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What Is Quality Control? Short Guide About QC’s Responsibility

Software Development   -  

August 31, 2020

Table of Contents

What is quality control?“, “What are the 4 types of quality control?”, “How to apply quality control method?”, etc. are the common questions a new quality control inspector would face.

Regardless of any field, the quality of the end-user product always takes priority. Especially with software development, a minor bug can lead to the whole program crash and terrible financial problems like the loss of millions of dollars.

What is quality control

Hence, if you want to be an excellent software quality control inspector in the future, let’s start with the most basic terms and essential information before going into a deeper understanding. 

Keep reading and discover this seems-to-simple about quality control meaning and other relevant topics in this article.

What Is Quality Control?

1. Definition of quality control

Quality control, in general, is a set of dedicated activities or processes to make sure that the final deliverables meet the quality requirements of the customers, as well as find out and deal with errors. In other words, thanks to quality control, businesses could maintain and even improve the quality of their product.

Definition of quality control

In terms of software development, quality control makes a great contribution to the success of highly-appreciated software. 

Software quality control would trace, identify, reject, reduce, and correct potential defects and bugs in your project. In Software Development Cycle Life, the Testing/Review phase consists of quality control activities, which aim to achieve compliance with tech specs and users’ demands of the software.

2. Importance of software quality control

It is time to deal with the topic “Why do we need software quality control?, or “What are the benefits of quality control?”.

The first and the most crucial reason is that our software products’ quality needs to be monitored and improved. Our last goal is high-quality software that delivers an amazing customer experience, and quality control is an indispensable powerful tool in the software development process.

Secondly, excellent software that satisfies customers will help your business avoid destroying their trust in you, as well as enhance the brand’s impeccable reputation. 

As a result of the second benefit, when customers’ needs are met, they are willing to pay money for your product. There is no doubt that a firm guarantee for the quality of your software is an attractive point to users. Increasing sales is a reasonable answer to the importance of quality control, right?

Along with increasing sales, software quality control also makes its own contribution to reducing cost and avoiding resource waste. When applying quality control, you will get a better overall view of your product, thereby you can know how to allocate available resources efficiently. Besides, the data collected through the quality control process as well as useful tools will help you lower inspection costs while ensuring smooth software development.

There are numerous other advantages of software quality control I didn’t mention here. However, I believe that with just these 4 important reasons, you know why quality control is a must in a software project.

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3. Classification

Let’s move to the next question, “What are the 4 types of quality control?”. In this section, I will say briefly about 4 main types of quality control.

Firstly, process control ensures every phase in a software development process is working correctly and stably, which means there are no errors or defects in each activity. 

The second type of quality control is acceptance sampling. Sometimes, depending on different tech companies and different software projects, reviewing and testing all single products is an impossible task because it might create a huge deficit in the budget. In these cases, choosing a (or several) typical samples to inspect is a better option.

The next type is control charts, which visualize and analyze how your software products vary from the intended specifications. It illustrates the existing problems or the necessary changes through the X-bar chart – a common type of control chart.

And the last one is product quality control, which pays particular attention to the final product before it appears on the market. This type of quality control will make sure that the end-users product meets the customers’ standard requirements.

Now, we will go through quality control’s responsibilities in software development.

Software Quality Control’s Responsibility

  • Inspect software quality at every phase by using industry-appropriate methods, such as checking tech specifications, complying with standard production/development processes
  • Review customers’ requirements and design
  • Review test plans and cases during the whole process
  • Record test results and analyze quality database through detailed reports and summaries
  • Propose software quality improvements
  • Monitor and use the quality control tools efficiently
  • Find solutions to quality-related problems promptly

Software Quality Control Activities/Strategies

1. PDCA cycle

PDCA Cycle consists of 4 steps: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Generally, software quality control procedures follow these steps to monitor the process.

Plan: With the first step, it is time to define what you need to do to control the software quality (including objectives, quality control method, strategies, detailed activities, etc.). Your duties are to review the testing documentation, testing plan, and case creation. Gather and analyze quality-related data.

Do: This step allows you to implement your plans and activities, in order to evaluate the effect of these changes later.

Check: To carry out the third step, you need to collect, record, and analyze the results you achieve. Make a comparison between what you planned to get and what you really got. Are there any flaws in the testing plan? Or are there any unpredictable errors in software quality you haven’t realized? Summarize what is done correctly and what needs to be improved.

Act: Based on the lessons learned from the previous step, you can continue to apply the valuable activities and correct what went wrong (or create a different plan). Repeat the PDCA Cycle several times until you get the expected results.

2. Software quality control review

To control the quality of software, what you need to do is to verify all quality-related requirements of the clients, the testing plans, test cases, code, and design. Your software development process requires reviewing at each phase.

The purposes of software quality control review are:

  • To make sure the testing process is going smoothly and effectively
  • To minimize the bugs and defects in the final products
  • To allocate the available resources in a well-organized way with minimum wasted effort or expense
  • To completely remove the lack of the quality required

Along with ensuring the software’s quality, the review steps also help to reduce maintenance costs (with fewer defects) and production time and cost (with effective allocation).

3. Software quality control testing

As the subset of software quality control, testing plays an essential role in identifying any hidden bugs in software. There are 2 main types of software testing, including manual testing and automated testing. 

With manual testing, the tester doesn’t use any automated tools. They experience and test the software as an end-user at different levels (unit testing, integration testing, and system testing).

Whereas, automated testing makes use of scripts and other programs to check a large testing coverage with quick and repeated performance. Compared with manual testing, automated testing saves time, cost, and human resources, and makes better accuracy.

However, this type of testing is usually used for the areas that need to be tested frequently with little variation in requirements. 

Software quality control testing

There is no shortcut to success.

If you want to create high-quality software and become a skilled quality control inspector, you need to learn from the most fundamental lessons to the professional technicals. We hope that our article is the first step towards your dream when it gives you a basic understanding of what is quality control, a QC’s responsibility, and quality control procedures.

If you still have any doubts, please leave your comment below. And don’t forget to share this article with other people if you find it informative and helpful!

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