Quality assurance (QA) is the practice of implementing steps in a product’s development cycle to ensure that the final product is of high quality. It’s typically the responsibility of a quality assurance team and encompasses the various processes involved in creating a product. Quality assurance revolves around four main concepts: quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement.
Quality planning is the initial step of quality assurance. This is the stage at which the product, its features and its specifications are outlined. During this planning stage, the team formulates the plans and strategies that will be required in order to produce a quality product. It’s essential to create a set of objectives that clearly outlines the quality expectations for the product. The quality planning stage essentially sets the framework for the product’s release and later phases.
Quality control (QC) is the process of actively comparing the product’s design requirements to the actual product. QC ensures that the product meets its set of specifications and requirements. During Quality control, the product is actively monitored at predetermined points, including while it’s being manufactured, while it’s being shipped and while it’s being used. This typically involves a series of tests, inspections and measurements to determine whether the product is meeting its specifications.
Quality assurance (QA) is the process of verifying that the methods used to create or develop a product are sound. This includes ensuring that the plan created at the Quality Planning stage is being followed and that each step of the process conforms to the quality standards set up at the beginning. Quality assurance requires an unbiased assessment of the product at each stage of its development to ensure that it meets the project’s goals and objectives.
Quality improvement (QI) is an ongoing process of monitoring the quality of the product and making adjustments as necessary to ensure that the product meets the desired standards. Quality improvement may also involve developing new strategies and processes to help streamline the product’s development and ensure that the product is competitive in the market. Quality improvement is a continuous process and is typically conducted in tandem with the other phases of quality assurance.
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General Guidelines & Best Practices
Quality assurance is essential to ensuring that a product is of the highest quality and meets the standards set by the company. Ensuring that quality assurance processes are followed is the responsibility of both the quality assurance team and the development team. The following are some general guidelines and best practices for quality assurance:
• Establish a Quality Assurance Plan: Before beginning any product development, it is essential to create a Quality Assurance Plan that outlines the goals and objectives for the product. This plan should be established at the beginning of the development cycle and serve as the framework for the project.
• Maintain a Quality Control System: Quality control (QC) is the process of actively monitoring the product’s design requirements throughout the product’s development cycle. Maintaining a quality control system helps to ensure the product meets its specifications and requirements.
• Document Everything: To ensure that the quality assurance process is being followed, it is important to document each step of the process. This includes documenting any changes in the product’s design and feature requirements, any modifications or adjustments that are made during production, and the results of any tests and inspections.
• Create Training Programs: To ensure that the quality assurance process is being followed properly, it is important to create training programs for all team members that are involved in the product’s development. This will help ensure that all team members are familiar with the Quality Assurance process and have the necessary skills to perform their job effectively.
• Monitor Performance: Quality assurance teams must regularly monitor the performance of the product to ensure that it is meeting its goals. This includes monitoring the product’s development, testing, and release. The team should also monitor the customer feedback for the product and make adjustments as needed.
• Take Action as Needed: If any problems or issues arise during the quality assurance process, it is important to take appropriate action. This may include making adjustments to the product or changing the development process. If any changes are necessary, the team must document them to ensure that the Quality Assurance process is being followed.
• Report and Analyse Results: Finally, Quality assurance teams must report any issues or concerns to management, and provide analysis of the results. This helps to ensure that the product meets its goals and objectives, and can help to identify areas where improvements could be made.