When software is being developed in an engineering concept, some form of assurance validity must be met, this is in order to measure requirements in each stage of the SDLC. In developing a Software Quality Assurance, guide I came across a reference to Software Quality Plan. They are both similar in structure and my understanding of them thus far is that SQA (SOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE) is enforcing quality procedures and the SQP (SOFTWARE QUALITY PLAN) are the directions on how you go about enforcing the quality assurance.

My Question is, what is the sole purpose for the Software Quality Plan if the 'software quality assurance guide' basically covers areas such as;

  • Purpose of the software being built
  • Scope of the Software
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Systems Functional and Non-Functional requirements
  • Metric Systems such as Auditing and Process Analysis

Is there a clear distinction between the SQA Guide & SQP?

  • 2
    Where did you hear these terms? – candied_orange Jun 7 '17 at 5:34
  • 3
    Terms like these don't have such a well-defined meaning, even if some people act as if they had. In different contexts or different organizations they are used differently. – Frank Puffer Jun 7 '17 at 8:22
  • Recommended reading: Open letter to students with homework problems. "If your question... is just a copy paste of homework problem, expect it to be downvoted, closed, and deleted - potentially in quite short order." – gnat Jun 8 '17 at 16:57
  • Sorry, I didn't read your question as 'Software Quality Assurance Guides' Vs 'Software Quality Plans'. Since it was in bold, I just answered for 'Software Quality Assurance' Vs 'Software Quality Plans'. Sorry, for the confusion. I will keep the answer as it is, as there is already an accepted answer. Might be useful for somebody who is looking for 'Software Quality Assurance' Vs 'Software Quality Plans'. – RK_Aus Jun 9 '17 at 7:58

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) - An organisational quality guide:

  • Process that ensures that developed software meets and complies with defined or standard quality specifications.
  • Common Standards, regulations, and procedures to confirm work products during SDLC
  • SQA is an ongoing process within the software development lifecycle (SDLC) that routinely checks the developed software to ensure it meets desired quality measures.
  • SQA helps ensure the development of high-quality software.
  • Organisational knowledge base of best practices
  • Off-the-shelf software tools can be used
  • Preventive activities

Software Quality Plan (SQP):

  • It is a project level quality plan
  • Project commitment to follow applicable set of standards, regulations, procedures and tools during SDLC
  • Contains quality goals to be achieved
  • SQP may contain new procedures for the project which are not defined in organisation SQA guide
  • SQP may contain new tools being used in the project for SQA

Any deviation of an SQP from SQA should be justified by the project manager and be confirmed by the organisation management.

Software Quality Control (SQC):

  • Set of activities for ensuring quality in software products

  • Corrective activities

  • Quality Control (QC) can be considered as a subset of Quality Assurance (QA)



  • Requirement Review
  • Design Review
  • Code Review
  • Deployment Plan Review
  • Test Plan Review
  • Test Cases Review


  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Acceptance Testing

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  • Forgive my vague previous question and hope this edited version clears it up. – E. Fuller Jun 13 '17 at 4:59
  • Your updated question is clear to me. I assume you are looking for the difference between 'SQA Guide' and 'SQA Plan'. You are finding contents of both documents almost same. – RK_Aus Jun 13 '17 at 5:47
  • I updated my answer to give more clarity. If you have any specific questions between SQA and plan, please let me know. – RK_Aus Jun 13 '17 at 6:10
  • Thank you, this answer is fantastic, I am still very new to the software engineering path and I meet a lot of engineers who use both SQA guide and plan interchangebly and others use as to separate terms, however they accomplish nearly identical functions depending on the situation required. Thank You Sir. – E. Fuller Jun 14 '17 at 5:08

The software quality assurance plan is used as a baseline to compare the actual levels of quality during development with the planned levels of quality. If the levels of quality are not within the planned quality levels, management will respond appropriately as documented within the plan. An SQA plan also provides the procedures for ensuring that quality software will be produced or maintained in-house or under contract. These procedures affect planning, designing, writing, testing, documenting, storing, and maintaining computer software. It should be organized in this way because the plan ensures the quality of the software rather than describing specific procedures for developing and maintaining it. Based on the definitions of these two plans, they should mean the same.

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