What Is Quality Assurance(QA)? Process, Methods And Examples

by | Jul 23, 2022

Quality Assurance is a set of structured and planned activities necessary for the extraction of satisfying results essential for software improvement. Software quality assurance does not only limit its procedure till the creation of the product, but it also deals with its developmental phases.

We, humans, are very sensitive to the quality of a product, whether it be our clothes, our food, electric appliance in our homes, or even our toothpaste.

And why is it because we don’t want to use a thing that does not do its job properly?

Guess what! It seems like we know what you want and how well functioning you want your software to be. It is only reasonable considering you are paying for it. Of course, you want it perfect.

So, in this article, we’ll learn how software companies carry out and implement your demands on the software you request to be developed.

quality assurance methodology
Quality assurance methodology

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is not a series of some ordinary processes to check out if the product you made is satisfactory or meets the purpose for what it is made, but it is a set of structured and planned activities necessary for the extraction of satisfying results essential for the software improvement. 

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It doesn’t only involve the software developmental phases through which software is passed but also deals with the testing to check its quality, whether it will make a product with satisfactory results, performance of which could be assessed anytime required.

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Importance of Software Quality Assurance Methodologies

Quality assurance is vital for several other parts of the business, including like client interactions and the company’s reputation in the marketplace. In addition to discovering flaws and places for improvement in a product. Let’s look at some of the major considerations.

  1. Better quality assurance ensures that the product’s quality, as well as competitiveness, are maintained before it is distributed to customers.
  2. By applying SQA, you can save money and time, because repairing flaws in an already planned and programmed product consumes time and costs more money.
  3. It aids in the discovery of security flaws in software and the development of a completely secure and reliable product.
  4. SQA engineers verify that the system is built without flaws and that it behaves as planned in the hands of end-users during the development process.

Differences between SQA and Software Testing

The main difference between SQA and Software Testing is that Software testing examines the whole product life cycle to determine its functions and identify flaws. While quality assurance ensures that the app is built in a proper manner at all stages, software testing ensures that the app is tested at the end stage to decide if it is ready to market.

Case studies, implementation, and assessment are all part of the testing process. QA stands for quality assurance, and it is generally known that a product’s quality cannot be “tested.” As a result, quality assurance is primarily concerned with improving the process in order to attain quality. Manual testing and reports are frequently used to track the efficacy of such quality initiatives.

Now that we have a good understanding of both let’s talk about some of the distinctions between both —

  • Quality Assurance aids in the prevention of any problems or errors that may arise throughout the software development process. Software testing, on the other hand, aids in the detection and correction of any faults that may have happened.
  • Testing guarantees that the product is free from fault and comfortable to use, while QA verifies that the product’s design and functionality fulfil the end user’s expectations.
  • Quality assurance improves and regulates the whole system software development process, whereas software testing primarily focuses on test scenarios and their execution.
  • QA is primarily concerned with validating a product’s features and functionalities in accordance with the client’s requirements. Simultaneously, testing may be thought of as a component of the quality assurance and control process, which is used to find system flaws and flaws.
  • QA is a management style that encompasses all policies, training, team development, and tools that aid in the achievement of goals. Testing, on the other hand, is a procedure that encompasses a variety of tests for various applications.

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Three Basic Strategies of Quality Control

One of three strategies is used to assure quality is given as:

1- Failure testing

Failure testing is the process of repeatedly testing a product to see if it breaks or fails. This might include testing the product under heat, pressure, or vibration if it is a physical product that has to endure stress. Failure testing for software products may entail putting the software through intense experience or load situations.

2- Statistical process control

(SPC) is a methodology created by Walter Shewhart in the 1920s and 1930s focused on verifiable research and information. To manage and regulate product manufacturing, this system uses statistical methods.

3- Total quality management (TQM)

It is a strategy of constant improvement that uses quantitative approaches. TQM depends on facts and evidence, including analytics, to assist product performance and project assessments.

Systematic Investigation Of Software Development:

Anything just doesn’t magically come into being but requires some preplanning and before and preparations.

The software development process is no different from any other process of product making. It also involves four preparatory steps to apply the demands of customers.

  • First, the standards and methods are identified, which are essential for developing the software.
  • Secondly, these standards and methods are inspected to review the quality.
  • Thirdly, the software is expected to undergo different tests to examine its performance and record the data.
  • At last, a course of action is taken to collect the performance record of the software and the employees in the form of a document. 

Is Quality Assurance Different From Quality Control?

