What is Quality Assurance?
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) provides the following quality assurance definition...
"The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled."
- American Society for Quality (ASQ)
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You can think of quality assurance as the activities and management processes that are done to ensure that the
products and services the project delivers are at the required quality level. It is process driven and focused on
the development of the product or delivery of the service.
Quality Assurance Tools & Techniques
There are many tools and techniques that form the basis of the key quality assurance principles.
Some of these include...
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Cost of Quality (COQ)
- Control Charts
- Design of Experiments (DOE)
- Statistical Sampling
- Flow Charting
- Quality Management Methodologies (i.e. Six Sigma, CMMI, etc)
- Cause and Effect Diagrams (i.e. Fishbone Diagram)
- Pareto Chart
- Run Chart
- Scatter Diagram
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
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Quality assurance and quality control are sometimes confused with each other.
One of the key quality assurance principles that differentiates it from quality control is that quality assurance
is performed during the project to help make sure the product meets the quality standards. For
example, creating a Project Quality Management Plan, following a quality assurance process, and performing audits.
Quality control, on the other hand, evaluates whether the resulting product produced by the project met the
quality standards. Quality control activities are performed after a product has been created to
determine if it meets the quality requirements. The results of the quality control process are used by the quality
assurance process to determine if any changes are needed to the quality assurance process.
Hopefully you are now able to answer the question, "What is Quality Assurance?" using the
definition of quality assurance presented here as well as distinguish between quality assurance and