quality in a product.

The most important things that QA and QC specialists use

Test design is the process of creating test cases and test suites to validate the functionality of software systems. It involves identifying test conditions, selecting test data, and determining the expected results.

  • Equivalence Partitioning: Dividing input values into groups and selecting representative values from each group for testing.
  • Boundary Value Analysis: Testing the boundaries between equivalence partitions, including minimum and maximum values, to detect issues that may arise at these boundaries.
  • Decision Table Testing: Defining the actions to be taken in different scenarios, to test all possible combinations of input conditions.
  • State Transition Testing: Testing a system's response to transitions between different states or conditions, such as an application transitioning from an "idle" state to a "processing" state.
  • Use Case Testing: Testing the system using realistic scenarios or use cases that are likely to be encountered in real-world situations.
  • Pairwise Testing: Testing all possible combinations of two parameters or input values to minimize the number of tests required while still providing adequate coverage.
  • Exploratory Testing: A type of testing that involves exploring a system or application to find defects and gain an understanding of how the system works.
  • Error Guessing: Based on a tester's experience and intuition, this technique involves guessing where defects are likely to be found and testing those areas thoroughly.
  • Ad Hoc Testing: Testing the system in an informal, unstructured manner without a predefined test plan or test cases, allowing the tester to focus on areas that are likely to contain defects.
  • Regression Testing: Testing the system after making changes to ensure that existing functionality has not been negatively affected by those changes.

When it takes place. As mentioned above, QA happens at every stage of the software development life cycle. QA is an ongoing process that aims to implement and guarantee digital Quality

Process (QA) vs. Product (QC). One of the critical distinctions between QA and other types of testing is that the main emphasis is on quality control. Monitoring and audits, training, and documentation are some of the practices that are primarily the focus of quality assurance (QA). To find flaws that persist after development, QC concentrates on the finished product.

Defect detection and prevention. Strong development practices, including quality-oriented ones like test-driven development, can reduce the number of defects that make it to the QC stage and even fewer that reach customers. Through team alignment techniques, such as code reviews, QA hopes to avoid some defects altogether. Testers can determine and rank the remaining flaws through QC.

Who performs the work? QA is a company-wide endeavor. Through a framework like Scrum, if the business, development, and testing sides can't agree on standards for software quality, there will be too many defects getting past QC. QA aids in directing product development so that when a minor QC team receives it, those people can carry out their tests with the resources and time allotted.

Critical Attributes of Software Quality

Software Testing experts can more easily measure a software product's performance thanks to features called software quality attributes. Thanks to high scores in the software quality attributes, software architects can ensure that a software application will function to the client's specifications. Let's examine the primary quality attributes.

Security. This characteristic evaluates a system's capacity to deter and stop nefarious or unauthorized actions that might otherwise render the system useless. Techniques for authorization and authentication, defense against network intrusions, data encryption, and similar risks are all included in security.

Availability. This characteristic gives an application the ability to carry out the assigned tasks. Some ideas are related to software security, integrity, performance, reliability, and confidentiality.

Performance. This characteristic concerns how well a software-driven system can adhere to timing specifications. These occurrences can be clock events, messages, process interruptions, user requests, and others.

Interoperability. Software-driven systems need to collaborate and communicate with one another to complete tasks. Interoperability refers to a system's capacity to communicate with another system via a specific interface. It implies that software testing specialists must check to see if the system reacts to different events within predetermined time frames.

Testability. Software testability measures how well a system driven by software makes it possible for testers to run tests according to predetermined standards. Engineers can evaluate a system's testability using various techniques, including interfaces, encapsulation, patterns, low coupling, etc.

Usability. Usability measures how easily users carry out tasks on a system and what kind of user support the system provides. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the most well-known tenet for this characteristic. Its usability significantly and historically influences a software application or package's commercial success.

Functionality. This characteristic determines how closely a software-driven system adheres to the requirements and specifications. Most software testing professionals would advise performing tests that evaluate the desired functionality of a system in the early stages of software testing initiatives because they see this Quality as being crucial and a top requirement of a modern application.

How Stfalcon Can Help You to Maintain Quality

With effective quality assurance, QC could handle flaws, many of which would make their way into customers' hands. The company cannot confirm that the most recent version of a product functions as intended and is well-liked by customers without efficient quality control.

Businesses can achieve various objectives with the aid of QA and QC, which ultimately helps the bottom line:

  • Develop top-quality products;
  • Optimize workflow;
  • Improve customer loyalty and experiences;
  • Reduce wasteful expenditures and effort;

As a market leader in software testing services and products, Stfalcon supports its clients at every stage. We can assist you in creating a digital quality strategy suited to your particular regional and market requirements

Wrapping Up

Quality control ensures that the developer delivers a quality product by identifying and correcting any shortcomings in the process of its creation. In contrast, quality assurance guarantees that the results are as anticipated as it seeks to improve processes to prevent things from going wrong in the future. Since they both form the basis of quality management, they are distinct from one another but equally important in ensuring Quality.

If you would like to create a top-notch product, then contact us, a free consultation is available.