The main difference between quality assurance and quality control is QC is focused on different concerns, such as particular screenings or errors, whereas QA is concerned with any systematic method for ensuring that a product fulfils. However, they apply to separate stages of the testing process.

Quality assurance (QA) may be a proactive process, whereas quality control (QC) is a reactive procedure.

QA testing is used to check for problems in the final product after it has been created but before release. In contrast, QC testing is used to check for defects in the end product after being produced but before it is published.

When testing every single product is either too harmful or unfeasible, quality control measures such as acceptance sampling may be used. A statistically significant sample of the product is examined. This method is to determine if the quantity of faulty products in each run is up or down allowable levels.

This type of testing is less helpful in software development since software defects do not appear at random for only particular users. Verification and validation are commonly used in quality control to guarantee that a product satisfies its design criteria.

This might entail testing the program on a variety of devices and browsers, as well as various operating systems and network configurations.

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Software Quality Assurance Activities:

Some of the activities of Software Quality Assurance are listed below.

1. Establishing a Checkpoint

The SQA team establishes checkpoints at regular intervals to monitor software progress, quality, and performance and when it comes to software testing if software quality work is completed on time and in accordance with the schedule and documents.

2. Assess the Impact of the Change

Retesting the defect repair and ensuring that the rectified defect does not cause new flaws in the functional product is critical for a defect reported by QA and resolved by the developer. Managers and developers keep track of test metrics to ensure that no new faults are introduced due to the addition of new functionality or the correction of existing flaws.

3. Using a Multiple Testing Approach

There is no one-size-fits-all technique or strategy. Multiple testing methodologies should be used in software to ensure that it is tested from all viewpoints and that all areas are covered. To achieve a higher level of software quality on an e-commerce website, security testing, performance testing, load testing, and database testing should all be performed.

4. Keeping Track of Records and Reports

It is critical to retain all QA records and papers and to communicate them with stakeholders regularly. Test cases should be conducted, test cycle should be completed, defects should be noted, and defects should be rectified. Moreover, test cases should be generated, and any changes in client requirements for a single test case should be carefully documented for future reference.

5. Maintaining Positive Relationships

Maintaining positive relationships between testers and developers is critical to the project’s success. Although developer and tester roles prioritise dare incompatibly, this should not be taken personally. The primary goal of both teams should be to deliver high-quality projects with the fewest possible chances of failure.

6. Quality Assurance Management Plan

This involves determining the most efficient manner for the SQA to work on the new project. Consider SQA techniques, software engineering procedures that might use in accordance with project objectives, and team members’ particular talents.

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Process Of Software Quality Assurance:

So, until now, the client has already requested the company to produce that dear sample they want, and from this point on, we’ll get insight into what steps the company takes to make the client’s wish come true.

1. PREPARATORY COMPONENTS OF THE PROJECT:

This is the preliminary procedure, where the organisation is shown the client’s proposal and the demands within the project given.

And one more thing, this proposal could prolyl take months to get approved by the company, so if anything, you need patience.

CUSTOMER PROPOSAL:

Besides the demand of the customer, the organization puts most of its focus on:

  • The type of software requested to be embedded in the hardware
  • probable budget
  •  possible duration required for the software development
  •  numbers of professional staff required
  •  the complications of the project

These elements are documented in an official project contract between the customer and the developers.

FORMATION OF THE PROJECT PLAN:

Now that the contract proposal is signed and the deal is made official, the software development department comes up with a developmental plan with the strategies to assure the quality of the software is put as a priority above all. 

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And the strategies include:
  • review of the original plan to point out the basic demands by the client.
  • Determination of the number of professional staff required

2. SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE (SDLC) ASSESSMENT:

This early phase is composed of two phases:

ROUTINE CHECKS UP OF THE REGULAR DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF THE SOFTWARE:

That includes:

  • the regular inspection of the lifecycle of the software according to the schedule
  • adequate reviews opinions by the expert developers
  •  requesting the testing requires

DEVELOPMENT OF THE TECHNIQUES TO SUSTAIN SDLC:

Waterfall, Agile, and Scrum are just a few examples of software development approaches that rely on SQA. Each stage of the development process aims to improve work efficiency.

It is a maintenance phase to improve and sustain the project’s life cycle.

