Last month we attended TestBash at The Lowry Theatre in Salford as an event sponsor. TestBash is organised by the Ministry of Testing, and we were fortunate to meet like-minded businesses and engineers that are passionate about developing quality software products.
One theme at the conference was about creating a culture of quality in development and testing teams. In this blog, we’ll explain the critical role that both quality assurance and quality control play in the software development process.
What is quality assurance?
Making occasional mistakes is normal, but ideally, we want to make sure that all software is delivered to a high standard and is free from bugs and defects before release. This process is known as Quality Assurance (QA).
Quality assurance exists at all stages of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), not just during testing, and may incorporate tooling, coding standards, and processes.
Depending on the structure of your organisation, you may have a dedicated QA department, or you might manage this organically through your development and project management teams. Whatever approach you choose, it’s important to have quality champions in your organisation so that you can embed quality into your culture.
Reporting is an important aspect of quality assurance as this allows you to measure quality and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
Quality assurance reports will often include quantitative measures, such as the number of test cycles or the number of failed tests, and qualitative measures, such as lessons learnt and reflection. Our test management platform, Qucate, includes reports for quantitative measures and helps to enforce quality in your software.
What does quality control mean?
Both quality assurance and quality control are interrelated aspects of quality management, so activities can sometimes overlap. However, quality assurance ensures that software is delivered to a high standard to prevent defects, and quality control ensures that your software functions are meeting the quality requirements and is focused on identifying defects.
It’s common to use a test management platform, such as Qucate, to manage your quality control process. The test plan templates in Qucate enforce a consistent and comprehensive approach to testing, helping you to identify bugs and defects before release.
Quality control focuses on inputs, outputs, and whether your software behaves as intended, such as testing that a drop-down menu on a form shows the expected options. You can read more about the differences between quality assurance and quality control here.
Why are quality assurance and quality control important?
Effective quality assurance and quality control save you both time and money, helping to build trust between the development team, client, and end-user. It also protects your brand, builds your reputation, and will help you to provide a reliable, high-quality service for your customers and grow your business.
Developing high-quality and bug-free software also reduces testing time, allowing your team to focus on value-added tasks and creating a greater sense of purpose for your team members.
Quality assurance and quality control are important aspects of the quality management process and should be applied simultaneously by testing and development teams to identify and prevent bugs and defects.
If you’re looking for a test management platform to help you with quality management, Qucate uses dynamic test run templates to speed up the process and improve the quality of your software.
Head to our Qucate page for more information, or feel free to contact us.