QA auditing is an important part of the app development process because there is so much competition in the development of digital products and services. Today’s consumer is savvy, and if your web services or mobile app fail to meet quality standards, users will abandon your products and services, and your brand image and reputation will suffer.
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While being first to market is important, you cannot allow quality to be sacrificed for speed. Quality assurance auditing doesn’t necessarily have to hamper the pace of your development projects, but you need to account for quality assurance and implement an audit process as part of development.
Let’s take a closer look at what QA auditing is, how it works, and the key benefits of performing regular quality audits.
What is QA Auditing?
Quality assurance auditing is tasked with ensuring the quality of digital products and services through the analysis and improvement of the development process. The end goal is to make the development process as efficient and effective as possible while adhering to quality standards that are defined by the team, organization, or customer.
Also, keep in mind that app stores like the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store will require your app to meet certain quality requirements. Not doing so will most likely delay your plans.
The Difference Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control
In many cases, quality assurance and quality control are confused for one another or used interchangeably. This is understandable since both feature similar tasks and ultimately share a common end goal which is a high-quality product.
Here is a simple way to distinguish between quality assurance and quality control. Quality control is concerned with reviewing the end product and looking for aspects that could be improved, fixed, etc. Quality assurance concerns itself with auditing and improving, if necessary, the processes that lead to the end product.
QA audits are seeking to prevent defects from occurring in the first place. Quality control practices look for defects that are already present and find ways to remedy them. Performing quality assurance audits is a proactive measure, not a reactive measure.
How QA Auditing Works
Since the ultimate goal of QA audits is to prevent bugs and other defects from arising, audits need to focus on the entire software development life cycle. The earlier an error or defect is identified in the software development life cycle, the cheaper and easier it is to fix.
A thorough QA audit will monitor all of the processes involved in the software development life cycle in real-time, help set quality standards to aid in the prevention of errors, and make improvements to the process where and when necessary.
One of the best ways to perform audits is to establish an audit team within your development project. An audit team can handle project management tasks and help communicate quality standards to stakeholders and team members. QA auditing is greatly aided by clearly defining and communicating your quality assurance process to each member of the teams involved in your project.
If you set clear quality standards, the team members performing development tasks can ensure that all actions are followed in the appropriate order and all tasks adhere to a consistent standard. Clearly communicated standards will make the task of auditing simpler and less time-consuming since every team member essentially performs a mini QA audit on their individual tasks.
The Key Benefits of QA Auditing
Performing audits is a very important part of web and mobile app development. Without quality audits of the digital products and services your teams are developing, you run the risk of releasing poorly built software. This can negatively impact your business reputation and cost your organization a lot of time and money in fixes that could have been prevented.
While quality control testing is also extremely important, you don’t want to wait until your product is built to start thinking about quality. Here are the reasons why quality assurance is so important:
- Save time and money
- Benchmark performance
- Drive improvement
- Aids in standardization of processes
Save Time and Money
Two of the most valuable resources a business has are time and money. By saving both, organizations can increase productivity and drive innovation. QA audits help highlight issues and errors at every step of the development process.
Errors that are caught early in development are easier to fix and less costly. If you wait to audit or quality test until the product is built, you could be missing issues that could have been found in the planning or design phases of development.
The longer an error is allowed to persist, the more likely it is that you will need to make big changes to the design or source code. This will cost time, money, and make your development team less efficient and productive.
QA auditing gives project managers and team leads the ability to check the current performance levels of individual processes during development. This data can be compared with internal quality standards or other teams on the project to determine how well each aspect of a process is performing in the context of the greater project.
This gives audit teams the ability to quickly pinpoint areas that need to be improved upon and track a project versus past performance metrics and quality standards.
With the ability to benchmark project performance, audits can help drive improvements on the development team by highlighting areas where team knowledge could be improved upon, identify changing trends, and identify processes that are underperforming.
All of this information can be used by project management to drive improvement and take corrective action to address any shortcomings that the QA audits identify.
Aids in Standardization of Processes
Implementing a QA audit strategy will ultimately help your organization define development and performance quality standards that can be used across all projects. Standardization helps ensure consistency from project to project, and it helps ensure that quality standards are clearly communicated to team members. This will ultimately make the audit process more efficient in the future too.
QA auditing is an important part of development. It is far too costly to wait until a product is developed to run quality testing. QA audits should be a part of all development projects because they ensure that quality standards are being met at every point in the software development life cycle.