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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Does Quality Assurance remove the need for quality control?

Quality assurance and quality control are two of the most confused concepts. But let me state here that quality assurance and quality control are two different concepts.

"Software quality assurance is means of ensuring that proper processes and methods are being used in the development of software systems or application to ensure quality." There are many methods that are employed for quality assurance.

Now coming to the concept of quality control, it is a means used by the entities for the process of reviewing the quality of all the aspects of a software system or application under development.

Quality control is basically focused up on the following 3 factors:

1. Management elements like:
(a) record identification
(b) performance
(c) controls
(d) involved processes
(e) job management
(f) criteria for integration

2. Soft elements like:
(a) quality relationships among the team members
(b) confidence of the individual
(c) culture of the organization
(d) team spirit
(e) personnel integrity
(f) motivation

3. Competency elements like:
(a) qualifications of the workers
(b) skills
(c) experience
(d) knowledge

A typical quality control process involves the inspection of the software artifact before it is made available to the public. This process involves search for the bugs and errors as well.


- System requirements
- Coding
- Code reviews
- Software design
- Source code control
- Process management
- Testing
- Configuration management
- Source code control
- Software release management

So we see that since there is a considerable difference between the two things, it means that quality assurance does not remove the need for quality control.

But, here another question arises :

“if quality assurance covers every aspect of the software development, then why do we need to look up the quality control?

- Quality control is needed even after quality assurance has been performed.
- In quality assurance, all the strategies, checklists, standards that are used in the software development cycle are defined whereas, in quality control all the processes checked by the quality assurance are implemented in order to ensure that the developed software system or application is of high quality.
- Quality control makes sure that the software product meets the expectations of the users.
- Quality control can be defined as a means to measure quality and quality assurance is a means to assure quality.
- The results obtained from quality control assessment can be utilized to make quality assurance processes better.
- Quality assurance and quality control together form a very powerful methodology to ensure that the software product is of very high quality and satisfies all the expectations of the targeted users.
- Quality control is a product oriented process whereas quality assurance is a process oriented process.
- The team of quality assurance ensures that the governing principles for software making are rightly implemented and the team of quality control is involved with the process of determining the efficacy levels of those principles and guidelines.

From the above points we can conclude that the two terms though sound same in meaning are not same in the least bit.

People often confuse between these two are ambiguous terms and have been different meanings. When we use both of these processes, quality is guaranteed. All the technologies and processes must be checked for their quality before starting working on the project by quality assurance and quality control processes.

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