Why All Quality is Not Created Equal

Quality isn’t supposed to be subjective. By definition, a quality product meets a certain set of standards that are not only agreed upon, but deemed superior. Every manufacturer has a process that finds flaws in design or production and fixes them to make products safer. But what if they stop in the middle of the process or disregard a result they don’t like? What if they design a test that they know they can never fail?

 

Testing doesn’t guarantee a good product unless the process is designed to find flaws. Then, those flaws must be thoroughly analyzed in order to find the true source of the defect. When it comes to quality assurance in software, asking developers to do this can lead to oversight. All quality is not created equal, but when a third-party software testing team can play a supporting role, quality is tested for its own sake, not just to get the green light.

 

How High are Your Standards?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the standards for how products, including software, are tested to ensure quality assurance. This includes “the assembly of all planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product, process, or service will satisfy given quality requirements.” Okay, great… in theory. The ISO requires a process to be in place in order to make sure any company puts out a quality product. By this logic a toy manufacturer could use lead paint and sell the product to children. They might have a process in place, like an ineffective visual spot check, that meets ISO standards. They have a quality assurance process, but that doesn’t make the process good.

 

The quality of a product directly relates to the quality of the testing process, especially when it comes to software quality assurance. You might think that simply because you test it, your software is quality, but that just isn’t true.

 

A Quality Process is the Only Way to Assure Quality

Quality assurance is a process with many steps. Period. However, not all processes are created equal. Some companies might follow a three-step process while others have a multi-layered fifty step process. Those three steps might be more effective than fifty, too, depending on what happens when they are completed.  How do your tests convey the results? Do you have a thorough 12 step summary report? Who analyzes the report? Do you have separate teams to independently verify results?

 

It’s also essential that your process concludes with a structured way to address what you find. Who reports what? To who? When? All of these things and more need to be considered when you decide how you’re going to design a testing process for any piece of software. You can test all day long, but if you cover your eyes and put your fingers in your ears when you get the results, then decide to put out a product anyway, you’re going to have a bad day…or longer.

 

Internal vs. Independent Testing

If you have an internal testing process, you’re taking a step in the right direction, but what you probably need is an independent tester. This is because your internal QA or developers might not be too concerned with finding faults in their own product. In fact, it’s possible that they just don’t want to. This might be because they’ve gotten so close to the work, they just can’t see the glitches. Or perhaps they are just ready to move on to the next thing or know how much work a defect represents to fix.

 

An independent tester can look at software with no attachment and pick it apart as needed. They do this while focusing on quality assurance, instead of how much time they already put into all the cool features that they want to work perfectly.

 

Calling your software quality simply because it’s been QA tested with the same old internal processes is like calling a car collision-safe because you’ve hit it with a hammer. That’s why you need an independent testing company like iLAB. We understand what it takes to help put out products that not only meet the ISO standards, but the expectations of users and stakeholders, and the requirements that made the product necessary. If you need a truly independent software quality assurance process that actually assures quality and finds defects instead of simply confirming what you already know, contact iLAB today.