10 Aspects to Consider When Choosing Software Testing Companies for Outsourcing
This guide will assist you in evaluating and selecting the best Software Testing service provider to outsource any of your manual or automation testing work.
Software testing is a component of almost every software development project. Many businesses outsource software testing. Outsourcing means transferring work to another company, either locally or internationally. Outsourcing software testing service is a popular trend in the IT world.
This article is written to help you decide whether to outsource software testing work and where to find the best company.
Things To Consider When Evaluating Software Testing Companies/Service Providers
Sort all of the company’s activities into primary and secondary tasks. If software testing falls into the category of a secondary task, you should consider outsourcing the testing services.
Software testing is an essential phase of software development, but it is not the primary focus of most businesses. Having specialized hands handle software testing allows your company to focus on the remaining core missions.
The risk of releasing the wrong product into the market is increased by frequent requirement changes combined with a rapid software development lifecycle.
Software quality assurance costs nearly 50% of the total project cost. Creating and maintaining an internal QA team takes time and resources, which can be costly. Building an in-house specialized testing team is extremely difficult.
When and Why Should You Outsource Software Testing?
Outsourcing software testing allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and drive innovation. Simultaneously, software testing service providers work effectively and efficiently, resulting in higher product quality and a positive business outcome. Outsourcing the services to a dedicated, experienced, and specialized outsourced quality assurance personnel ensures the best possible results.
Contracting with an independent team of software testing / QA professionals to perform testing saves the organization time and money regardless of the scope of the project or the frequency of testing needs. Outsourcing your QA needs to a professional team can save your company money and time.
To summarize, here are some reasons why you should outsource:
- Reap cost benefits
- Reduced internal efforts
- Independent Quality Assurance
- Access to an efficient & highly proficient team
- Form a team whose primary focus is testing.
- Enhanced application quality
- Quick deliverables/ Boosts up software testing efficiency.
- Thoroughly-tested final products
Aspects to Consider Before Outsourcing Software Testing Service
Let us go over each of these points one by one:
#1) The Engagement Models
This is a critical step in the outsourcing process. You must understand the business strategy and model and choose the geographic location and the type of outsourcing you are interested in. You can choose between incremental and total outsourcing.
All work is divided into smaller parts in total outsourcing, and each part is outsourced to service providers. In this case, you have the option of selecting multiple service providers. The supplier bears the lower risk in this model, and the portfolio and product knowledge remain in-house. However, for the work to be done correctly, the client must keep a close eye on the outsource provider.
Total outsourcing entails assigning all work to a single service provider. It is frequently cost-effective for the client because the supplier bears the risk here. The supplier has a comprehensive view of the portfolio here. Total outsourcing, on the other hand, necessitates meticulous planning.
#2) Team Location
One of the most critical questions is whether to hire an offshore testing company or a local company.
Offshoring can provide high-quality services at a lower cost. Contracting work in another country (i.e., offshoring) carries a higher risk due to communication barriers, cultural differences, and language issues.
Due to time zone differences, it may not be easy to contact the vendor team. On the other hand, working with a team based in the same country eliminates all cultural, time-zone, and language barriers.
When selecting an offshore service provider, ensure they can overcome these obstacles.
You should choose a team that will ultimately add value to your product while lowering overall costs, as this is the ultimate goal of outsourcing.
Service Level Agreement (SLAs)
The output expected from the service provider is defined by the contract signed between the service provider and the client. SLAs must be defined in advance to ensure complete alignment of goals between the service provider and the client. SLAs should be linked to the engagement model, KPIs, and testing type.
Some essential items to include in your SLA are:
- Timelines for reporting and project management
- Product quality indicators (Test case efficiency, defect reporting quality, traceability, test plan quality, etc.)
- Transfer of knowledge
- Process Conformity
- Business fundamentals
This phase is primarily made up of three components.
- Creating the contract
- Making SLAs
- Creating the SOW (statement of work)
The organizations come together for the outsourcing during the mobilization phase. Finalize and communicate the contract, statement of work, and service level agreements to the chosen service provider. Both vendors’ and clients’ legitimate interests should be protected. Furthermore, establishing an effective long-term relationship between the parties involved is critical.
Flexibility and Scalability
Outsourcing contracts necessitate some degree of flexibility to ensure that timescale fluctuations are met. Flexibility should be determined by considering factors such as robustness, modifiability, new capability, and ease of exit.
One of the client’s primary goals is to achieve significant quality improvement through outsourcing. The process and working methods should be continuously improved as the contract matures. The ultimate goal should be to improve the end product overall.
If not handled properly, frequent requirement changes from the client end may impact the testing cycle. Service providers should maintain a robust change management system to offset the additional cost, time, and effort of dealing with requirement changes.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property protection is one of the most important aspects to consider when outsourcing services. When outsourcing, one of the most difficult challenges is protecting a company’s intellectual property. The vendor should protect the client’s personally identifiable information (PII) and not use it for any other purpose other than the intended business.
Communication breakdowns between clients and vendors can cause a stumbling block in work. As a result, the two parties must establish a proper communication channel. The client and vendor should exchange a list of POCs for each work area.
The vendor should assign the outsourced work to a team of QA engineers, leads, managers, and technical staff who are competent and expert in software testing and management skills. You must ensure that your work reaches the right people.
