To the basic understanding, quality is the combination of characteristics of the product that are significant to determining the degree of acceptability of the product to the customer. According to sir Edwards Deming, quality should be aimed at customer present and future. Therefore, it can be said that quality is degree of goodness marked by consumers / customers. The quality is relative term and it is said to be met when goods and services are analyzed on basis of both consumers and producers perspective.
- Quality is fitness for use.
- Quality is grade or distinguishing feature of the product.
- Quality is degree of preference.
- Quality is degree of excellence.
- Quality is conformity to requirements.
2. Quality Control:
One of the approach of improving quality of the product is implementing quality control. It is an operational technique and activities that are used to fulfill requirements for quality. it consists of corrective tools that are reactive in nature. The quality control tools help to find faults in the product or services and take necessary action to deliver good quality product or services.
3. Quality Assurance:
For better quality system, quality assurance is important. Quality assurance is a planned and systematic activities implemented to provide adequate confidence that product or services will fulfill requirements for quality. It is a system implemented by an organization which assures outside bodies that data generated is of proven and known quality and meets the need of end user. This assurance relies heavily on documentation of process, procedures, capabilities and monitoring of such.
Quality assurance refers to the process used to create the deliverables and can be performed by a manager, client or even a third-party reviewer. For example, quality assurance includes process checklist and project audit. If the project is audited, the auditor might not be able to tell if the specific deliverable is acceptable. However, auditor should be able to tell if deliverable seem acceptable based on the process used to create it. This is why project auditor can perform quality assurance review because it is about knowing about how good process looks like. Quality assurance uses various tools such as bench marking, flow chart, cause and effect chart. Widely used approach for quality assurance is Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA) cycle.
Plan: Establish new objective and process necessary to deliver results in accordance with expected output.
Do: Implement the new process. Often small scale if possible
Check: Measure the new process and compare the result
Act: Analyze the difference and determine where to apply the changes to make improvement
4. Which comes first, Quality Assurance or Quality Control ?
Quality assurance is more effective in maintaining quality of any product or service. Quality control is product-oriented activity and quality assurance is process oriented activity. Without assuring quality of process, quality product cannot be achieved. Quality assurance is a broad approach which refers to the process used to create deliverables and can be performed by manager, client or even third-party reviewer. Whereas QC is focused on only deliverable itself and conducting QC needs technical skill. QC is about finding defect during or after the product development and correcting them whereas QA is meant to produce defect free goods and services which means being right for first time with no or minimum rework. However, both quality control and quality assurance is equally important for managing overall quality in the system and both need to be implemented for achieving quality goals of the institution.
Name : Pratiksha Shrestha
Ms. Shrestha holds masters degree in food engineering and bioprocess technology from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand. She is currently working for Government of Nepal at Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), Kathmandu. She is also a teaching faculty in College of Applied food and Dairy Technology (CAFODAT) affiliated to Purbanchal university, Nepal.