In Project Management, the terms Quality Assurance and Quality Control are often used as synonyms. However, there are still quite a few differences between both. 

In an overview, quality assurance (QA) is a set of activities ensuring the high functionality, productivity, and quality of products by removing any defects that may occur during the development of any custom software application or product. In comparison, quality control (QC) refers to the actions where the final product or software is inspected to ensure the highest quality. And both of these steps are crucially important for the success of any product or software. You can’t launch a faulty product in the market because your brand’s reputation and reliability are always at stake. 

Let’s understand QA and QC roles under the umbrella of project quality management in detail. 

Project Quality Management

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are both significant components of Project Quality Management and are used in different industries, including software development. 

For example, in software development, the main goal of Quality Assurance is to track the performed process and prevent any defects during primary development. On the other hand, Quality Control is there to detect several possible risks associated with the final product.  Both aspects bind together and will improve and ensure the development of successful software.

Differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control 

In the software developer environment, quality assurance and quality control play the most crucial role. The purpose for both is the same, however, with different approaches. Let’s understand the role of each in detail and how these both processes work hand in hand in quality management.

Duration

Duration is the first and yet the most critical difference between QA and QC. Quality Assurance is a process that’s implemented throughout the designing and development stage. In contrast, Quality Control is initiated at the completion or final stages when the product or software is ready and fully developed. So, consider QA to be a prerequisite of QC that needs to be completed before reaching quality control.

Focus

Quality Assurance focuses on process-oriented practices, such as how the software is being made, what tools and steps are being taken, how it will be delivered, etc. The QA process is bound to follow specific standards and methods based on software and customer requirements. On the other hand, Quality Control is a product-oriented practice that solely focuses on the final product/software. While testing the product, it also ensures that all the required standards were followed correctly.

Goal

In software app development, the ultimate goal of quality assurance is to avoid and prevent any defects (bugs, etc.), while quality control is accountable for identifying bugs at the final validation of the software. In short, verification should be considered as QA’s goal and validation as QC’s goal.  

Responsibility 

In a quality assurance process, apart from a QA engineer or analyst, multiple team members are involved in identifying and preventing defects during the software development process. Thus, the quality assurance team is responsible for the full software development life cycle. On the flip side, the testing team would be responsible for the software testing life cycle in the quality control process.

Final Thoughts 

A clear understanding of the aspects of quality assurance and quality control for everyone involved in the project, let it be designers, developers, or stakeholders, can help minimize the defects. It also helps create a useful project and quality management plan, ensure the development of high-quality products and/or software, and ultimately preserve the clients’ trust.

At Odyssey Computing, we take the development of software very seriously, and our quality management team ensures that every standard and requirement is being met during the quality assurance and quality control process to provide defect-free software to our clients.

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It is a well-known fact that clients are undoubtedly one of the vital pertinent influences, for initiating and retaining a prosperous company, in today’s competitive market. Hence, it is very valuable to have a good, constructive, and positive relationship with current clients because it will result in their trust in you and would increase the chances of repurchase intentions.

Another solid foundation you can create for a long-term client relationship is by asking yourself a few questions; How do you handle your existing or potential clients? Why is having good connections with clients so significant?

If you are catering to them correctly, it will enable your company to be more appealing and trustworthy to potential and existing clients. Additionally, even if your clients do not come back, they can always refer your company to their coworkers or friends.

Let’s dive into these five guidelines to create an everlasting relationship with your clients.

Bracing Your Clients

From a marketing perspective, it is a wise decision to maintain and outgrow your connections with the clients. It will allow you to predict the client needs and the constant changes they may demand, even after the project completion. For instance, sometimes clients are experiencing a technical issue that they cannot resolve.

At this point, you need to be present for them and make them feel listened to. Having solved your client’s problems on time would put you in a more robust state to achieve client loyalty with your services. In such scenarios, most clients take it positively, and acknowledge the fact that you genuinely helped them out, and this can optimistically help you sustain your client-relationships for future projects.

Become an Outstanding Communicator

This is considered the most critical step in maintaining a positive client relationship. Almost every organization, as well as management studies, focuses on this aspect more than anything else. Discussing relationships, you must strengthen the practice of effective communication by responding to client’s emails, calls and queries daily.

For instance, you can maintain daily check-ins, connect through social media, and share product and project planning updates directly with the client. Resultantly, this would make them feel valuable and being listened to. Every customer wants to engage differently. Developing the desired networking channels for them will be a big plus. Some of them will appreciate emails, while others may expect a phone call, or an in-person meeting and so on.

Regularly Exceeding Client Needs

Sometimes you will hear, “This is what I expected from the product,” and these types of comments will give you a feeling that you are going in the right direction. Surpassing client’s expectations is a great way to develop and maintain long-term positive and healthy relationships.

On the other hand, when you get a remark like, “I did not expect this from the product or I had something else in mind”, at this point you need to take immediate action right away. Do not let the dissatisfied clients turn away because this may affect your reputation and would damage future work potentials as well. Hear out their concerns, perform a detailed survey, pinpoint the underlying issues and solve their problems, and retain them for as long as you can.

positive client relationships

Positive Attitude

Another way to establish a strong relationship with the customer is to maintain the right attitude. It is the hardest part of the job, but you have to be an encouraging person/company to ease the customer. If you give importance to what the client wants and their perspective about their brand and products, they would not doubt the results produced by you.

