QA Vs. QC in Software Development: 9 Key Differences


QA and QC are two important processes in software development that go hand-in-hand to ensure the best possible product is created. 

Quality assurance (QA) is a systematic process used during the development stages of a product to guarantee it meets specific standards and requirements, while quality control (QC) is focused on ensuring that products or services meet customer expectations. 

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between QA and QC in software development and how they work together to create a successful product. With an understanding of each process, companies can better identify and address any potential issues with their software.

Ready? Let’s dive right in!

1. Purposes 

When it comes to software development, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are two essential steps for ensuring the product released is of a high standard. Quality assurance focuses on preventing errors and problems during the development process by implementing processes that increase the likelihood that an end product will meet customer expectations. 

On the other hand, quality control focuses on identifying and rectifying any discrepancies between expected and actual results. However, to make sure you’re getting the best possible software, you can find professional help for software development on websites like the Global Software Companies. When looking for a software development company, you should choose one well-versed in quality assurance and quality control.

2. Objectives

Since both quality assurance and quality control are involved in software development, they have different objectives.

Quality assurance is designed to ensure that the product meets the customer’s requirements and expectations.  In other words, it focuses on improving the process, leading to a better product. 

Quality control, on the other hand, on identifying defects in the product before it is delivered to the customer. The goal of quality control is to reduce errors, bugs, and defects in order to ensure the product meets the standards required by the customer.

3. Techniques

If we talk about the techniques used in quality assurance and quality control, they are quite different. Quality assurance mainly focuses on preventive measures through reviews, meetings, and walkthroughs. 

These processes help to identify potential issues before development begins and ensure that the system meets quality requirements. Quality control is more focused on detecting defects after delivery of the code or system and ensuring that these defects are corrected. 

Testing is the most important element of quality control, where software is tested against requirements to ensure it meets all expectations. Techniques used in quality control include static analysis, dynamic analysis, functional testing, system testing, performance testing, acceptance testing, and more.

4. Documentation

Once quality assurance and quality control activities are complete, the team must document the results. 

Quality assurance testing provides benchmarks and indicators that can be used to measure future software performance. Quality control focuses on documentation within existing products as well as documents produced by developers to assess their working performance. 

The documentation produced from both processes should provide a comprehensive view of the development process, allowing developers and management to assess software performance over time.

5. Responsibilities 

Whether it’s quality assurance or quality control, the responsibility of software testing lies with the development team. In moments where something goes wrong, they are responsible for finding solutions to get back on track and ensure that future releases follow the same quality standards.

Quality assurance is focused on ensuring that these processes remain efficient and effective over time by continually evaluating them and making adjustments as needed.  Quality control, however, is focused on ensuring that each release meets the best quality possible by testing for errors and defects. Both play an essential role in producing high-quality products.

6. Testing Strategies 

To effectively carry out quality assurance and quality control, testing strategies need to be implemented. 

Quality assurance focuses on ensuring that the software development process follows best practices and meets customer expectations, while quality control focuses on actual performance during testing.  Quality assurance requires testing procedures such as static analysis of code and peer reviews to identify potential errors or vulnerabilities. 

On the other hand, quality control requires more intensive testing via automated and manual methods, as well as user experience tests. Both strategies are necessary to ensure the overall success of a software project.

7. Cost and Time Implications 

In a software development process, quality assurance and quality control can directly impact the cost and time schedule

Quality assurance plays an important role in ensuring that any changes to the project are well documented, which can help reduce the cost of additional features. But, quality control helps to identify defects early on in the cycle, which saves both time and money by identifying them sooner rather than later. 

However, if too much quality assurance or control is implemented, it can lead to delays in the project timeline.

8. Harmonization with Agile Methodologies 

While traditional QA and QC methods do not typically align with Agile development methodology, they are still necessary to ensure that end products meet the desired quality standards. 

Quality assurance should look at how Agile methodologies can be used in tandem with traditional QA and QC processes to produce higher-quality software. Quality assurance professionals must also understand the Agile Manifesto and its four key values to adapt traditional QA and QC processes for Agile contexts effectively. 

Quality control should focus on implementing procedures, tools, and techniques that align with Agile methodology while still upholding quality assurance standards.

9. Automation Considerations 

Lastly, automation considerations should also be taken into account when deciding on a quality assurance or control approach. Quality assurance normally requires more manual testing, while quality control often relies heavily on automated tests and processes. 

Automation frequently reduces the time required to complete project tasks and can help reduce errors due to human input. It is essential to consider which approach would result in a more efficient process.

Two Sides of The Same Coin: Both QA and QC Are Important for Software Development

In the end, there are numerous differences between quality assurance and quality control in software development. Quality assurance focuses on preventing errors, while quality control aims to identify and correct them. 

Quality assurance requires a long-term commitment to ensure that the product meets its requirements, while quality control is concerned with short-term fixes to certain problems. 

However, each serves a vital purpose in the software development process – both are equally important and should be treated as such.