Quality Assurance vs Testing: Difference and Comparison

The term “quality assurance” and “testing” are terms that are mainly associated with the software development process. The terms are closely related, and often their meanings overlap one another.

As a result, stakeholders are often heard using them interchangeably. But, as far as the technicality of both terms is concerned, they are not synonymous.

Key Takeaways

  1. Quality Assurance focuses on preventing defects in the entire development process, while Testing detects and corrects defects in the product.
  2. Quality Assurance applies to all stages of development and involves continuous improvement, whereas Testing is a specific stage in the process.
  3. Quality Assurance involves establishing and maintaining standards while Testing validates if the product meets those standards.

Quality Assurance vs Testing

Quality assurance (QA) is a set of activities designed to ensure that software products meet specified requirements and quality standards. Testing is the process of executing the software with the intention of finding defects. Testing is essential to QA, but it’s not the only aspect.

Quality Assurance vs Testing

Quality Assurance is an important step of software development as it is the procedure to innovate, analyze, remove and add features that improve the overall quality of the product before it reaches the target customer. It mostly concerns quality management, invariably fulfilling quality requirements.

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The complete process of quality assurance goes through measurements, standard comparison, acute monitoring, feedback, implementations, and the final stage of quality control, which involves testing. Testing, or better-called quality testing, is the final stage of ensuring proper implementation of all the trial and error during quality assurance.

It ensures the highest possible product devoid of any defects for the target customer. In agile industries, quality testing also ensures user-friendly specifications. It ensures the validation of the product.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonQuality AssuranceQuality Testing
DefinitionQuality Assurance can be defined as a procedure to prevent mistakes and defects in manufactured products.Quality testing can be defined as a final stage of quality assurance that checks all developments made throughout the process.
Way of operationQuality Assurance ensures strict adherence and smooth work to attain the desired quality of the product.Quality Testing ensures validation of the product against user-friendly specifications.
AimIt aims at making innovation through trial and error to bring out the highest quality possible.It aims at discovering errors and fixing them before it reaches the final customer.
OrientationIt aims at making innovation through trial and error to bring out the highest quality possible.It aims at discovering errors and fixing them before it reaches the final customer.
SubsetIt is a subset of the software development life-cycle.It is the subset of the stage of quality control i.e. a subset of quality assurance.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is a wide topic of the software development lifecycle that ensures the quality of the end product and the processes through which the end product is derived. It is a proactive process that prevents defects in the process of software development.

It involves a whole team of stakeholders, analysts, strategists, developers, and testers to ensure specification in every aspect. Though it is a lengthy process, it ensures that the end product going for quality testing is quality specific and developed in terms of unification. 

The task is supervised by a team of quality analysts for proper adherence to the process. The quality analysts’ prime job is to prepare a quality assurance strategy.

A quality assurance strategy defines the approach and nature of development to take place through the quality assurance program. The analysts strategize the whole process in steps that include the following- 

  • Stakeholder engagement and financial reporting. 
  • Training requirements of the team for optimum performance. 
  • Adoption of a methodology. 
  • Document management. 
  • Engaging non-functional requirements.
  • Service architecture to support service orientation. 
  • Adoption of testing strategy. 
  • Confirming designing standards. 
  • Applying coding standards, checking and rechecking them. 

In this way, the whole process of quality assurance is carried on. Thereafter, the software development life cycle moves to the next stage, i.e. quality control.

Quality testing is a subset of quality control.

What is Quality Testing?

Quality control is the process that examines the quality of the end product. It mainly focuses on validating the end product according to the specifications and requirements as desired by the target customer.

Quality control includes activities like demonstrations, testing, inspection, and review in a loop until approved by the supervisor. Quality testing is the most integral phase of quality control.

Here, the defects are identified, and suitable replacements are made. The testing techniques differ from product to product but mostly revolve around functional, non-functional, and acceptance testing to detect software bugs.

Besides detecting the bugs, quality testing also aims to fix them so that a quality product reaches the end customer. A strategist plans the steps of quality testing, which are most likely to include the following-

Proper planning of the test.

Strict execution of the test.

Analysis of the test.

Identification of the defects.

Fixing the defects.

Test reporting.

Thus, this loop of identifying and fixing the defects continues until and unless the product is devoid of any further defects.

After the product is made ready according to the recommendations of the target customer, a test report is prepared. It is only then that the product is sent to the customer.

quality testing

Main Differences Between Quality Assurance and Testing

  1. The prime difference between quality assurance and quality testing is in the area they cover. Quality assurance is a much greater concept than quality testing. Quality assurance is a subset of the software development life cycle, whereas quality testing is a subset of quality control, which is a subset of quality assurance. 
  2. Quality assurance is wholly a process-oriented procedure, while quality testing is purely product-oriented in nature. 
  3. Thus, because of the nature of work, quality assurance can be called a proactive process. However, quality testing is undoubtedly reactive in nature. 
  4. Starting from stakeholders to testers, on the one hand, quality assurance requires the whole team, whereas, on the other hand, quality testing requires only the testers. 
  5. By process of quality assurance, defects are prevented, whereas the process of quality testing finds and fixes the defects.
Difference Between Quality Assurance and Testing
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-1056-0_61
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VoCX09hOsCoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR17&dq=Quality+Assurance+and+Testing&ots=vg0Rr5s0uS&sig=hRdH6-IGxVYaji-FjRb9j0h2xtE
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