Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Testing

How to differentiate between QA, QC and testing profiles? As, the jobs of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Testing seems very similar. But, still wanted to confirm that all these are not same and are distinct to each other.

Depends on the person answering the question. The definitions may change based on who is asking, who is answering, etc.

For example, if you asked me:
Quality assurance is testing a product, usually hardware, to make sure the behavior is the same in every occurance of the product. To assure quality, the same tests should be performed in the same manner and recorded in the same way… (The explanation goes on)
Quality control is the action of quality assurance. So when someone asks me, have you controled the quality? I can answer, "Yes, I have performed the QA checks."
Testing is… (among other things)

However, if I should be looking for new work, the words Quality and Assurance are part of my search, because not everyone (probably almost nobody) thinks that way. My perception has been altered by the fact that I have done both jobs as I have described them, and I needed to differentiate between the two quite different roles. So a possible testing assignment can have the title “Quality Assurance”.

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So in my interpretation the three roles are separate by virtue of what they are trying to achieve.

In manufacturing QC is the method of checking the product against spec on teh production line ensuring that the first bottle of lemonade is identical to the next, and to the last. This checking might have sample check but would not look to improve the quality of the product, merely screen the bad product out of the production line. So QC is looking to reduce flaws by physically removing flawed objects.

QA is a more senior role in that it is looking to the whole factory floor and looking to improve quality by improving the processes and tools and training in place for the factory staff. There is little concern for the production line in terms of individual samples, but there is awareness of overall trends (e.g. failure rate, achieving six sigma etc.). So QA is looking to reduce flaws by improving the process or material or training required.

Software testing is none of that. Or it might employ some of the sampling methods or overall metrics. Or it might be investigation of particular bugs. Or it might be a focus on the product from a particular user’s point of view. Or it might be a critique of the handling of the product… testing is the method by which a software tester can assess the risk profile of product and highlight this to the product owner (or similar).

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If we talk about QA, QC and testing, they all look alike the sides of a equilateral triangle. Three of these are closely related to each other thus leaving the impression of being similar on the user. All these terms are necessary for understanding and managing the risk of development of a software and maintaining that software for software testing company. They may sound similar but all these are having different concept. It is important for a manager as well as the software tester to understand the concept of difference between QA, QC and testing for effective working with software.

QA stands for Quality Assurance. In Quality Assurance, we mainly focus on preventing the defects that can be in a software. QA is an proactive yet preventive process and takes care of the flaws in a software. Quality Assurance takes care of the processes that are being created to manage deliverable and also makes sure that those are operative. QA includes the whole team say development and testing. QA takes place before Quality Control (QC) is followed.

QC stands for Quality Control and comes into role after Quality Assurance Process.
QA focuses on preventing the defect whereas QC focuses on identifying the defect. QC takes care of the processes, techniques, methods designed and defined within the project and makes sure those are being followed correctly. QC includes only the testing team. QC has the detection nature thus detects the defects. QC is a corrective technique.

Testing may be considered as not related to both the above or combination of both. Testing includes verification of the product with all possible scenarios that an end user can come across. Testing is performed with the intention to find the defects in a product. The defects found during testing are further addressed and are fixed by development team.

Hope this information helpful for you.


Very good explanation…

Quality assurance is a process oriented. it is all about preventing detects by ensuring the process used to manage and create deliverable works. Not only does it work, but is consistently followed by the team. QA is all about engineering processes that assure quality is achieved in an effective and efficient way.

Quality control, alternatively product oriented. It is the function of software quality that determines the ending result is what was expected. Whereas QA is proactive, QC is reactive. QC detects bug by inspecting and testing the product. This involves checking the product against a predetermined set of requirements and validating that the product meets those requirements.

Testing is a subset of QC. it is the process of executing a system in order to detect bugs in the product so that they get fixed. testing is an integral part of QC as it helps demonstrate that the product runs the way it is expected and design for.