Modern industries are on the race track of a highly competitive market, striving to gain customers. How can a company win? One of the key criteria is ensuring good quality of its products and services. But the traditional testing and quality control paradigm is not enough in the context of emerging technologies. That is why something new is being implemented in business — quality engineering solutions.
What Is Quality Engineering?
Traditionally, a quality control team is involved in the last stages of production, and its task is to detect defects in an almost ready product. But such methodology has proven to be inefficient: if some drawbacks are revealed, the product may have to be redesigned, requiring much time and additional expenses.
A new testing methodology, named quality engineering, can greatly improve productivity and reduce costs. What is quality engineering (QE) and how does it differ from traditional quality control? Let’s find out.
The QE approach implies that each stage of the product development cycle is under a rigorous check of quality engineers. Moreover, quality maintenance is provided long after the product is delivered. The implementation of this strategy in manufacturing or software development processes ensures the sufficiency of the output from the very beginning, minimizes defects and reduces potential losses.
In other words, quality engineering is the analysis, management, development and maintenance of different systems in accordance with high standards.
What Is Quality Engineering in Software?
QE principles are based on the end-to-end management and operate under the assumption that quality is the responsibility of everyone involved. This is closely connected to Agile and DevOps methodologies that numerous software development companies are practicing nowadays. Software quality engineering is the assurance of high standards during a software development process in the context of DevOps and Agile.
|Read also: What Is DevOps? The Ultimate Guide to DevOps|
The key role is played by quality engineers — individuals who create, implement and maintain systems used to control the quality of production processes. They should gain a thorough understanding of all the technological activities and evaluation principles.
Their main responsibilities are:
- General control of the process
- Setting up standards and parameters
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Development of appropriate tests
- Identification of issues
- Finding possible solutions
- Generating a plan for improvement
- Plan execution using different tools and methods
- Following up to ensure that issues have been addressed
Quality engineers can’t work in isolation, because QE methodology is even bigger in scale than the traditional QA approach. In quality system engineering, people in multiple roles must cooperate to meet customer expectations. They are:
- Business architects
- IT architects
- Security officers
- Requirements engineers
- Test managers
- Project managers
- Product managers
|Read also: Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance|
Quality engineering is driven by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and Big Data analytics. Automation is the driving force behind turning the traditional testing into a more effective quality support model.
According to Accenture, “more than 50 percent of the software development effort is spent on testing today. Machine learning, analytics and automation can help reduce that significantly.”
Quality Engineering Tools and Methods
How does one measure the quality of IT services? The main criterion is, perhaps, customer satisfaction, as it consists of objective and subjective opinions concerning functions, usability, reliability and security. To match this criterion, QE integrates tools and methods taken from different disciplines such as enterprise architecture and product management, software and systems engineering, information security management, etc.
|Read also: Estimation Techniques in Software Testing|
Here is a list of the most popular tools and philosophies encompassed by QE:
- QMS (Quality Management System). The system is created and implemented to outline the process, control and document all activities at every stage.
- TQM (Total Quality Management). A comprehensive philosophy of continuous improvement of operations at all levels. Its core principles are clear goal-setting, full documentation and performance measures from the client’s point of view.
- Kaizen (from Japanese “improvement”). Business activities of continuous improvement, involving all employees, from CEOs to ordinary workers. The practice results in decreased defects and increased productivity.
- Six Sigma (from the Greek letter “sigma” used to denote standard deviation). A set of empirical and statistical methods aimed at identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability.
- EFQM Excellence Model. A framework for business excellence developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management. The model follows the RADAR logic and includes values and criteria regarding which companies can diagnose and evaluate themselves.
- VOC (Voice of the Customer). Integration of client expectations and preferences into processes.
- SPC (Statistical Process Control)
Thousands of organizations around the world and across various industries implement the above-mentioned and other techniques to reduce the number of faults and to create the best output in accordance with customer needs.
Quality Engineering Services
IT outsourcing companies, including SaM Solutions, provide various services concerning quality support. QE services are divided into three groups.
QE consulting is an essential service for companies that recognize the need for improvements and want to develop a strategic plan. A team of subject-matter consultants is able to:
- Get insight into the current status of your company
- Develop a strategic plan for the QE introduction
- Provide templates and documents necessary for moving forward
Proper training performed by highly qualified specialists is the most powerful tool in any undertaking. If you are going to introduce QE methodology into your enterprise, take the time to provide effective and professional training for your teams.
There can be different options:
- Offsite training — courses at a vendor’s training center with a higher level of engagement
- Onsite training — courses on your premises in a working environment
- Online training — independent courses adjusted to your schedule and available at any time, from any place
The creation and implementation of quality management systems is a long-lasting procedure that may require professional support at any moment. Qualified vendors can share a significant amount of relevant information and helpful resources to address any issues that may arise. QE support is needed to audit production, analyze problems, solve them and successfully achieve goals.
The main goal of modern businesses is to produce high-value goods at competitive prices. Using quality engineering methods helps reach this goal, reducing the time from idea to output in a cost-effective way.
Properly implemented and effectively used QE tools may have a profound impact on the whole organization. You can maintain high standards and meet all of the needs of your customers with the help of SaM Solution’s specialists. Decades of our experience in various industries guarantee that you will get the solution in full compliance with your desires and expectations.