Processes and tools

The benefits of Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Processes and tools

QA engineers fixing bugs in desktop application

What are QA and QC?

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC)  – these terms are often confused.

Quality assurance foregoes quality control because it is conducted on the level of documentation, business logic description, designs, and other documents. It is a proactive process that focuses on finding flaws and inconsistencies before the development process has started. This way it is possible to prevent issues that can be costly to fix in the future.

Difference between quality control and quality assurance

Quality control aims to find and detect an issue in the product itself. If the QA team interacts with the documentation, the QC team interacts with a product or a part of the product (deliverables). Testers validate that the program works correctly and as expected.

Apart from detecting and reporting an issue quality control team is responsible to test the fix for this issue and validate it. Testers use a variety of techniques and methodologies in their work to provide quality from different aspects.

This way QA and QC processes supplement each other and help deliver stable and reliable products. QA/QC is conducted before, during, and after development to ensure high standards.

Why is QA important?

Many startups neglect to hire a QA/QC team thinking that having senior developers will save the day because top engineers have enough experience for not making mistake. It is true that experienced developers write quality code, nevertheless, it doesn't guarantee that the code will be error-free. Moreover, the work of developers is to code and not to test. Surely, engineers should check what they have developed but the checks are usually basic or for proof of concept. One person just will not have enough time to code and test the product thoroughly. That is when a QC engineer should start their work. A tester's role is to make functional and non-functional testing in different environments and validate that the product behaves as expected in all cases.

What are the threats of neglecting quality assurance and quality control processes?

Missing the deadlines

Your team was working hard on developing the product, and everything seemed good. All work scope has been implemented, and the market is almost ready to see the product. But when you tried to use the product yourself you notice some issues. The developers give an estimation for fix and you understand that the deadline is missing and you are not ready to launch your app at the predicted time. Moreover, you may face another obstacle - regression, which will again delay the launch.

Cost of fixing bugs at various stages of software development

Higher development cost

You missed the deadline, and now you feel upset or even angry because you need the product in time. To fix it the project needs more time and money. If the launch is expected as soon as possible, you may want the dev team to work overtime, which must be paid extra, however, the team spirit goes down and it is a cost for not hiring at least one tester during development.

Unstable and unreliable product

If the developers managed to fix some obvious bugs but were not able to find other flaws, be sure that your users will find them. And they are not going to be happy with unstable and unreliable product. Nobody wants to use software that will let them down. Just put yourself in your users' shoes and think would you pay for a product that doesn't work properly?

Safety issues and proneness to lawsuits

When an issue is not just functional but deals with security and compliances, it leads to fraud and data leakage. Users who experience security issues will start lawsuits that may result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars lost. Violation of HIPPA compliance can cost from $100 to $50K per case. This way a product may go bankrupt.

An interesting fact: It cost Facebook more than a dozen of thousand of dollars to resolve the bug that could give access to users' accounts? One QC engineer specialized on security noticed a serious issue related to temporary pins that Facebook sends to users. Luckily, the bug didn't go to production and had been fixed before the release.

Lost of reputation and customer loyalty

Customers tend to write bad reviews more often than good ones. And if something goes wrong, the Internet will share the news. Even twenty bad reviews for a new product may bury its reputation for a long time. Once being distrusted can become a tag for a lifetime. It will result in spending more money to resolve the issue.

Conclusion

Potential threats may harm your product a lot. One should think twice if they are ready to face the music. In this article, we tried to attract your attention to the importance of QA/QC processes in the product as it is often underrated. We advise to think of quality inspection and introduce it in the early stages of product development.

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