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40 Examples of Quality Assurance

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Quality assurance is the prevention of mistakes in the delivery of products and services. In many cases, quality assurance teams are responsible for reporting quality incidents and metrics to a governance board on a regular basis. When quality issues occur, quality assurance is tasked with implementing improved processes and systems. The following are examples of quality assurance functions.
Quality policies
Quality objectives
Quality planning
Quality standards
Industry regulations
Quality certifications
Quality audits
Third-party audits
Quality control
Testing procedures
Inspecting & testing products
Monitoring service quality
Continuous improvement
Process improvement
Standard operating procedures
Process validation
Documentation of quality checks
Employee training related to quality
Supplier evaluations and quality scorecards
Customer feedback
Customer complaint handling
Complaint analysis
Customer advocacy
Customer experience testing
Usability testing
Statistical analysis of quality
Quality metrics
Quality reporting
Service reliability
Incident management
Problem management
Root cause analysis
Corrective action plans
Preventative action plans
Project quality
Managing quality risks
Communication of quality issues
Accountability for quality issues
Compliance monitoring
Regulatory liaison

Specific Examples

Illustrative examples of what quality assurance does:

Human Error

A latent human error in a banking user interface allows traders to switch quantity and price by accident. This results in some incidents whereby several mispriced orders were submitted to the market. Quality assurance reports the incidents to the executive team and sponsors an expedited change request to add UI validations that prevent the issue from reoccurring.

Systems

An internet banking website has availability of 98.7% with individual pages that are as low as 93.4%. The target and industry standard is for availability of 99.99%. Marketing teams complain that they are losing customers. The quality assurance team investigates the issue and identify several lapses in service management processes and systems. They sponsor a program to address the issue.

Manufacturing

Quality control samples at a headphone manufacturer indicate dropping sound quality in every batch produced over the past 3 weeks. Quality assurance investigates and finds that a supplier has changed the materials in a part. They push the supplier to fix the problem.

Processes

A government regulator submits an inquiry to a bank regarding several mistakes on customer accounts. Quality assurance investigates and finds that an employee incorrectly resubmitted a settlement process that executed 12,213 transactions twice. The quality assurance team immediately works to contact impacted customers, fix their accounts, compensate customers and report back to regulators. Quality assurance submits a change request for new IT controls that prevents a recurrence of the issue. They also investigate why account reconciliation processes didn't catch the problem.

Design

Quality assurance investigates customer reports that a car navigation product is so difficult to use that it has caused minor accidents. They find that touch areas are too small, an issue that causes a significant driving distraction. Software teams issue a fix and quality assurance issues a product recall that asks customers to update their software with a free toolkit.

Security

A telecom company experiences regular security incidents that are reported to the executive team by quality assurance. While information security generally falls under the IT team, quality assurance handles regulatory compliance and essentially has an oversight function. This can include monitoring compliance to information security regulations and submitting regulatory disclosures as required.

Food Safety

A fast moving consumer goods company requires customer service teams to report any customer complaints that are relevant to food safety to the quality assurance team. The team investigates each issue to determine root cause and implement process and system fixes.

Overview

Quality assurance is the top level management of quality that can address quality issues and drive improvements to product quality, service quality, process quality and customer experience. This involves engaging customers and analysis of customer feedback and complaints. Quality assurance is also key to incident management and solving day-to-day quality issues.

Summary

The following are common examples of quality assurance.

Discussion

In practice, quality assurance is very different from one industry to the next. For example, manufacturing firms tend to focus on conformance quality such that quality assurance is involved in quality control and preventative actions to reduce defects. In the IT industry, quality assurance may be more focused on service reliability, incidents and information security.
Definition: Quality Assurance
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