Quality Assurance

Meaning & Definition

ISO 9000 defines quality assurance as “a component of quality management that focuses on ensuring that quality requirements are met.” Quality assurance (QA) focuses on defect avoidance, whereas quality control focuses on defect detection.

Quality assurance focuses less on the final product and more on the processes and systems that go into making it. As a result, auditing–particularly quality auditing, which reviews an organization’s complete quality management system–is an important aspect of the quality assurance function (QMS).

There are two main principles that govern quality assurance:

  • Fit for purpose — the product should be appropriate for the task at hand.
  • All faults or mistakes should be eliminated the first time around.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Conversion Testing of Data
When a corporation migrates data to a new programme, it exposes itself to risk. Once the information transmission begins, digital assets actually hang in the balance. Any mistake might result in severe file damage or data loss. That is why rigorous conversion testing is required to ensure compatibility between old and new systems. These tests also evaluate for programme functioning and detect hidden flaws. Before, during, and after the migration process, data conversion testing should be undertaken. This reduces the possibility of data being permanently lost.

Regression Analysis
The product must expand in order for a software firm to thrive. New features, functionality upgrades, and fixes do not necessarily cause anxiety in a good DevOps system. However, each new addition to a piece of code may create a disturbance in an existing integration. Quality assurance engineers use regression testing to ensure that the software’s functioning is the same before and after an update is released. This becomes increasingly simpler when automated regression testing is added to the mix.

Testing on Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are fundamentally distinct from typical computer settings. They vary in network speed, have less memory, and a smaller screen size. As a result, difficulties specific to these handhelds are often not addressed by conventional performance testing. Mobile testing should concentrate on performance and usability in a range of circumstances, such as when the battery is low, when there is an incoming phone call, or when numerous apps are operating.

Testing for User Acceptance
A foolish but brilliant business named Pied Pieper produces a file storage platform with technology that revolutionises compression and data accessibility in a recent season of the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.” They release the app early because their colleagues enjoy it, only to realise that the general public doesn’t know how to utilise it. The result is hilarious mayhem, but this situation exemplifies the actual value of user acceptability testing, or UAT. While a programmer may create an application with a certain purpose in mind, customers react in a number of ways. Developers may detect unanticipated difficulties in performance and user experience by doing user testing as a type of quality assurance.

Time and money are saved.
The benefit of having systems and procedures in place throughout development is that they anticipate and prevent the majority of faults and defects from forming in the first place. As a consequence, the faults that do appear are minimal and readily corrected.

On the other side, without QA, most issues may be larger and may only be discovered during the testing process or after the application has been deployed. Fixing these issues after the fact would take more time, which might cost more money.

Product Quality is Maintained
QA methods are intended to verify that the software product operates consistently and reliably. There are other Quality Control (QC) tests that are aimed to examine functionality, performance, security, usability, and other factors.

Furthermore, these tests take into account the possibility that the user may not utilise the application as intended. Part of this testing is ‘idiot-proofing’ the product so that inappropriate usage does not result in failure.

As a consequence, the finished product has few flaws and is assured to function properly.

Ensures safety
While a software programme may accomplish all of its intended purposes, it may not be totally secure. If its defences are breached, the product and its consumers’ data may be jeopardised.

One of the reasons QA is so crucial in software development is to verify that your product was designed with security in mind and that it has been thoroughly tested to ensure that the precautions in place operate.

It safeguards your reputation.
The quality of your software might have an impact on your company’s and brand’s reputation. You may develop a great reputation for your company by launching a high-quality product with exceptional features and thorough security.

This is where the significance of quality assurance (QA) in software development becomes clear. It guarantees that your product functions as an appropriate brand ambassador for your company.

Customer Contentment
Your product must meet the demands of your consumers in order to achieve customer satisfaction. It should include all of the necessary features and perform effectively. The objective of QA is to ensure that the programme delivers precisely what your consumers anticipate.

The QA team would specify the deliverables’ features and then work through each stage of the development process to guarantee that they are delivered. They then test to verify whether the programme runs smoothly and without errors. As a consequence, clients get a high-quality product that they like using.

Vulnerability Assessment
Vulnerability testing is examining a website or application for security flaws and vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. The goal of this step of testing is to ensure that there are no security vulnerabilities that might jeopardise the information of users or other sensitive data.

Testing for Compatibility
Similarity testing entails ensuring that the product is fully compatible with the software and hardware that it will be operating on.
Several components are evaluated during this stage, ranging from internet browsers to hardware, operating systems, and vital modules, to name a few.

Testing for Usability
Convenience testing entails ensuring that the programme is simple to use. The goal of this step of the testing process is to guarantee that the end user can use the product without being dissatisfied or confused by its design and UI.

Performance Evaluation
Performance testing entails confirming that the device functions effectively in a variety of scenarios that may affect consumers, ranging from heavy load to inadequate battery power.
A performance test’s purpose is to ensure that the programme performs as it should and to discover its limit via load testing.

