What goes into Quality Assurance Services?

quality assurance services

What goes into Quality Assurance Services?

Quality Assurance also known as QA Testing, is defined as a pursuit through extensive testing to ensure that an organization is presenting the best possible product or service to customers. A quality management system provides industries with a set of coordinated processes to regulate, govern and continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the product or service performance. 

In the software and application development domain, the quality assurance services assure that all software engineering processes, methods, activities and work items are monitored and comply against the defined standards. And these defined standards could be one or a combination of many like ISO 9000, CMMI model, ISO15504, etc. QA consolidates all the software development processes starting from defining and gathering requirements to coding until release. Its primary goal is to ensure quality.

The Quality Assurance Plan
The software quality assurance plan comprises of the procedures, techniques, and tools that are employed to make sure that a product or service aligns with the requirements defined in the SRS (Software Requirement Specification).

The plan identifies the QA responsibilities of a team, lists the areas that need to be reviewed and audited. It also identifies the QA work products.

The Quality Assurance Plan consists of the following sections:

  1. Purpose
  2. Reference
  3. Software configuration management
  4. Problem reporting and corrective action
  5. Tools, technologies, and methodologies
  6. Code control
  7. Records: Collection, maintenance, and retention
  8. Testing methodology 

Quality Assurance Activities
Given below are the list of QA Activities, in an orderly manner:

#1) Creating a QA Management Plan:
The foremost activity includes laying down a proper plan regarding how the QA will be carried out in the project. Along with the approach, it is vital to know what engineering activities are going to be carried out. The planning also includes ensuring that the QA team has got a right mix of talent.

#2) Setting the Checkpoints:
The QA team sets up distinct checkpoints according to which it assesses the quality of the project at each checkpoint. This ensures constant quality inspection and working as per the schedule.

#3) Apply Software Engineering Techniques:
Utilizing some of the software engineering techniques assists a software designer in delivering high-quality specification. In order to gather information, a designer may practice techniques such as FAST (Functional Analysis System Technique).

Further, based on the information gathered, the software designer can prepare the project estimation using techniques like WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), SLOC (Source Line of Codes), and FP (Functional Point) estimation.

#4) Executing Formal Technical Reviews:
An FTR is essential to evaluate the quality and design of the prototype.

In this process, the technical staff takes care of the actual quality requirements of the software and the design quality of the prototype. This activity helps in identifying errors in the early phase of SDLC and reduces the rework effort in the later stages.

#5) Having a Multi- Testing Strategy:
Having a multi-testing strategy means that one should not rely on any single testing approach, instead, multiple types of testing should be conducted so that the software product can be tested in different ways to ensure better quality.

#6) Enforcing Process Adherence:
This activity emphasizes the need for process adherence during the software development process. The development process should also stick to the defined procedures.

#7) Controlling Change:
This activity uses a mix of manual procedures and automated tools to have a mechanism for change control. By authorizing the change requests, evaluating the sort of change and managing the change effect, it is ensured that the software quality is maintained during the development and maintenance phases.

#8) Measure Change Impact:
If any defect is notified by the QA team, then the concerned team fixes the defect.

Next, the QA team should learn the impact of the change which is caused by this defect fix. They need to ensure that the change doesn’t only fix the defect, but also if the change is compatible with the whole project.

For this purpose, software quality metrics are to be used which allows managers and developers to observe the activities and suggested changes from the beginning till the end of SDLC and initiate corrective action where so ever required.

#9) Performing QA Audits:
The purpose of the QA audit is to inspect the entire SDLC process followed by comparing it against the established process to ensure the deliverance of the quality assurance services set.

It also examines the status reports reported by the team to check if all the tasks were properly performed and exposes any non-compliance issues.

#10) Maintaining Records and Reports:
It is quite essential to keep the necessary documentation related to the QA process and share the required information with the stakeholders. Every document be it, test results, audit results, review reports, change requests documentation, etc. should be kept for future reference.

Quality Assurance Indicators
When measuring the quality of software, one needs to have objective indicators for each required quality. A software quality metric is a measure of property of a piece of software or its specifications. Some of the software quality indicators are:

  1. Progress of development
  2. Stability of the software
  3. Process Compliance
  4. Quality and Evaluation effort
  5. Test coverage
  6. Complexity of the code

Conclusion
A proper QA planning provides the framework and guidelines for the development of readable and maintainable code. These processes help ensure the quality solicited in a software project. 

A QA plan also provides the methods for ensuring that quality software will be provided or sustained in-house or under contract. These procedures directly influence planning, designing, writing, testing, documenting, storing, and maintaining computer software. It is to be followed in the aforementioned way to ensure the quality of the software rather than describing specific procedures for developing and maintaining it.

Maple Software, being one of the most reliable Quality Assurance companies functions on the principle- ‘Quality from day one‘ which allows the organization to achieve their quality goals flawlessly. Powered by years of testing experience, the quality assurance services by Maple Software ensures that every client receives the best in class quality solutions and their end product meets the high standards.