The need for Quality Engineering
Today’s exceedingly competitive global marketplace requires businesses to deliver high-quality products at competitive prices. These businesses often rely solely on Quality Assurance (QA) to ensure that everything works as planned and aligns the end-product to business and end-user requirements. However, the proliferation of technologies and the vast availability of information have changed the way products and services are developed and delivered. The traditional method of quality assurance has given way to a method wherein the quality of products is checked and enhanced at every stage of the process, eliminating the perception that quality assurance should be done at the end of the production cycle.
This warrants the question – Is the slight shift in the placement of Quality Checks enough to make a significant change in the outcome? The short answer is yes. To understand the reasoning behind the answer, it is important to understand the salient differences between the traditional method of Quality Assurance and its successor, Quality Engineering (QE).
Let us begin with Quality Assurance.
Quality Assurance is a process and methodology framework that is used to validate the expected functionality and the related output of a product. In this traditional model of ensuring quality, the Quality Assurance team gets involved only once the product development has come to an end. Their job is to detect any faults with the product before it goes to the users, and if there are any defects in the product, the product is sent back to the development team. This method is packed with inefficiencies. The biggest one being, once the quality assurance team identifies the inaccuracies, it usually requires a complete overhaul of the product.
The QA-driven model also exposes the apparent gap between the product developers and assurance analysts as the developers build the product based on the requirements, and the analysts are involved only in specific phases of the development cycle. This leaves room and probability of defects being pushed to later stages product, resulting in a wastage of time, energy and money.
Leaving the ownership of quality to the QA team results in developers seeing quality as an end-stage or exit point for their activities. Quality takes a back seat.
To solve this conundrum, an alternative method for ensuring quality products has come about – Quality Engineering (QE). By applying stringent quality checks as part of product development, Quality Engineering has revolutionized the way products are now being developed. This model works from a platform where each person involved in developing the product is responsible for its quality. This perspective ensures that the overall product will be of high quality, as issues can be attended to in real-time. Unlike the quality assurance model, quality maintenance does not end when the product is complete. It continues with the cycle, and any information attained is used to improve the next round of development.
This agile and dynamic method for detecting and arresting defects early in the product life-cycle reduces the potential cost of defects at a later stage. While QA sees quality as a top-down approach, QE views it as both a top-down and bottom-up effort. In doing so, the Quality Engineering methods and tools used during the stages of conception, development, and implementation of a product, can ensure that the end-user is kept at the heart of the product design and development.
Over the next few weeks, we plan to detail what lies in the future of Quality Engineering, what kind of industries can benefit from QE, etc. However, if you are interested to know how we can revolutionize your organizations’ approach to product-building, read about our Quality Engineering expertise. At Opteamix, we offer full-spectrum QE solutions that will help organizations define their testing strategy, implement real-time testing, and build self-adapting testing systems. We offer customized Test Automation for applications and enable Quality Engineering for existing and future systems.
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