Quality Assurance Definition

A quality assurance definition is an important concept for any organization seeking to improve processes and procedures. A common misconception or point of confusion  is the concept of quality assurance (QA) vs. quality control (QC).

Quality Control practices  can be thought of as “after the fact”. These  practices ensure that the products or services being delivered have gone  through appropriate test and verification procedures. Quality assurance procedures are “before the  fact” and define what quality measures are applicable for your organization

When considering the  establishment of a quality assurance function within your company, the first  and most important step is to completely understand this concept before moving forward with QA initiatives.

Here are the key points of a Quality assurance definition:

quality is an  attribute of a product or service

quality is  achieved through the establishment of processes

a process is a  set of activities used to create a product

once the process  is consistent, it replicates the product with consistent characteristics

Simply put, this means that  you make some rules and then follow them to produce a consistently qua lit (hopefully high quality) product.

Understanding the QA definition is a start  and is relatively easy and straightforward.   Once you “get it,” then you have to apply these rules to produce measurable results.

Quality  assurance is a long-term, on-going effort and requires the appropriate mind-set  and a real understanding of the value it provides to the long-term health of the company.

Quality assurance is all  about establishing long-term processes as opposed to simply producing short  term-results. If you’ve heard the  investment term “value investing”, think of quality assurance as the software equivalent of that investment technique.

To start, let's address some common objections raised when planning the implementation of a formal QA function:

employees may think it’s a waste of their time

processes become obsolete

processes are difficult to use

employees will require training in processes

processes are not measurable

measurement can threaten employees

These are all valid concerns, and giving some thought to answering each of these objections is the first step in resolving and overcoming them.