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This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

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Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control—What's the Difference?

In order to ensure customer satisfaction, it is not enough to simply create high quality software. It is equally important to verify that the product is safe to use and that it meets all of the user's needs. This requires thorough and skillful testing by experts to verify that the program is secure, performs well, and is user-friendly. The primary goal of testing is to identify and correct bugs.

The end user of the software must enjoy using it. It's an unfortunate reality that even programmers occasionally make mistakes, and therefore you need people to identify and correct them. As soon as a product is being developed, test process management must be established. An essential part of this process is Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA).

QC makes sure that the product is tested for compliance with predetermined standards of product quality and its readiness for the final user experience. The primary goal of QC is to confirm that the application developed complies with the necessary standards. In order to ensure the quality of the finished product, QC activities are typically carried out after the application has been developed.

Activities that ensure a predetermined level of product quality are included in quality assurance at all stages of product development and use. The primary goal of QA is testing at all stages of the project, from technical specifications and design to development. Depending on the details of the project, this might entail putting the documentation to the test, checking the code to see if it complies with standards, introducing some methods of working with quality, engaging in communication activities, and so on.

Software testing is a part of quality control and quality assurance processes. This process entails checking work results to ensure it adheres to established standards. This is merely reactive work that can assist in repairing bugs in software that has already been developed. It entails passing test cases, identifying flaws, and reporting them.

What's the Difference?

The concepts of QA and QC are closely related and can complement each other. Quality assurance is created before software implementation, when the process itself is only related to analysis. Quality control is developed and analyzed at the stage when a piece of software is ready.

Let's examine QA and QC distinctions in more detail:

  • QC is always focused on the product, while QA is process focused.
  • Defects must be found and eliminated for QC to succeed. Quality assurance aims to prevent defects as soon as possible.
  • QA can define standards and methodologies to ensure customer satisfaction. All members of the testing and development team are involved in the process. QC involves only a testing team that verifies that all known standards are followed in building software.
  • Before QC starts, quality assurance is performed. Only after QA is finished is quality control carried out.
  • While quality control focuses on identifying and correcting errors, quality assurance places more of an emphasis on preventing errors.
  • In contrast to quality control, which is the process that seeks to achieve the desired quality, quality assurance offers the guarantee that the desired quality will be realized.
  • When developing software, quality control is carried out, and when testing software, quality assurance is carried out.
  • A proactive action is quality assurance, whereas a reactive action is quality control.

Why is Quality Control Necessary?

The concept of QC is a part of the broad concept of quality assurance. QA is necessary to ensure that the final product is high-quality and bug-free. So, can we avoid QC? No, we cannot. The primary responsibility of the QC expert is to confirm that the product complies with the standards that were established during the QA phase. The expert can determine whether a product is ready for release or not. This ensures that software is tested for quality. The goal is to find bugs and make sure they are fixed.

The tester's task is to independently check the functionality, find all kinds of bugs and input them into the CRM system. Once the developer has completed all the tasks in the release and has started to fix bugs, the stabilization phase begins. Here, the tester's job is to run regression test cycles to see how the new component affects the performance of the system as a whole.

For example, a developer has added a chat feature. In the development phase, the tester's task is to find as many bugs as possible exclusive to the chat. And in the stabilization phase, the tester's task is to look at how chats work with the contacts functionality and all the other features available in the product. The stabilization phase takes about two weeks. In some cases, a bit more, but never less. During stabilization, the developer's task is to fix all major bugs and as many minor ones as possible.

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