Project Quality Management: Quality Assurance Vs Quality Control

April 6, 2021

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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