Quality is an important part of any business whether you produce food, automobiles, or technical solutions. At Segue we use Quality Assurance and Quality Control to prevent and identify defects. Quality Assurance and Quality Control are both important parts of managing quality, but it’s important to point out that they are not the same thing. Quality Assurance is process oriented and focuses on preventing defects, while Quality Control is product oriented and focuses on identifying defects. In this post, we’ll discuss how the two are differ and are employed at Segue.
What is Quality Assurance? Bug Prevention!
As mentioned above, Quality Assurance involves process oriented activities. Quality Assurance is the process used to develop products and focuses on the prevention of defects. The goal of Quality Assurance is to improve development and testing processes to prevent defects from arising during the product development lifecycle. Using process checklists, performing project audits and employing best practices are examples of Quality Assurance.
Here at Segue, we have a Organizational Process Group (OPG) that codifies Quality Assurance activities for the entire company. The OPG establishes policies and templates to be used by all projects. For example, they developed the Project Management Plan template, the Project Checklist, and Project Status forms. They make sure that Project Managers follow company processes, standards and procedures, and collect metrics on projects. The OPG then meets regularly to review the collected metrics to monitor the success rates of our processes and look for areas for process improvement.
What is Quality Control? Bug Detection!
Quality Control involves product-oriented activities. Quality Control focuses on the identification of defects in products. The goal of Quality Control is to identify any defects after a product is developed, but before it’s released to production. Performing peer reviews and the testing process are examples of Quality Control.
At Segue we have a Quality Control department that is responsible for executing testing to identify product defects. The Quality Control department verifies that Development had implemented the product to match the requirements by executing test runs via TestTrack Test Case Management. Discrepancies between the requirements and the implementation are reported as defects in TestTrack Pro. The workflow in TestTrack Suite creates a feedback loop, as any defects will be reported by QC department and routed to Development to fix, thus increasing quality.
When used in conjunction, Quality Assurance and Quality Control can help to consistently develop a quality product. On the Quality Assurance side, developing and adhering to processes can help prevent defects. On the Quality Control side, product testing can help identify defects. Together they pinpoint defects in current processes and the product itself, which provides feedback on what may be the causes of quality problems. By having a consistent process across projects, the feedback loop helps identify the root-causes of defects, and develop strategies to eliminate these problems. Using this approach ensures that Segue achieves ever higher levels of quality in our products.