Quality Assurance and Quality Control – how to ensure quality in the testing process?
Creating a good and useful application is in the interest of both the team of developers and stakeholders. There is no single recipe for success or golden rules to ensure positive results. However, you can certainly do everything in the power of the team to refine the design in the smallest details. You can be sure of one thing – you can never have too many tests. After all, how else does the application work properly if its functioning is not checked in real conditions?
The difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance
Do you know the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance? Unfortunately, there is a growing tendency in the industry to confuse these terms. However, there is a distinction between quality control and quality assurance. Therefore, software testers cannot be called part of the Quality Assurance team in the direct sense.
First of all, what is the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance? The first one focuses on the operation of the application and on the errors that they contain. The team working on quality control is looking for irregularities in the operation of the application by testing them. They use various tools and methods to streamline the entire process. Testers in a sense deal with diagnostics and check that everything in the application works and is at a sufficient level to satisfy the user. Testing is part of a larger process called quality assurance.
Quality Assurance includes testing of applications to find errors and generally improve its quality. However, there are many more activities in this set. There is also a refinement of processes in the design work. Therefore, quality assurance deals not only with the creative activities themselves, but also communication with the client, organization of team work – defining roles, internal communication, coordinating work and imposing certain requirements. Quality Assurance applies to everyone who has contact with the project in the production process, not just the application from the technical side.
Quality assurance not only takes care of the processes and cooperation of the people involved, but also allows employees themselves to influence and refine the definition of quality. Everything depends of course on the context of the project and its purpose. Quality Assurance deals with the prediction of errors in the design and manufacturing processes and provides solutions and ways to eliminate imperfections.
The Quality Assurance process covers all activities on the product, from the plan, negotiating the terms, through its implementation. Many people who are not necessarily professionally involved are involved in quality assurance.
Roles in Quality Assurance
There are three main roles in Quality Assurance. Business analyst, i.e. a person associated with business. It can be, for example, Product Owner. Next is the programmer, followed by a software tester. This is called three Amigos. These people work together to create Requirements, or Story. Those involved in the project work together to determine product functionality, product requirements and a way that all these guidelines do not conflict with each other.
Thanks to this, you can avoid many short-circuits and unnecessary problems later in the project. Instead of encountering problems during the work of developers, it is better to discuss your expectations before starting work. Thanks to this dialogue, there are some divergences in the concepts of the three Amigos and immediately there is an excellent situation to work out a compromise or a completely different solution. This action avoids many risky situations that could have a negative impact on work flow and, as a result, on the budget.
Developers and their cooperation with software testers
The tester has an active contribution to quality assurance, not only through his work on the application itself. He can stay in communication with the client and ask him about the new functionality. This is important because a specific function always makes sense in context. Another thing that may bother the tester is how the new requirements and guidelines will affect other components. Such communication naturally affects everyone in the team, not just the tester. In this way, you can get rid of understatements and better refine the product according to the customer’s guidelines. Thanks to this information, work on the application will go faster and in the right direction. Conducting a dialogue should help to reach a consensus and general understanding and that both parties involved in the project have a sense of security that they do not work blindly.
After discerning comes work. Clear implementation of the requirements is the key. At this important stage, many methods are used to improve the quality of the software. Good practices are one of them. You should also cover a specific part of the code with unit tests. The code is also reviewed and integration tests are performed. Generally speaking, testers deal with software verification and validation. Therefore, they are required not only to do this in technical terms, but also in terms of the quality of the application, which relates to its performance and security.
Now you can see that Quality Assurance is more than just testing applications, and Quality Control is definitely not behind closed doors. The whole process is mainly about communication. Not only internally, between teams working on the project, but also with the client. In the end, the finished product must satisfy both the user and the customer. He is a person without whom the application would never have been created. Although it sounds like another portion of duties on the desk of already busy developers, only positive things can come out of this cooperation. After all, the application is not alive because of testing. Properly maintained dialogue will speed up the work, help keep the rudders in the right direction and guarantee the satisfaction of stakeholders when closing the project.