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Software Testing

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: QA and QC Explained


by Anurag

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: QA and QC Explained

People often get confused about the difference between quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). While some use the terms interchangeably, they are both quite different.

Both quality control and quality assurance in software testing are involved in creating a high quality digital product. They have similar goals but take different approaches to achieve them.

This article will help you understand the similarities and difference between quality assurance and quality control in software testing. Let’s start by defining both the processes.

What Is Quality Assurance (QA)?

Quality assurance (QA) is a collection of procedures and activities that take place while a product is being developed to help guarantee a high quality release.

QA consists of all the processes and activities that are used to make sure your software is ready to go into development. Essentially, it is used to verify that the expected quality requirements will be fulfilled as development takes place.

Teams from across the software development organization participate in QA, where they discuss, plan, and execute tests to verify the quality of the final result.

Quality assurance processes help define:

  • requirements
  • design and prototyping
  • programming and code reviews
  • version control
  • continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD)
  • configuration management
  • test planning
  • Test execution
  • release management
  • deployment and integration
  • customer feedback

What Is Quality Control (QC)?

Quality control (QC) is a subset of quality assurance. During quality control, the concerned team evaluates if the developed product is functioning correctly and meets the company’s quality guidelines.

Bugs or glitches in the software, including UI flaws, accessibility issues, security gaps, and poor design, can harm a brand’s reputation and lead to customer and revenue loss. An organization can improve or update products through comprehensive quality control processes to meet the customer’s expectations.

Quality control involves a series of tasks including:

  • Finding flaws and glitches in the digital product
  • Testing as per quality conditions determined during the planning phase
  • guaranteeing compliance with laws or standards set by the industry
  • developing and keeping test reports
  • keeping track of any bugs that either need to be corrected right now or may wait until the following iteration
  • identifying areas where the user experience or quality could be improved

What Are The Similarities Between Quality Assurance And Quality Control In Software Testing?

No organization wants to launch a poor product, and quality control and quality assurance work together to prevent this. The two processes have common goals and objectives. Here are some similarities between QA and QC:

They Aim To Deliver A High-quality Product

Launching a best-selling application isn’t based on luck; it is the result of rigorous QA and QC processes. QA helps organizations determine how they will approach quality. QC involves activities to make sure that the final product meets customer and company expectations. The end goal is the same; to deliver an excellent product to customers and generate revenue for the organization.

They Utilize Policies And Procedures

Even though quality assurance is more process-oriented than quality control, both follow organizational standards of high quality.

Quality control may involve more creativity and experimental testing techniques, but bugs and their remediation still need to be recorded in an organized manner.

They Help Mitigate Significant Issues And Costs 

Not all bugs are created equal; some can cause small inconveniences while others can prevent the software from functioning correctly. The earlier a defect in the program is located, the easier it is to rectify it.

Both QA and QC aim to reduce the time and cost associated with the mitigation of such flows. QA focuses on creating policies for early identification, while QC aims to detect and fix as many defects as possible.

They improve the development process

Organizations are constantly learning how to better their products and make development more efficient and effective through software quality testing. QA and QC contribute to the feedback and loop and identify areas where the organization can improve, e.g., user experience, bug detection etc.

What Are The Difference Between Quality Assurance And Quality Control In Software Testing?

While many people confuse these two terms, it’s important to remember that there are some integral differences between them. Here are some key factors that can help you distinguish QA from QC:

Proactive vs. Reactive

QA is a proactive process. It comes into play at the beginning of a project and provides guidelines for the quality and testing conditions. The goal of QA is to create a strategy by which bugs can be minimized during the developmental process.

On the other hand, QC is a reactive process. It aims to identify and fix bugs in an already developed product.

They Occur At Different Stages

QA takes place throughout the development process; it isn’t one stage but a continuous effort to ensure quality.

However, QC takes place once the product has already been developed.

Process vs. Product

QA is concerned with the processes and tasks that improve the quality of the product, e.g., training, monitoring and audits.

In contrast, QC focuses on the product itself and locates bugs through ways like software or beta testing,

Ensure Quality At All Stages With Oprimes

Despite the technical differences between QA and QC, their ultimate goal is to deliver a product that the organization can be proud of. As the importance of software in our lives increases, so does the need to increase the emphasis on robust software testing and quality assurance.

Oprimes is a crowdtesting SaaS platform that combines the power of people and technology to test your digital products thoroughly. Our community of over 4000 testers worldwide has access to thousands of devices to ensure that your product’s functionality and usability are tested with different perspectives and conditions.

Contact us to begin your journey toward unmatched digital quality.