  • With advice from the experts on the progress, regular evaluation

3. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ERROR PREVENTING MEASURES:

The purpose of this component is to reduce the chances of possible error occurrence to zero by: 

  • reviewing the quality and design of the software given in the contract and then breaking it down into formal technical reviews (FTR) 

The list of elements involved in this component are:

  • Regular checklist development
  • Training of the staff specifically for the project in hand
  • Establishing the preventive as well as restorative measures
  • Shaping the management patterns
  • A daily documentation of the progress from every aspect

4. SUPERVISION OF SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT COMPONENT:

Now that all the planning and documentation for the future production are done, it’s time to proceed.

STICKING TO THE DEVELOPED PROCEDURE:

The developer and the developing software are kept in a controlled environment to ensure their adherence to the originally developed software plan.

SOFTWARE PERFORMANCE DETERMINATION:

Now we’ll ensure that the set of standards is being followed diligently.

PROGRESS MONITORING:

In this phase, we’ll check how the originally developed process is applied practically to evaluate the complications and possible solutions.

In addition, we also find who among the employees is not doing their job properly.

MANAGEMENT OF UNEXPECTED OR EXPECTED CHANGE:

This phase deals with the changes in pace with which the process goes and controls it. 

  • The nature of the change occurring
  • volume of change is determined so that it could be carried out in controlled situations. 
  • It also ensures the software quality during the early phases of the software daily life cycle (SDLC) assessment.

MECHANISM OF CHANGE CONTROL:

If any defect is noticed by the developers in the developing system, reporting the change is immediately recorded, and measures to fix it are taken immediately.

  •  But in addition, the developers also check whether the change is only fixing the defect or meddling with the progress of the whole project
  •  or if so, then is this meddling compatible with the progress of the developing project or not

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SOFTWARE QUALITY METRICS:

Quality metrics are simply recording and making a report of the occurring changes so that suitable action can be taken.

TROUBLE WITH DOCUMENT MAINTENANCE:

All we see is “check and report” I feel kind of bad for the person in charge, considering the amount of data he has to report every day.

It is a demanding chore to keep the necessary documents related to Software Quality Assurance and then report these to the higher-ups.

Documentation includes:

  •  Test results
  •  Review reports
  •  Change request and control documentation
  •  Daily progress reports

5. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS TO THE SOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSESSMENT:

Now let’s proceed to the mandatory part of the software quality assurance. Because I mean no one has the authority to produce and give you just anything right, and above all, in return for the cost you’re paying.

Therefore, the department or organisation implements the internationally certified professional management standards set of rules for data communication characterisedorganisation’sOptimisingpre-process flow of the product development process in parallel to the demands made by the customers.

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The ISO 9000 principles are as follow:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Relationship management

CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL INTEGRATION (CMMI LEVEL):

This model aims to direct the project and the developers to the improvement process. 

And is divided into five levels and special characteristics of maturity levels:

  • INITIAL: Processes unexpected and precise
  • MANAGED: Processes characterised for projects and are often reactive
  • DEFINNED: Projects tailor their processes to the organisation’s standards
  • QUALITATIVELY MANAGED: Processes managed and controlled
  • Optimising: Focus on process improvement

TEST MATURITY INTEGRATION (TMMI LEVELS):

It focuses on the process of testing the project quality and progress.

Also classified into five levels:

  • INITIAL : It includes all the pre- process steps.
  • MANAGED : policy, strategy, planning, monitoring and control, design and execution, and test environment are included.
  • DEFINED : organisation, training programmer, life cycle and integration, peer reviews, and non-functional testing for the test are involved. 
  • MEASURED : measurement of the conducted tests, quality assessment of the product, advanced reviews are included
  • OPTIMISATION : defect prevention, process control, and quality control tests.

 6. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PEOPLE SKILL COMPONENT:

The organisation or the developmental department of the software is based on the following people:

  • Managers
  • Testing personnel
  • Trustees
  • Committee members
  • Forum members.

So, all the above people need to have trust and respectful relations, and one worker should never feel superior to others as it can affect the whole progress and spoil the entire project.

Work and duties:

  • They all together work to assure the quality of the software in the process of being
  • assure the implementation of Software Quality Assurancecomponents, 
  • standards, detecting the problems and defects from procedures, 
  • carrying out the essential improvement procedures. 

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Methods Of Software Quality Assurance:

Now let’s move on to the part that will do justice to you! The company runs the newly created software through various testing procedures using several techniques.

So that the customer gets the right product that he had paid for, or maybe only had given the advance payment, anyway!

The list of methods used for Software quality Assurance is as follow:

1. AUDIT:

Involves the inspection of the progress and the product to determine whether the set of actions written in the original document that should be followed are being followed or not!

