Software quality Assurance (SQA) is a process of monitoring and assuring that all processes ranging from defining requirement to coding that relate to software engineering adhere to the defined standards. It is a procedure that ensures that the software development process is efficient and effective according to QA standards. The SQA is a continued process within SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) that periodically check the developed software to ensure its compliance with quality measures. It tests the quality of the product during phases of development until completion. It allows the software development process to transition into next phase only after the preceding phase meets required standards.

There are several well recognized standards for SQA in the industry such as ISO 9000, ISO15504, and CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integrated), TMM (Testing Maturity Model), etc. to name few. These models typically revolve around testing customer focus, process approach and improvement, and Quality valuation of execution and control.

SQA Plan

The SQA plan incorporates techniques, procedures, and tools that can be used in determining whether product or service meets the requirements as specified in SRS (Software Requirement Specification). The SQA plan determines the responsibilities and roles of SQA team, SQA work products, and the components that need to be reviewed. Following are the essential constituents of SQA plan document.

  • Introduction (purpose, scope)

  • Reference (reference documents)

  • Software Configuration Management (organization, tasks, responsibilities)

  • Documentation (problems, corrective actions, tools, technologies, methodologies, code controls, and record maintenance

  • Standards and Metrics

  • Reviews and Audits

The SQA plan prevents reworking on predefined processes or roles and enables your business to deliver a quality product. Following procedures are undertaken to execute SQA at its best

  • Establishing checkpoints at different stages of the project wherein the quality of the project can be evaluated.

  • Applying engineering techniques such as FAST (Functional Analysis System Technique), WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), SLOC (Source Line of Codes), and FP (Functional Point) estimation.

  • Performing multi testing to ensure product is tested from all possible angles.

  • Evaluating product to ensure it meets customers’ demands and Monitoring process against predocumented activities

  • Validating the requests for change, evaluating the nature of change and controlling its effect.

  • Fixing reported defects and use metrics to observe activities and proposed changes.

  • Perform SQA audit and compare it with the established process

  • Maintain records and share final reports with stakeholders.

Approaches to SQA

SQA can be performed by using following approaches

  1. The Defect Management Approach

This approach works by counting and managing errors resulting from improper handling of data and bad code. Each defect is assigned a category, depending on its severity, for the team to take action to address it. This approach works best with control charts to gauge and improve the capabilities of development process. Process capability is the indication of process adherence to specified standards.

2. The Quality Attributes Approach

This approach is all about quality characteristics such as suitability, functionality, usability, reliability, maintainability, learnability, and portability.

SQA Techniques

Besides auditing to inspect whether the product meet standard processes, there are several other techniques for SQA some of which are mentioned below

  • Reviewing: It is a formal setting in which product is examined by external and internal stakeholders to seek feedback and approval.

  • Simulation: it is a tool to model real situation to virtually examine the product under study

  • Static Analysis: It is an automated analysis done through metrics or reverse engineering without having to execute the program

  • Code Inspection: It is a form of static testing to find bugs based on checklist, entry, and exit criteria

  • Design Inspection: It includes inspecting general requirements of the design, interface specifications, logic and structures, performance, and recovery, etc.

  • Functional testing: It is a form of black box testing focusing on system specifications

  • Path Testing: It is a form of white box testing wherein every independent path is executed once at the minimum.

  • Stress Testing: It is a form of testing in which system is subjected to heavy loads to check its ability to take stress outside the normal conditions.

Why SQA is Important

SQA is a way to check if the product or service is fit for use. It is important not only from the customers; perspective but also from the business perspective to maintain market survival and meet clients’ expectations. SQA allows the periodic review of processes and standards while establishing bassline expectations from the product. It ensures the delivery of high-quality product with low maintenance cost in terms of time and money. It helps in detecting product defects with a potential to cause serious consequences for timely correction early in the software development cycle. It also conducts root cause analysis for determining the weakness of processes wherein a defect is located.

Khired Networks provide smart and viable software maintenance and support services to help clients fully focus on their valuable tasks while letting our team to focus on high-quality of your products and services. We have a team of highly qualified and dedicated software quality professionals who are experienced in supporting and maintaining complex software applications. We are fully dedicated to providing you with support and maintenance at any level that could boost your organizational performance and enhance productivity.