What is Quality Assurance(QA)? Process, Methods, Examples
What exactly is quality?
Quality is extremely difficult to define, and it can be summarised as follows: “suitable for use or purpose.” In terms of functionality, design, dependability, durability, and price, it is all about meeting the needs and expectations of customers in these areas.
What is Assurance?
It is nothing more than a positive declaration on a product or service that inspires confidence in the consumer. It is the confidence in a product or service that it will perform as expected. It ensures that the product will perform flawlessly and follow the customer’s expectations or requirements.
Quality Assurance in Software Testing
As defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), quality assurance in software testing is a procedure for ensuring the quality of software products or services provided to customers by an organization. Quality assurance is concerned with improving the software development process and making it more efficient and effective following the quality standards established for software products. Quality Assurance testing is also referred to as QA testing in some circles.
How to do Quality Assurance: Complete Process
The PDCA cycle, also known as the Deming cycle, is a well-defined cycle in the Quality Assurance methodology. The stages of this cycle are as follows:
The steps outlined above are repeated regularly to ensure that the processes followed by the organization are evaluated and improved consistently. Let’s take a closer look at each of the QA Process steps listed above –
Process-related objectives should be planned and established, as well as the processes that are required to deliver a high-Quality end product, by the organization.
Do – Process development and testing, as well as “doing” changes to the processes themselves.
Check – Process monitoring and modification, as well as determining whether or not the process achieves the predetermined objectives.
Act – A Quality Assurance tester should put in place the measures that are necessary to bring about improvements in the processes under consideration.
Quality Assurance is required by an organization to ensure that the product is designed and implemented following proper procedures. This helps to reduce the number of problems and errors that appear in the final product.
What is Quality Control?
Control of the product’s quality
Quality control is commonly referred to as QC in the industry. It is a process in Software Engineering that is used to ensure the quality of a product or service in the market. Although it does not concern itself directly with the manufacturing processes, it does examine the quality of the “end products” and their outcome.
The primary goal of quality control is to determine whether or not the products meet the specifications and requirements of the customer or not. If an issue or problem is discovered, it must be resolved before the product can be delivered to the customer.
QC also assesses people’s ability to perform at a high level of quality and provides them with training and certifications. When it comes to service-based organizations, this evaluation is mandatory, and it assists in providing customers with a “perfect” level of service.
Difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance?
Sometimes, QC is confused with QA. Quality control is to examine the product or service and check for the result. Quality Assurance in Software Engineering is to examine the processes and make changes to the processes which led to the end-product.
Examples of QC and QA activities are as follows:
|Quality Control Activities||Quality Assurance Activities|
|Inspection||Tool Identification and selection|
|Checkpoint review||Training of Quality Standards and Processes|
The above activities are concerned with Quality Assurance and Control mechanisms for any product and not essentially software. Concerning software
- QA becomes SQA ( Software Quality Assurance)
- QC becomes Software Testing.
The following table explains on differences between SQA and Software Testing:
|Software Quality Assurance is about engineering process that ensures quality||Software Testing is to test a product for problems before the product goes live|
|Involves activities related to the implementation of processes, procedures, and standards. Example – Audits Training||Involves actives concerning verification of product Example – Review Testing|
|Process focused||Product focused|
|Preventive technique||Corrective technique|
|Proactive measure||Reactive measure|
|The scope of SQA applied to all products that will be created by the organization||The scope of Software Testing applies to a particular product being tested.|
Best practices for Quality Assurance:
- Establish a Stable Testing Environment
- Carefully consider the criteria for release.
- Automated testing should be used in high-risk areas to save money. It contributes to the overall speeding up of the process.
- Assign the appropriate amount of time to each process.
- It is critical to prioritize bug fixes based on how frequently the software is used.
- Create a team of security and performance testers who will work exclusively on security and performance testing.
- Customer accounts should be simulated like that of a production environment.
Quality Assurance Functions:
Generally speaking, there are five primary Quality Assurance functions:
- Technology transfer is the process of obtaining a product design document, as well as trial and error data, and evaluating the data. The documents have been distributed, checked, and approved by the appropriate parties.
- Validation: A master plan for the validation of the entire system is created in this section. The test criteria for validating the product and the process have been approved. It is necessary to plan for the execution of a validation plan in terms of resources.
- Documentation: This function is in charge of ensuring that documents are distributed and archived properly. Any modification to a document is accomplished through the use of an appropriate change control procedure. All types of documents are subject to approval.
- Assuring the high quality of the products
- Plans for quality improvement
Quality Assurance Certifications:
There are a variety of certifications available in the industry to ensure that organizations adhere to quality processes and follow standards. Customer qualifying criteria for selecting a software vendor include factors such as this.
ISO 9000 is an international standard for quality management systems.
This standard, which was first introduced in 1987 and is related to Quality Management Systems, was first introduced in 1987. This assists the organization in ensuring the quality of its products and services to its customers and other stakeholders. To obtain ISO 9000 certification, an organization must submit to an audit that examines its functions, products, and services as well as its internal business processes. The primary goal is to review and verify that the organization is following the process as expected, as well as to determine whether any existing processes need to be improved or modified.
This certification is beneficial –
Increase the amount of money that the organization makes.
increases both domestic and international trade opportunities
Efforts to reduce waste and increase employee productivity are successful.
Ensure that customers are completely satisfied.
CMMI certification level
This approach to process improvement was developed specifically for software process improvement, and it is known as the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI). It is based on the process maturity framework and is used as a general aid in business processes in the software industry, where it is particularly useful. This model is highly regarded and widely used in Software Development Organizations due to its simplicity and effectiveness.
CMMI is divided into five levels. The maturity of an organization’s Quality Assurance Mechanisms determines its CMMI certification level, which ranges from 1 to 5.
Initially, the quality environment is in a state of instability (Level 1 – Initial). Simply put, no processes have been followed or documentation has been created.
Level 2 – Repeatable: A set of procedures is followed that can be repeated. This level is responsible for ensuring that project processes are followed.
Processes that have been defined and documented at the organizational level are classified as Level 3 (defined). Those processes that have been defined are subject to some degree of improvement.
Level 4 – Managed: This level makes use of process metrics and maintains effective control over the processes that are implemented.
Aiming for continuous improvement of processes through learning and innovation, Level 5 – Optimizing is the highest level of achievement.
Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and its Levels in Software Engineering are also worth mentioning.
Test Maturity Model (TMM):
When used in a Testing Environment, this model is used to determine the maturity of processes. Even this model has five levels, which are described below:
Testing processes are carried out at Level 1 according to no quality standards, and only ad-hoc methods are employed at this level.
Level 2 – Definition: A process that has been defined. Preparation of the test strategy, plans, and test cases has been accomplished.
Integrating testing throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) – which is nothing more than integration with the development activities, for example, using the V-Model – is the third level of testing integration.
Management and measurement at the fourth level: This level of testing involves the review of requirements and designs, and criteria have been established for each level of testing.
In the fifth level, optimization, a variety of preventive techniques are employed in testing processes, and tool support (automation) is employed to improve testing standards and procedures.
Also see: What is the Test Maturity Model (TMM) in the context of Software Testing.
The purpose of Quality Assurance is to determine whether the product being developed is suitable for use. To accomplish this, the organization should have processes and standards that must be followed and that must be improved regularly. It is primarily concerned with the quality of the product or service that we are providing to our customers during or after the implementation of the software system.