Quality assurance (QA) and quality control are two terms used in many businesses to describe project management processes. The terms are closely related, but they mean two entirely different things. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t yet know the difference between the two. Here’s some information about project management quality control and quality assurance and how you can tell them apart.
What is quality control?
Quality control is a process that looks at the quality of a finished product and measures it. After measuring the quality, the company can choose to accept the products as is or request that the workers improve the quality in some way. The quality control method may also be used to determine whether one company pays another company a full check for a shipment of products.
What is quality assurance?
Quality assurance is a process designed to reduce the number of defective products. Management members implement various strategies to accomplish that. The quality assurance part of the process closely monitors production methods and looks for an issue that might reduce the quality of the product. Then the team decides on making any changes that can improve those processes.
For example, the quality assurance team might devise a better way to separate items on an assembly line to prevent them from knocking against other products. Small changes in that part of the production process could reduce the number of defective products coming off the line.
What’s quality assurance vs quality control?
Both quality control and quality assurance are processes that measure quality, but they have different purposes. Quality assurance is more of a preventative measure used in the pre-production stages, while quality control is more likely to occur after a product gets produced.
Which one do I need for my project?
It’s best to have both types of procedures to keep track of your project. Quality control numbers can be much better with a higher focus on quality assurance. Then, the products you create will perform better once they get released to the masses as well. Therefore, having a quality assurance and quality control team will be most advantageous if you can afford to have them both in your budget.
Here’s an example of how QA and QC work together.
The quality control person is the one who might measure the number of defective toys on an assembly line. He or she will report those numbers and communicate with the quality assurance person.
The quality assurance person would look more in-depth at the equipment used to produce the toys, the workers’ work ethic and processes, working conditions, etc. He or she would then develop strategies to improve the issues causing the quality control numbers to be lower than usual. The two specialists work together but do entirely different jobs.
You should now have a full understanding of quality assurance versus quality control. Ensure that you set up your project to have both types of processes so that you can produce the highest-quality products possible.