Quality Control vs Quality Assurance for PMP Exam
Again in everyday language, there is just a thin line between the meanings of Quality Control (QC) vs Quality Assurance (QA), many use these two terms interchangeably and fail to differentiate between the essences of each. In fact, in many projects, both quality control and quality assurance are performed by the same QA/QC person.
Quality Control vs Quality Assurance
- Quality Control: quality control is in the “monitoring and controlling process group” and is concerned with the activities and measures taken to achieve quality requirements (as in the Control Quality process).
- In simpler words, Quality Control is concerned with the quality of the “products/deliverables“. Its major aim is to ensure the correctness of and check for defects in the products/deliverables.
- Quality Control is a “reactive” process to inspect the products/deliverables to detect any non-conformance in them.
- Quality Control is used to verify the quality of the product.
- Quality Assurance: quality assurance is in the “executing process group” and is a process-based approach to ensure the processes and methodology associated with the production of the final deliverables/products are defects free such that the deliverables/products can fulfil the quality objectives (as in the Manage Quality process).
- In simpler words, Quality Assurance is concerned about the “processes“. Its major aim is to avoid defects in products/deliverable at all by assessing the effectiveness of current quality control processes and issue change requests as necessary to correct any defects in the processes.
- Quality Assurance is a “pro-active” process involving understanding the requirements and formulating measures (e.g. quality audit, training, etc.) to achieve the required objectives.
- Quality Assurance is used to manage the quality of the processes.
As seen from the above, Quality Control and Quality Assurance processes are closely related and interact with each other. The quality assurance process defines the procedures to carry out quality control, and feedback from quality control will influence the quality assurance process. Should defects are found from quality control processes, the information would be used by quality assurance processes to determine any corrective/preventive measures that are needed. That’s why “Quality Control Measurements” are an input to the Manage Quality process in the Quality Management process group.
To illustrate the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance, we will look at what each one would look at in the project:
- Quality Control would examine the final product against the quality requirements set out in the Quality Management Plan and report as Quality Control Measurements.
- Quality Assurance would make use of the Quality Control Measurements and other information to re-assess whether the correct methodology and processes are used in the project and the Quality Control process is looking at the correct/most effective metrics, etc.