The concept of franchising has burned itself into our cultural psyche. Why? Because they provide a sense of familiarity and homogeneity. For instance, a McDonald’s in Seattle will serve the same Big Mac as a McDonald’s in Miami.

What process ensures the same quality, taste, and McDonald’s experience across huge geographical, cultural, and social divides? Quality control.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality control provides three things for your business. For starters, it builds customer trust when they consistently get a product that gives them value, serves their needs, and meets their expectations.

Secondly, it makes your brand look good. You aren’t putting out content with lots of typos, presenting webinars with slides written in Comic Sans, or other slip-ups that make your organization look unprofessional.

Lastly, quality control is critical because it protects your business. If your content is making unqualified claims, such as language that makes grandiose guarantees, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. You can’t make claims such as “100% of the time” or “every time” because that’s impossible. By protecting your brand, quality assurance is a savvy way to protect yourself from lawsuit-happy customers.

When Should I Conduct Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance usually comes in two forms. For starters, you can always conduct quality assurance at the end of a process. This can come in the form of a copy-edit, or a final pass, depending on the type of product you want to launch.

This approach often comes in the form of minor tweaks. However, if you stick quality control at the end of the production process, you often end up shooting yourself in the foot.

Quality assurance is meant to be included throughout the process. That way, you don’t have to do a drastic overhaul at launch time, when you’re struggling to fix a fatal flaw uncovered at the last second.

That’s why QA is so much more than just passing your work over to a keen, editorial eye for a copy edit. It’s about implementing holistic, change-oriented methods that help revolutionize your organization’s processes.

Connect Quality Management and Change Management

Quality assurance and change management go hand in hand, helping to bring tangible action items to more idealistic goals, such as improving the quality of education. For instance, quality control means crafting workflow systems to help define core activities for students and educators, set benchmarks for quality and achievement, and leverage audits, grades, surveys, and hard numbers to measure quality.

Depending on your team and products, different quality assurance systems might work best for you. Whether you’re interested in a specific process such as Lean Management or Kaizen, it all starts with process checklists and benchmarking.

Create QA Process Checklists

One of the most important benefits of quality assurance is scalability for your organization. Especially if you’re a startup, this can be very difficult. You may be used to a brutal cycle of adapt, overcome, and conquer. Startup environments require flexibility and strong problem-solving skills. However, that often translates to flying by the seat of your pants.

If that’s how your company works, it’s time to start documenting processes. It’s the only way to ensure consistency between every product, every time. This is especially true for marketing processes. What does the process look like when writing a video script, for instance? How many iterations does it take, who needs to sign off, and what departments (such as audio and visual, content, marketing, legal) need to cooperate to get it off the ground?

Once you have a system documented, you can translate this into a QA process checklist. This will help you ensure consistent, high-quality products each time because you’re following the same processes.

Benchmark Your Quality Assurance

Sometimes, it can feel tempting to reinvent the wheel. However, you need to be able to champion the best practices in your industry. Whether you’re trying to get your website to the top page of Google or trying to figure out how to design the graphics for your new video, there are industry best practices to follow.

If you’re trying to play catch up, it slows your business. This will make the quality of your products suffer, especially since the marketing and tech industries metamorphize so rapidly.

Quality assurance also means benchmarking your performance and product quality based on what competitors are doing. Seeing how other organizations are spending their time and money while gauging the quality of the products that they’re putting out, is a great way to outpace your competitors.

Level Up With a Quality Management Plan

When you’re trying to level up your quality assurance, it’s important to operate with a clear quality management plan that includes the knowledge of processes, industries, competitors, and best practices. It’s the only way that you can effectively level up and reach new heights with your goals.

It’s also the best way to preserve and earn customer trust by putting out consistent, high-quality products. What’s the best way to do that? Partner with an agency with the depth and breadth of knowledge to level up your company and provide the birds-eye, unbiased quality management that every company needs. That’s what Affirma is here for.

Cassie Barthuly is a Content Writer at Affirma.

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