Quality Assurance (QA) is a method used for identifying mistakes, and getting them addressed, before a product goes out to the customer. When done properly, people who work in quality assurance will also be responsible for finding ways to prevent the mistakes in the first place, and proactively monitoring for defects in the production process. The specific way in which QA is done will depend largely on what industry it is for, and the methods used by each individual company.
QA In Manufacturing
QA is perhaps best known for being used in the manufacturing field. This is because if a part or product gets shipped off that has a defect, it could cause problems and cost money down the line. In many facilities, QA also engages in a variety of other strategies such as continuous improvement. Since the QA team has a heavy focus on identifying when and where defects occur, they are able to effectively come up with waste elimination projects.
Quality assurance is also a major part of any Lean manufacturing facility. As a form of waste detection and prevention, the QA team members have a big role in making sure everything is operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Eliminating Defects in Any Industry
While best known in manufacturing, QA is an essential part of just about any type of business. In software development, for example, QA would be part of the development and testing process. Finding bugs in the software before it is rolled out will be a much easier task than having to troubleshoot the issue with end users. No matter the industry, having a team of people focused on defect identification and prevention is critical.
Similar Glossary Terms
- Quality Engineering
- APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)
- Cost of Quality
- Cost of Poor Quality
- House of Quality
- Total Quality Management (TQM)
- 7 Wastes of Manufacturing