Many clients also conduct interviews at the vendor site to ensure that the resources assigned to the project are competent enough to complete the work.
Data security is critical from a business standpoint. Outsourcing companies have information security policies and standards in place. Many vendors hire a dedicated team to work in an ODC (Offshore Development Center) where only the team for a specific client project is located.
ODCs restrict the entry of any outside personnel. ODCs also prohibit mobile phones, cameras, and storage devices like pen drives.
Choosing a QA Outsourcing Company – Guidelines, Tips, and Recommendations
Choosing the best service provider for your software can be difficult. If your software falls into the wrong hands for testing, the result will be chaos.
The following are the risks to your business if you select the wrong vendor for your testing work:
- Hindrance in the flow of work due to time zone, cultural & language gap
- Depreciated quality
- Delivery delays
- Delayed support
- Security breaches
- Slipping control over operations
Before delegating work to a vendor, careful consideration and thorough research are required. Spend some time deliberating before making a final decision.
There are numerous software testing vendors today, each claiming to be the best in their field. However, you must choose the best one from this pool of vendors.
To Find the Best Company Follow These Steps
Determine what to outsource
First, determine what you want to outsource. Make a list of the scope of your work, testing areas, testing types, and test coverage you expect from the vendor.
There are various types of testing services that can be outsourced. It is divided into four broad categories:
- Enterprise Application Testing
- Web application testing
- Desktop application testing
- Mobile application testing
Also, specify the target devices and platforms for which you want the testing performed.
To Whom Should I Outsource
After deciding that you need to outsource testing services and defining your requirements, the big question is who to outsource to.
You must first determine which vendors in the market are capable of meeting your requirements.
Testing services are provided by large corporate IT companies such as IBM, Capgemini, Wipro, and others. Aside from these, some companies only offer specialized QA testing services. These include TestFort, QA Mentor, QASource, and others.
Conduct an investigation
Investigate these vendors using the internet, other companies that provide similar services, ex-employees, social media, etc. Check the information vendors provide about themselves. Conduct a thorough examination of the company you intend to outsource to.
Interact with these vendors’ technical and managerial experts to learn more about them. Learn more about the team’s capabilities and experience. The testing outsourcing company must understand your products and your customers.
Evaluate and Finally Decide
Make a final evaluation of the vendors and outsource the work to the one who ranks first in your evaluation.
How do you evaluate the service provider now?
Evaluate the QA Testing company using the following criteria:
Software testing specialization
The company should specialize in software testing services and be staffed with best-in-class specialized professionals.
Examine the company’s portfolio regarding its vision, mission, objectives, experience, customer focus, and current clients. The company should be well-established in outsourcing and have a positive market reputation.
Give preference to a partnership-oriented vendor over one who only takes on a one-time project at any cost. Vendors who value partnerships want to maintain a long-term relationship with the client. They provide excellent service and thus add value to the customer’s business.
Flexibility and Scalability
The client must ensure that if the testing requirements change in the future, the provider can handle it smoothly. The vendor should be able to deal with changes in scale and timeline. The business model should be adaptable and robust enough to accommodate technological changes, team resizing, and pilot projects.
There are several levels of security, including:
- Physical security
- Network Security
- Database security
- Adhoc security
- Intellectual property protection
- PII protection
Examine all aspects of security the vendor provides and select one that provides a highly secure environment. Never jeopardize the security of data that is critical to your business.
Assess the company’s credibility based on its effective communication.
The software testing service provider must maintain consistent and smooth communication with the client. This is critical to the project’s success. The vendor should have dedicated contact points to communicate with and support the client.
The vendor should have an excellent and dependable communication setup, which includes VoIP phones, high bandwidth internet, instant messaging, mobile phones, and so on.
Check that the software testing service provider has the Infrastructure needed to support your product. This includes all necessary software, hardware devices, testing tools, operating systems, platforms, backend database systems, etc.
Determine the business domains, technologies, and industries in which the service provider excels. Check to see if this proficiency corresponds to your testing requirements. The better the testing results, the more a vendor understands your product and business.
Check that the vendor adheres to all of the documentation standards that you require. The test cases, plans, scenarios, scripts, reports, and results should be well documented and easily accessible.
Check if the vendor’s management style matches your company’s management processes and practices. You both must speak the same managerial languages; otherwise, working together may result in clashes.
Is the vendor’s work guaranteed? A testing company that guarantees its work will demonstrate confidence in its services and always strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction.
Examine the company’s response time management. You’ll appreciate working with a vendor who responds quickly to your inquiries, whether it’s about assembling a team or delivering results.
The Real Price of Working With Them
Determine the cost of working with the company after assessing it on all the above parameters. You should choose an outsourcing firm that offers the best return on investment in high quality, on-time delivery, and overall value addition.
Almost every software project necessitates software testing. An organization whose primary tasks do not include software testing will outsource the testing services. The primary goal of outsourcing software testing services is to achieve higher quality at a lower cost while allowing the organization to focus on its core business areas.
There are numerous vendors on the market that specialize in providing software testing services. Before delegating work to new hands, give it careful and thoughtful consideration. You must match the vendor’s profile to your testing requirements and evaluate the vendor based on specific criteria.