I have been reading quite an interesting site SQA.net where I stumbled upon the following:

When the requirements are produced (in this example) the Software Quality Control team would ensure that the requirements did in fact follow the documented standard (in this case IEEE xyz). The same task, by SQC, would be undertaken for the user interface design and the SQL implementation, that is they both followed the standard identified by SQA. Later the SQA team could make audits to verify that IEEE xyz and not IEEE abc was indeed used as the requirements standard.

> In this way a difference between correctly implemented by SQA and followed by SQC can clearly be drawn.

I actually like the definiton as it sounds about correct (QA being process-centric, while QC product-centric) but I fail to see what is the difference between "correctly implemented" standards and "followed" standards.

In the example, it reads that QA will audit to see whether the correct IEEE standard was used. Well, how can they do that otherwise than checking if the work product adheres to the content?

1 Answer 1


You can look at this from the product vs process perspective: is "not following the standard" a product or a process problem? It is a process problem because the issue is that the process/policy/guideline was not followed.

So ensuring that the standards are "correctly implemented" and "followed" are both QA jobs.

The confusion might have arrived because in most small or even medium-sized companies QA and QC can be done by the same team or even the same person.

Looking at the "About us" of the website you mentioned, the author states "I realized that adherence to standards only makes sense within a continuous improvement framework" and that he created a "guide to implementing and benefiting from CMMi for the ‘every day’ person (not just NASA personnel)". So it seems to me like he is writing from and for the perspective of a small or medium company. Since continuous improvement (by a dedicated QA team at CMMi Level 5) is only feasible in large companies, the author probably experienced the QC team doing a QA job because the QA team was understaffed. Furthermore, you can see in the author's work history (in the same "About us" page) that he uses QA as a synonym for QC.

I have worked (both as a QA and QC) at large organizations where there were dedicated QA teams, and distinctions between QA and QC were very clear. But if you have not had that experience it can be difficult to separate the roles in your mind, especially when you have seen those roles be performed by the same person or team.

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