Furthermore, usage of comforting words, such as expressing concern for a client’s condition, apologizing for any discomfort, and offering help in stressful circumstances, will adequately motivate the client.

Define and Fulfill Expectations

Lastly, from the beginning, you should proceed by maintaining achievable goals for your client’s work. It gives you a fair idea about your available resources, time for all the upcoming deadlines to meet. Being transparent about what the client should expect, from the beginning till the end. Talk about post project services to maintain a meaningful conversation with the client. You have the authority over your organization, its resources and services. Provide the customer with positive, transparent, and reliable information concerning the procedures and technologies associated with it.

Also, ensure to put trust in your client with a relaxed, composed, and a cheerful attitude. However, if you face any shortcomings, remain truthful with what you promised and cater to the client’s needs beyond expectations.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that you must invest into building positive relationships with your clients just as you would want to build positive relationships with other people in your life. Clients are humans, and they prefer to be treated like one before anything else. Focus on building a strong foundation of trust. And the key to building trust is with honest communication, being approachable and reliable, and constantly delivering on your promises.

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The pandemic (coronavirus) has changed the world we used to know. Apart from damaging human lives, it has impacted every industry, forcing millions of businesses worldwide to revisit their approach towards handling projects and overall work. Such impacts have tested the capabilities of businesses to run their projects effectively. While many businesses and project managers and their sponsors adapted to the new work home environment effectively and efficiently, many businesses faced substantial delays or even cancellations.

This dynamic shift forced businesses to create new, adaptable, and creative ways to work around. Whether it be employing technological developments, elevating systems, or reconsidering their business’s infrastructure, the project management future – albeit drab and indefinite at times – still looks promising; the new age will likely redefine the industry and project management processes as we know it.

Many enterprises have moved to remote work permanently or for an extended period of time, including Careem, Infosys, Salesforce, Google, and Facebook. With the COVID-19 being still here, a U.S. technology research firm’s recent survey states that the cumulative figure of employees working permanently from home is all set to double in 2021 globally. The percentage of remote workers will increase from 16.4% to 34.4%.

Considering the situation, what type of crucial changes do you expect to see in the forthcoming years? And how are project managers going to bear the cost of it due to the coronavirus pandemic?

Project Managers Will Need to Upgrade Their Skills

Put simply; it will be the survival of the fittest. If you want to keep the boat afloat, then you’d have to keep up with the constant changes and challenges. You will have to optimize the projects and not simply cancel or delay the progress. And to achieve it effectively, you will have to stay motivated to learn and upgrade your skills for yourself and the business’s success and betterment.

Considering the current situation of COVID-19, learning new skills and upgrading the existing ones will become crucially important more than ever, especially now when we find ourselves moving towards the new-normal post-pandemic landscape.

Whether it be polishing soft skills like day-to-day communication with the internal team or clients, upgrading project management skills like creating a contingency plan under a short time span, or enhancing hard skills, such as getting a strong grip over data-driven systems, since most of us are still working from home, project managers have to identify and embrace different levels of expertise.

Flexible Working Hours Will Reign Supreme

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that project management businesses can cope perfectly fine with a home-based setup. And this may likely stay like this even after COVID-19 considering that work from home is workable for most employees and employers.

From improved flexibility to increased productivity levels, COVID-19 has only sped up the implementation of flexible working schedules, forcing the project management industry into an unprecedented shift towards remote work worldwide.

However, it also came with its own challenges. After all, work from home completely changes the traditional workplace dynamics, making it somewhat difficult to handle work-based communication and processes.

In a traditional setting, spontaneous collaborations, meetings, team sessions, brainstorming, and other project management tasks work better as all the team members work under one roof. Hence, moving forward, project managers will have to think about unique and improved methods to incite this same level of teamwork even when they aren’t working in the same room.

Communication Is and Will Be the Key

Project management in these times is not just limited to the team’s surveillance to achieve desired targets. It also allows the whole team to build a trust factor by exploring new ways to get optimal results while working remotely.

To achieve this, while working remotely, one thing is crucial, and that’s communication. To bring the same level of engagement, enthusiasm, and productivity, project managers would need to engage and maintain a high level of communication through various channels: interactive video meetings, virtual gatherings, follow-up emails, or one-to-one calls.

To do so, project managers can use online communication tools, such as Slack, Zoom, or Skype, to maintain a high level of employee involvement. Furthermore, it will become more important than ever to check on employees’ mental health and emotional well-being.

Technology Will Play A Decisive Role

As we go through this pandemic, this is also an ideal time to re-invent and simplify the project management working practices to improve and address the business’s needs. To do so, project managers can increase technology use by simplifying and automating some of the project processes. To put it simply, no one would have thought that working remotely will be a thing and become a new norm in the future, but it did. Technology has revolutionized workplace dealings and processes. Artificial Intelligence is one of the game-changing factors. It is likely to leave a massive impact on how admin-based processes are being run and managed, saving a huge amount of time when scheduling, data management, data analytics, or any other tactical planning-based tasks. As per Gartner’s research in 2019, project management would be majorly replaced by artificial intelligence, automating most decisions instantly without any humans involved.

It will ease up the workload on project managers, allowing them to streamline and automate the processes while focusing on other core areas of project management.

Conclusive Thoughts

This pandemic has left a disastrous effect on the project management industry; however, it has also provided businesses with the opportunity to stop, reflect, and reconsider their project management strategies from now on.

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