2. REVIEW:

  • Process in which both developers and customers gather for a meeting to:
  • examine the progress and product
  • clients give their approval
  • comments
  • suggests for the implementation he wants to his product

3. BUG DETECTION:

  • Professional and trained group of people go through a static set of tests to find the bugs and defects in the project based on the rules and criteria of the project.
  • These inspections are kept confidential from the clients.

4. DESIGN INSPECTION:

Developers produce a list according to which the software is designed that examines the following areas of software design:

  • General requirements and design
  • Functional and Interface specifications
  • Conventions
  • Requirement traceability
  • Structures and interfaces
  • Logic
  • Performance
  • Error handling and recovery
  • Testability, extensibility
  • Coupling and cohesion

5. SIMULATION:

Simulation is a process of virtually examining the software by using the tools that develop real-life situations, and this interesting method is used to assess the behaviour of the software.

6. FUNCTIONAL TESTING:

Also known as BLACK BOX TESTING, it determines the features of the software, giving insight into what the project does without inspecting how so.

7. STANDARDIZATION:

It releases the vagueness of the product, thus giving a clear image of the quality of the software.

8. STATIC SCANNING:

It is the process of analysing the software using automated tools. This method inspects automated tools to test the product without interfering with the product’s system. 

9. WALKTHROUGHS:

Now the HIGHER UPS employees have been reporting to are given a job. Yes! They were not only involved in ordering around but had an essential share in the whole procedure.

They are given access to the project to:

  • to examine the software
  • raise their queries related to the product
  • develop the solutions to the defect if any
  • point out any errors and any other issues and suggestions.

10. PATH TESTING:

Also known as a WHITE BOX TESTING TECHNIQUE tests out each command and path designed and installed in the software.

11. STRESS TESTING:

In this method, it is inspected whether the project would break or collapse under the stressed environment, different from the conditions in which the system is designed and trained.

12. SIX SIGMA QUALITY ASSURANCE:

The sole purpose of using this technique is to elevate the quality and efficiency of the system up to 99.7%, free from any bugs, errors, and defects.

Impact of Software Quality Assurance Methodologies On Business

Why does a company go through all that hassle, or, these organisations, why does the customer choose to pay only if the good quality of the product is assured?

Only a few mistakes and your hard found reputation can be gone, creating major barriers in the way of sales and, consequently, loss of trust of your dear customers.

Quality is the sole and most important element that distinguishes one product from another. Along with Software Quality Assurance, the quality with which the product is delivered should also be praised.

  • Software Quality Assurance helps organisations to produce defect and error-free products that could meet the requirements and transport them to demanding customers.
  • The higher the quality the more satisfied customers are.
  • software quality assurance ensures the acquiree of customer’s trust, more purchases, and progressive growth of the business 
  • If the SQ is assured, then all the cases where the customer demands free inspection of the product due to arousal of any defect could be prevented by 99%.
  • Free services to the customers and possible chances of product return due to rejections can be avoided.
  • Companies only need to do things once, but by making sure they are doing it right, there will be less rework, less variation in design, better performance overall, and money savings.
  • Good, solid popularity is hard to make and easy to lose.

What Happens If Software Quality Assurance Is Compromised?

In recent times, it is not possible to overlook the poor software quality and ignore the poor performance it has to offer.

  • Poor software is often a security risk because the software comes off as totally vulnerable and sensitive to any hackers or a person with malignant intentions to get access to your network causing data to withdraw entirely.

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Significance Of The Software Quality Assurance

Set parameters for designing or producing dependable goods are established and maintained by QA. A quality assurance system is designed to boost consumer confidence and trustworthiness while enhancing work procedures and efficiency, allowing a firm to compete more effectively.

Let’s talk about the benefits of SQA.

1. Client Confidence is Boosted

Appropriate quality control at various levels of software, such as review, examination, and auditing. Moreover, the participation from both intrinsic and extrinsic stakeholders tends to increase customers ’ confidence. The capitulation of weekly deficiency and requirement measures also helps to assure the client that perhaps the work is being completed on time.

2. SQA reduces costs

Defects discovered early in the process, whether in requirement collecting, coding, or testing, are simple and inexpensive to fix. Proper SQA performed at several levels helps to mitigate such risks. Since most faults are discovered and corrected early on, saving money on fixing poor software after it has been provided to the customer. However, which may damage the company’s reputation, users, and clients.

