What is Quality Assurance and Why is it Important?

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Technology had not advanced much, and software did not exist when Aristotle said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit”. Yet, it holds true for every software development process. The success of any organization is based on the quality of its products or services.

Quality Assurance or Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a subset of the umbrella process of Software Quality Management, which also comprises software testing and software quality control processes. With the objective of improving software development and maintenance processes, quality assurance guarantees alignment with the business goals, agreement with the required specifications, and compliance with regulatory standards.

Although, software testing and software quality assurance are often used interchangeably, they are different in terms of their scope, role, and responsibilities. While software testing is performed as a sequential step to code development, software quality assurance spans the entire software development life cycle, right from the planning stage till the very end.

Quality assurance is a continuous process of identifying weaknesses and errors in a developed application or software and implementing relevant mitigation measures. QA offers a set of independent eyes and a fresh perspective to discover undetected bugs and defects. It ensures that any potential failures are identified and controlled proactively, which otherwise might cause a big hole in an organization’s pocket and a spot on its market reputation.

Undoubtedly, QA imparts immense value and benefits to a software development lifecycle. Let us delve into why exactly software quality assurance is important:

The Pulse of Agile Development Methodologies

Quality means doing it right, when no one is looking – Henry Ford

In an agile scenario, the scope of each sprint is short, and so is the deadline for its completion. In such cases, sprint managers often tend to ignore the value of QA, thus, taking a huge gamble on software’s quality. By integrating quality assurance practices at the beginning, this gamble can be safely converted into a well-planned and executed project that successfully delivers high value to the customers.

Given the fast, iterative agile processes, QA cannot be an afterthought. There is no time for quality assurance to be performed after the code is developed. It has to be there from the start in order to avoid unnecessary rework at later stages, thus, preventing costly delays.

Better User Experience, Enhanced User Satisfaction

Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising – Milton Hershey

Users crave nothing less than a smooth experience. As the world is undergoing rapid technological advancements, the consumers’ patience for botcy, non-intuitive software is wearing thin while brand loyalty has become a myth. Users today do not think twice before jumping to the competitor’s product if they are offering a better experience.

When quality is assured, seamlessness in experience is a given. Instead of relying on customers for pointing out the mistakes in the application, organizations can be rather proactive in terms of defect detection. The level of user satisfaction is directly proportional to how glitch-free their experience with the product is.

Quality assurance helps build a software application that is usable, secure, robust, accessible, stable, valuable, and reliable. It takes care of all UX-related issues to yield improved customer experience. High customer satisfaction translates into higher revenues and increased brand reputation. Thus, a quality software creates a win-win situation for both consumers as well as organizations.

Better Efficiency with Lower Costs and Failure Risks

Quality is everyone’s responsibility and we never have to stop getting better – W.E. Deming

By embedding quality assurance into the development cycle, organizations can eliminate the risks associated with software failure significantly.

Having a software quality assurance strategy in place ascertains that the developers do not lose track of the customer requirements while taking a few creative liberties here and there. Deviating a lot from the predefined plan may cause non-alignment between the end product and the project requirements, resulting in reworking and violation of the determined timeline. Quality assurance keeps a close watch on the entire SDLC and establishes conformance to the regulatory standards such as CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) and ISO 9000.

By keeping the project on track and by ensuring compliance, quality assurance practices not only derive higher efficiency, but also saves time and costs.

Prevention Over Correction for Issue Addressal

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort – John Ruskin

As oppossed to the legacy software development methodologies, software quality assurance takes the preventive route for finding bugs and addressing issues related to functionality, performance, or security.

Proactiveness in terms of error detection helps organization eliminate the possibilities of a failure, thus, enabling production of a high-performing, intuitive, and stable software. Quality assurance activities help identifying and eradicating processes that produce waste or do not meet the standards. Doing so optimizes an SDLC and increases the overall efficiency.

To Conclude

Quality in the modern IT landscape cannot be taken for granted. It is critical that organizations invest appropriate time and capital into building a quality assurance culture to abolish any chane of failure. They should prioritize preventive measures to decrease the number of required corrective measures. Quality assurance of a software effectively prevents re-work and expensive delays or future failures.

Cigniti’s Quality Assurance and testing expertise helps organizations in their digital transformation initiatives. We have developed checklists, frameworks, processes, testlets, methodologies and best practices to ensure effective and efficient validations of text, images, and videos of applications across devices. Our methodologies, techniques, and specialists ensure that the apps are thoroughly validated for User Experience (UX) and cover responsive web design patterns, screen resolutions, accessibility, usability, content, navigation, etc. Connect with us today.