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 illustrative examples.
Human ErrorA 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.
SystemsAn 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.
ManufacturingQuality 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.
ProcessesA 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.
DesignQuality 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.
SecurityA 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 sponsors a variety of cross-department information security initiatives such as defensive computing training.
Food SafetyA 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.
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