Unit Examining
The unit testing approach is used to test individual software modules or portions of a system or application.
These tests are often written by the module’s developers, and under a test-driven-improvement method (for example, Agile, XP, or Scrum).
They are written before the module is created as a standard component. Every module function is tested by a specific unit test installation written in a programming language equivalent to the module’s.

Testing for Integration
This stage of the testing process entails testing the various modules or components that have been successfully unit tested when combined to accomplish certain activities and tasks (otherwise called scenario testing).
This testing is often completed using a mix of manual testing and automated functional tests, owing to the ease with which automated tests for certain integrated components may be created.

System Evaluation
System testing extends the scope of integration testing to test the whole framework. A normal system test entails running the whole framework in order to detect previously overlooked defects, stability difficulties, and major concerns.
The first three stages of functional testing, as should be evident, entail a constant increase in range, from a single unit to several integrated components to a comprehensive system.

Testing for Acceptance
Acceptance testing is the last level of functional software testing and comprises checking that all project or product requirements have been satisfied. It also ensures that the framework has been tested by customers and end-users to guarantee that it operates as expected and satisfies all of their set requirements.

Quality AssuranceQuality Control
It is a procedure that deliberates on assuring that the quality requirement will be met.Quality control (QC) is a procedure that deliberates on meeting the quality requirement.
A QA aim is to prevent the defect.A QC aim is to identify and improve the defects.
Quality assurance (QA) is a strategy for managing quality.Quality control (QC) is a means of ensuring product quality.
QA does not include running the software.QC always entails carrying out the programme.
Quality assurance is the responsibility of everyone in the team.Quality control is the responsibility of the testing team.
Example of Quality Assurance: VerificationValidation is a QC example.

ISO 9000

This standard, which is connected to Quality Management Systems, was initially developed in 1987. This enables the firm to provide quality to its consumers and other stakeholders. An organisation seeking ISO 9000 certification is audited based on its functions, goods, services, and procedures. The primary goal is to examine and verify that the organisation is following the process as intended and to determine if current procedures need to be improved.

This certification is beneficial –

  • Increase the organization’s earnings.
  • Improves domestic and international trade by reducing waste and increasing employee productivity
  • Give excellent client service.

CMII Level

The Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) level is a process improvement strategy designed specifically for software process optimization. It is based on the process maturity framework and is used as a general assistance in software industry business processes. In Software Development Organizations, this approach is highly acclaimed and frequently utilised.

CMMI is divided into five levels. The maturity of an organization’s Quality Assurance Mechanisms determines its CMMI level, which ranges from 1 to 5.

  • Level 1 – Initial: The quality environment is fragile at this level. Simply put, no protocols were followed or recorded.
  • Level 2 – Repetitive: Some procedures are followed that may be repeated. This level is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed at the project level.
  • Level 3 – Defined: At the organisational level, a set of procedures is defined and recorded. Those mentioned procedures may be improved to some extent.
  • Level 4 – Managed: Process metrics are used to effectively manage the procedures that are followed at this level.
  • Level 5 – Optimizing: This level focuses on continual process improvement via learning and innovation.

TMM

The Test Maturity Model (TMM) evaluates the maturity of processes in a Testing Environment. This paradigm, too, has five tiers, as described below:

  • Level 1 – Initial: There are no quality standards for testing processes at this level, and only ad hoc procedures are employed.
  • Level 2 – Definition: A procedure that has been defined. Preparation of test strategy, plans, and test cases is completed.
  • Level 3 – Integration: Testing is performed throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) – which is nothing more than integration with development activities, such as the V-Model.
  • Level 4 – Management and Metrics: At this stage, requirements and designs are reviewed, and criteria for each level of testing are established.
  • Level 5 – Optimization: For testing procedures, several preventative measures are implemented, and tool assistance (Automation) is used to enhance testing standards and processes.

Software quality assurance (SQA) is the monitoring of software engineering procedures and methodologies used in a project to guarantee optimal software quality. It might entail assuring compliance with standards or models like ISO/IEC 9126 (since succeeded by ISO 25010), SPICE, or CMMI.

The PDCA cycle, often known as the Deming cycle, is a specified cycle in quality assurance methods. This cycle’s stages are as follows:

  • Plan 
  • Do 
  • Check 
  • Act

These procedures are done on a regular basis to guarantee that the organization’s processes are examined and improved. Let’s take a closer look at the QA Process phases listed above –

  • Plan — The organisation should plan and set process-related goals, as well as identify the procedures necessary to create a high-quality final result.
  • Do – Process development and testing, as well as “do” adjustments to the processes
  • Check – Process monitoring, process modification, and assessment of whether the processes achieve the set goals.
  • Act – A Quality Assurance tester should carry out the activities required to enhance the procedures.

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