A common misconception about quality assurance is that it’s mostly about finding bugs. But QA is more than just finding bugs in a software product. Quality assurance helps ensure that the right processes and procedures are in place for delivering high-quality software products. It is a more comprehensive topic than software testing because it covers the outputs of software delivery and the inputs to improve the probability of a positive outcome.

Quality Assurance

QA is the proactive process that works out ways to prevent possible bugs in software development. Integrated into the software development lifecycle (SDLC), quality assurance requires involvement from the entire project team, such as stakeholders, business analysts, developers, and testers. 

Quality assurance plays a crucial role in improving the project team’s productivity through the specification and establishment of software development specifications and quality standards.

Quality Assurance activities include:

  • Quality audit.
  • Defining process.
  • Tool identification and selection.
  • Training of quality standards and processes.

A software product has several quality attributes which are required to deliver a high-quality software product. These attributes are functionality, reliability, usability, efficiency, maintainability, and portability. In order to achieve a good score on those quality attributes, a quality assurance process is required. A good quality assurance process involves the following:

It ensures that the resources, schedule, and budget are clearly defined. It includes the required resources, a development plan, schedules, risk evaluation, a quality plan, and project methodology.


Two stages form the project lifecycle. First, we have the development stage, in which quality assurance helps identify design and programming errors. In contrast, the second stage, the operation maintenance stage, aims to improve maintenance tasks.


This component focuses on preventing software defects and minimizing the rate of errors. It includes procedure and work instructions, templates and checklists, staff training, retraining, and certification, preventive and corrective actions, configuration management, and documentation control.


This stage involves controlling development and maintenance activities. It establishes the managerial control of the software development project. As a result, it prevents the project from going over budget and falling behind schedule.


This last component aims to initiate and support the implementation of software quality assurance components, identify deviations from the predefined procedures, and recommend improvements.


Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control vs. Software Testing

Quality control is a set of procedures to ensure that a product adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the client’s requirements. In simpler terms, quality control is about the verification of the correctness of a product’s quality. 

Software testing involves validating the product against specifications and requirements, finding defects, and reporting them. It involves the execution of software components using manual or automated tools to evaluate one or more properties of interest.

Quality Assurance
  • Proactive process
  • Process-oriented
  • It aims to prevent defects
  • Ensures that processes and procedures are in place to achieve quality
  • Involves the whole team


Quality Control
  • Reactive process
  • Product-oriented
  • It aims to find and fix defects
  • Activities to ensure product quality
  • Involves the testing team

Software Testing
  • Reactive process
  • Product-oriented
  • It aims to find and fix defects
  • Validate the product against specifications
  • Involves the testing team


Although QA, QC, and software testing are sometimes used interchangeably, there are key differences between the terms. QA is a proactive process that works out ways to prevent possible bugs in software development, while QC and software testing are reactive processes that aim to find and fix defects. 

An efficient quality assurance process is a time-consuming procedure that relies on proper planning and extensive managerial optimization. Check our blog for more details and guides on the subject, or get in touch with our professionals for more questions regarding quality assurance.

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