Pros and Cons of Software Quality Assurance
An increasingly competitive software application and solution development market is leaving many businesses facing significant demand for rigorous, effective testing procedures to guarantee high-quality software products that operate at an exceptional level of performance without fault or complication. Consequently, the need for software testing and software quality assurance services has grown significantly in a relatively short period, and the increase in demand is likely to continue.
This has resulted in many businesses looking into strategic outsourcing alternatives to ensure software quality that meets or exceeds customer expectations. This brings the challenge of determining whether third-party outsourcing provides sufficient advantages to existing in-house testing efforts.
Quality Assurance—What It Is and Why It’s Important
When referring to software development, testing and quality assurance are procedures used to validate and ensure the code comprising the final product functions without error and satisfies performance and usability requirements. Testing and quality assurance methods are sometimes also used to plan and determine usability requirements before primary developmental efforts.
The last decade has seen significant shifts in software engineering geared toward more intricate and complex software testing. This has occurred partly due to advances in the speed and complexity of software delivery cycles and in response to increasing end-user sophistication that has led to higher performance expectations. These factors have combined to result in significant changes in what is required of a final product, which means more stringent testing and quality assurance are needed to ensure customer satisfaction and a successful product launch.
Software Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control
Quality assurance in software testing, more commonly referred to as QA Testing, typically refers to the process of guaranteeing high-quality engineering practices and adherence to procedures intended to ensure sustained efforts that provide a high level of quality across various projects and solution development.
Though there are some similarities, quality control in the context of software testing generally refers to a narrower scope of focus intended to ensure the quality of a single software product or service. Typically, the objective of the quality control process, commonly abbreviated as QC, is to ensure a particular software product satisfies finite and defined requirements through testing and reviewing functionality.
Critical differences in the practices can be summarized as follows.
- Has the goal of preventing defects during development through verification of methodologies.
- Does not necessarily entail narrow-scope functional testing or program execution.
- Is a collection of proactive and preventive techniques spanning the entire development cycle of software products.
- Is a more holistic, “all hands” approach to defining standards and methodologies geared toward ensuring high-quality engineering practices.
- Are efforts intended to ensure proper execution of developmental procedures.
- Is more reactive and geared toward identifying and remedying product defects.
- Is a corrective technique that involves direct execution of a software product, functional testing, and a series of specific test cases.
- Is generally carried out separately and subsequent to quality assurance efforts.
- Is a validation activity as opposed to verification.
Therefore, Software Quality Assurance can be described as the comprehensive monitoring of all software engineering processes, activities, and methodologies used in project development to guarantee the product meets or exceeds quality expectations and conforms to pre-defined standards specified in the early stages of development.
It is a critical process that ensures the error-free performance of a product upon commercial release. If overlooked, it can adversely impact user experience and overall application usability and risk substandard performance of the software product.
Quality Assurance and Testing
Within the context of a software development project, the procedures involved in testing and quality assurance can be implemented in different ways and with varying methods. Quality assurance efforts take place throughout the entirety of a software development lifecycle.
The primary objective of quality assurance is to ensure procedures are defined, developed, and implemented in a consistent, methodical, sustained, and reproducible manner. While it can encompass a test plan or other functional testing elements involved in modern software testing, its primary purpose is determining whether developed software solutions satisfy quality requirements and ensure the best possible user experience.
Main Benefits of QA In Software Development
- Major costly failures are prevented by early error detection and correction.
- Increased value and greatly improved end-user experience.
- Increased assurance of overall product performance and value.
Software Testing and Test Automation
Software testing is generally performed directly by developers only on more modest or small-scale projects. Larger scale projects, which can sometimes comprise several separate applications or solutions as opposed to one product, typically require dedicated and specially trained quality assurance personnel responsible for developing, executing, and assessing test processes.
Engineers directly reviewing the code can conduct software tests manually. In this manner, they can verify quality standards. Though somewhat outdated, this was a longstanding approach to conventional quality assurance methods in the past.
This approach is time-consuming and can be error-prone. Today, automated software testing provides significant benefits, including a faster time-to-market and protection against human fallibility. Engineers can now analyze application code or functionality automatically (and in many cases in parallel) with various functional testing frameworks. This dramatically accelerates testing and enables rapid code updates.
Such automation has become critical in today’s environment, where developers may be releasing application updates on a greatly accelerated timeline compared to historical development and update timelines.
Pros and Cons of Quality Assurance
Faster testing processes made possible by modern automation capabilities significantly decrease the time required when compared to conventional manual testing.
Increased internal productivity due to decreased labor demands.
Decreased risk of lost revenue caused by product defects at or after launch.
Increased confidence in product capabilities is made possible by QA processes that identify and correct errors prior to a product launch.
Builds credibility and increases consumer trust by the provision of high-quality, superior-performing products made possible by QA procedures.
Can be resource intensive due to reliance on highly-experienced and specially trained software engineers and QA leads—although higher quality end product justifies the dedication of these resources.
Higher costs are required for appropriate testing tools and appropriately talented professional services, though again, this investment is offset by increased end-quality.
Potentially time-consuming due to testing processes that may need to be repeated to confirm error-free operation; although this can increase go-to-market times, contracting highly experienced QA professionals can significantly diminish this risk. This, in turn, can lead to decreased time to market through the use of highly efficient QA methods and specialized tools.
Why You Should Consider Working with a QA Partner
Unless the main focus of a business is comprehensive software testing, it’s unlikely an existing in-house team—if it even exists—will have the highly specialized skills required to see the optimum benefits that robust functional testing, test automation, and other QA processes can provide.
The right partner can accelerate the QA software testing process while simultaneously increasing accuracy and security, resulting in a top-tier end-product that provides the maximum possible value to its end-user.
Our expert software testing and QA processes have been developed and refined for over a decade through the creation of five KMS-product companies—including two of the leading software testing solutions on the market.
Even the most stringent, demanding usability testing requirements are fulfilled and expectations surpassed by an unequaled dedication to excellence and specialist testing automation expertise that are the hallmarks of the KMS software testing team.
The KMS Advantage
- Expert-level familiarity of and with appropriate QA testing solutions.
- Comprehensive understanding of software development lifecycles.
- Highly refined and thorough testing processes.
- A cohesive group of experienced QA leads.
- Reduced costs associated with talent acquisition and training.
A partner like KMS can help attain development and business goals with efficient, effective, and rapid software testing and quality assurance services. Whether you wish to expand the capabilities of an established in-house software testing team or are looking into the benefits a fully-staffed and experienced team can bring to your process, KMS is the answer.
KMS has the expertise, talent, and software quality assurance services needed to complete any development project successfully. To learn how KMS and our quality assurance team can help you meet your goals, schedule a free consultation to discuss your technology needs today.