3. Increasing Customer Satisfactusually ion

Customer satisfaction is increased when the client is involved in software development and testing on a timely basis. This ensures that high-quality software is built in accordance with the requirements, and it also ensures that recommendations are taken into account.

4. Productivity and efficiency are boosted.

Faults are discovered soon after a single module whenever development and testing are done concurrently, flaws are discovered soon after a single module. Then it is completed and addressed by programmers in a timely way. This allows everybody to work in harmony and be more effective rather than being plagued with several faults simultaneously after the software is completed.

5. Prevents Unanticipated Emergencies

The stakes are likewise quite high when designing enterprise software. Because the program handles many product data from customers, it must function as intended with no outages, corruption, or communication breakdowns. The program should be thoroughly tested to ensure that it performs as planned.

6. Client Conflicts at the End of the Day are Reduced

Many incidents have been discovered of customer and organisation disagreements later on over changes in criteria, time and budget set in the beginning, leading to project cancellation, money loss, and a negative image of the firm in the market (loss of clients as it would create a bad reputation). Everything in SQA is fixed at the outset of the project and thoroughly specified without ambiguity, ensuring that no disputes develop.

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Disadvantages of SQA

Let’s talk about the drawbacks of SQA.

1. Difficult to Implement at Times

Because SQA specifies all of the processes and procedures that should be performed at each stage of software development in great detail, it might be difficult to put each activity and procedure into practice. So the individual understands that it would be good, but working in big groups makes it tough to focus on each step in detail.

2. Consuming a lot of time

Each operation in SQA takes a long time to complete, and it often takes longer to complete paperwork and meetings than to work on the practical development and assessment of software.

3. Expensive

Though the cost of repairing defects in the later stages can be decreased by detecting and fixing them early on, the cost of addressing bugs in the final stages can be reduced by utilising SQA. Particularly small projects with a modest budget find it difficult to apply SQA. As the number of options in a project grows, so does the project’s budget. Engaging a full QA team and applying SQA results in a significant rise in project costs with small projects.

Experts Of Software Quality Assurance Methodologies

Expert’s mission has always been to deliver the highest quality interventions that promote product quality and customer happiness, thanks to a strong team of experts. 

Each software process development company’s fundamental purpose is to meet client expectations. Unfortunately, it would not be accomplished, without software application QA techniques and testing. 

Making flaws and not being able to correct them in a timely manner exposes your goods to the risk and jeopardises quality assurance at ENOU.CO. For many years, we have worked with various clients throughout the world to ensure that their systems are bug-free and flexible to future upgrades. To verify each project module of the project, we use both conventional and sophisticated software testing automation technologies.

Our professionals can provide you with an unbiased, objective review of your software applications and an assessment of your testing procedures.

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Final Thoughts:

In this article, we learned about the basics of software quality assurance as to what is it and how the journey of software from a simple piece of paper holding its importance as a contract becomes a high quality and tested software meeting all the demands made by the customers. 

We learned about the prior planer, which helps and gives the whole procedure a framework with several processes involved to help the software to come into being in absolute controlled conditions along with directing the organisation towards the correct way as well. 

Techniques to assure the quality of the developing software by both the customers and professionally trained workers. In the significance portion above, we got an insight into the important steps with which the loss in business could be avoided, and one can set its business on the way to success by following a set of simple rules.

I hope all your queries regarding SOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE are resolved with all the information provided in this article! 

FAQs 

1. Why do we need software quality assurance?

Software quality assurance provides:

  • The measures of the software process.
  • Provides evidence that establishes confidence to produce software products.
  • Products that are suitable quality for their required purposes. 

2. Who in a company is responsible for software assurance and security, and how do they manage the processes?

Software quality assurance Engineer is typical as the responsibility of the software quality assurance engineer is to understand software quality development.  

  • Implementation
  • Software inspection
  • Testing
  • Verification and validation
  • Maintenance processes and methods

 3. How would you go approach establishing software quality assurance?

The following is a list of SQA activities:

1) Establishing an SQA Management Plan

2) Establishing Checkpoints:…

4) Conducting Formal Technical Reviews

3) Using Software Engineering Techniques

5) Implementing a Multi-Testing Strategy

6) Enforcing Process Adherence

7) Managing Change

8) Assess the Impact of Change

4. How does the company assure the quality and security of software modules and libraries used within products?

  • The company assures the quality and security of the developed software using.
  • Patents and copyrights that protect the software itself.
  • Trademarks protect the names or symbols used to create a distinguishable identity in the marketplace.

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