Conflair Inc. - IT Solutioning Company


Quality Assurance in the Software Life Cycle


As any other business investment, Quality Assurance must bring value. The value expected from Quality Assurance is making the software processes more efficient while ensuring that the end-product fits customers' needs. Translated to measurable objectives, that means preventing schedule creeps and budgeting problems; reducing re-work in the requirements, design and construction areas; ensuring efficient discovery and elimination of defects before they reach the end user in short, making the software processes better and thus making the final product better as well.

In order to be efficient, Quality Assurance activities should follow every stage in the Software Life Cycle. Conflair structures it as a concept of QA Support Ring, as shown in the diagram.

For each activity in the Software Life Cycle, there is one or more QA support activities focusing on ensuring the Quality of the process and of the resulting product. To mention a few:

Project Plan Review before you start investing time, money and resources in the project, it's worth checking out whether the plan has covered all the bases, if it's feasible in terms of timeline and resources, or even simple if it is complete...

Requirements Review once the Requirements are written but before more resources are engaged in translating them into design and code, it's useful to review them for correctness, completeness, testability, etc. - and fix the issues while they are still on paper.

Pre-release Quality Status Evaluation you've executed your tests. Defects were logged, and now it's time to decide what to do next: to release or not to release... An analysis of application's Quality level in terms of the impact of the defects discovered can help to make a rational decision based on sound data obtained through Quality metrics.


Having Quality Assurance activities for all stages of the Software Life Cycle can bring significant savings. In fact, the earlier QA is applied, the higher is its ROI. Finding a problem in Requirements can cost ten or more times cheaper to fix than fixing the same issues when found in testing: fighting a paper tiger is easier than a live one...
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