A Completed Guide to Outsourced Software Testing
Software testing is an important part of the software development lifecycle. It assists businesses in identifying mistakes and errors made during development and allows them to eliminate these errors before deployment.
However, inexperienced testing personnel may overlook errors during software testing. Because resolving software issues and bugs after deployment is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, any errors made by your staff can result in significant losses for your company.
Outsourcing software testing is the most efficient way to save time and money. Outsourced software testing can uncover major and minor flaws in your application, ensuring its successful implementation.
On the other hand, finding the best-outsourced software testing service is a challenge in and of itself. This article will outline a software testing outsourcing guide for your company.
Why is it necessary to hire a software testing company in 2020?
Outsourcing software testing is delegating testing-related tasks to an independent test specialist, testing firm, or a third party not involved in the overall software development process other than testing.
While some believe outsourced software testing costs more than hiring in-house teams, this is not the case. Infrastructure, operational, and human resource costs add to in-house development costs.
Suppose your in-house professionals are inexperienced and lack the necessary knowledge to handle unforeseen issues during testing. In that case, they will take longer to understand problems and expend more resources to resolve them. At the same time, the process of hiring software testers takes a long time and causes the testing process to be delayed.
On the other hand, an outsourced testing team has all the tools required to conduct effective software testing. As a result, you won’t have to invest in infrastructure or operational costs, saving you money.
An outsourced testing service also excels in terms of expertise. Their technical experience in various fields enables them to identify software problems more efficiently and in less time. Similarly, their knowledge from various fields allows them to keep software quality up to user expectations.
Unless software testing is your company’s core competency, performing it correctly in-house can be a considerable challenge. Instead of resolving the issue, your staff may exacerbate it due to a lack of knowledge in software testing practices.
An outsourced software testing service can help your end product become more competitive, resulting in more customers. You should only consider hiring a software testing firm with relevant technical expertise and experience.
When Should You Consider Outsourcing Software Testing?
One-time Project & Internal QA Team Lacks Skills
Assuming you complete the testing for a one-time project, the project requires specialized skills that the internal team lacks.
In such a case, there is the option of training internal resources, but this would be time-consuming and incur some costs. As a result, you can outsource the QA work to a company that has the necessary expertise and supports cutting-edge technology.
Business Needs To Hit A Tight Deadline
It is difficult for your internal team to meet a tight deadline after working tirelessly on the development phase. Your team is exhausted and lacks the necessary skills and resources to conduct rapid testing. As a result, to meet this deadline, you should use an outsourced QA testing service. Because of their experience and efficient workflows, they can perform high-quality testing in a short period, allowing you to meet even the most stringent deadlines.
A long-term project but need to cut costs.
Outsourcing work is regarded as a cost-effective strategy. Unlike maintaining a contract with a third party, maintaining an internal team with specialized skills is always more expensive. So, if you are in a position to manage and complete long-term projects, it is prudent to consider outsourcing 90% of the work.
Internally, it’s always a good idea to keep a small team of business experts and project coordinators on hand. Another disadvantage of outsourcing is losing control of the project and business knowledge. As a result, you should have complete control over what needs to be outsourced.
Software Testing Outsourcing Models
Organizations must adopt optimized testing models while focusing on speed to market, cost control, and high quality.
So, while outsourcing software testing has realized its potential and gained traction, it is critical to understand how outsourcing works in the IT industry. There are several outsourcing models available in the industry today.
Let’s define two broad terms in software testing:
- Traditional Testing Services
- Specialist Testing Services
Traditional Testing Services (TTS) is a Software Testing model in which the in-house testing team performs Software Testing.
Specialist Testing Services (STS) are testing services provided to clients by test specialists, subject matter experts (SMEs), or testing organizations.
Traditional Testing Services
This model includes organizations with their in-house testing team carrying out the Software Development and Testing activity together within their organization using their resources, rather than outsourcing it to anyone else.
These organizations and the Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) would have established their own in-house testing team.
Specialist Testing Services
This model is also known as Software Outsourcing Testing Services or Independent Software Testing Services, and it entails outsourcing testing to third-party testing vendors.
The testing services are provided by subject matter experts (SMEs) or specialists in this case. We all know that a single tester or a small group of testers cannot have diverse subject knowledge. As a result, when it is delegated to a specialized testing service, those who are experts in that field can do a much better job.
The Specialist Testing Services option of Outsourcing Testing includes Outsourcing Testing to,
- Independent Testers
- Testing Organizations
- Crowd Testing Group
If the work is small in size and duration, it may be possible to outsource it to Independent Testers, also known as Freelancers. Because these Independent Testers are not in contact with the developers, they will be able to perform well by providing honest, open, and fair feedback on the product.
As a result, when testing is delegated to ‘Independent Testers,’ there is no risk of biased decisions.
This model pays Independent Testers on a per-hour or per-project basis, and the Testers will use their setup for testing rather than any particular test setup. If they are required to test on a special setup, the client will provide them with access to do so.
Outsourcing testing to third-party testing organizations or Testing Vendors entails contracting the entire or partial testing work to them.
Few clients prefer that third-party vendors be based on their premises or co-located with the development team at the client’s location to keep an eye on them while maintaining project confidentiality. As a result, the clients allow these individuals to use their test setup, processes, and methodologies.
In another case, the test resources are kept entirely separate from the owner or seated in their office locations and are not assigned to the client’s location. Only the Test Manager interacts with the owner when it comes to exchanging project information and transferring it back to the team, and they may or may not use the client’s resources for testing
Testing services are provided to global clients by top-tier companies such as Accenture, TechM, Infosys, and others.
Similarly, organizations specializing solely in testing, such as Qualitest, Dignity, and others, are very familiar with various testing areas and have experienced resources in terms of people, infrastructure setup, and tools to provide world-class testing services to clients.
The Crowd Testing model entails offering testing to real or end-users to carry out the testing, typically during beta testing.
The following are the various payment models that clients will use to outsource testing:
- Time and Material
- Fixed Price
- SLA based
- Any other models
List Of Software Testing Services That Can Be Outsourced
Enlisted below are some of the QA services that can be outsourced:
- Functional Testing
- Mobile App Testing
- Automation Testing
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
- Usability Testing
- Cross Browser Testing
- Localization Testing
- Technical Writing Services
- SEO Testing
- User Interface Testing
- Exploratory Testing
- Multi-platform testing
- Game Testing
- E-commerce Testing
- Installation Testing
- QA Recruitment Services
- Full Cycle Testing
- Pre-certification Testing
- Documentation services
- Compatibility Testing
Few Useful Tips For Successful QA Outsourcing
#1) Choose the Right Vendor: The first and most important tip is to choose the right vendor. We have already gone over how to select the best QA Outsourcing Company in great detail.
#2) Sign A Comprehensive SLA: A Service Level Agreement is critical in outsourcing partnerships. The SLA specifies each testing phase’s rules, guidelines, and deadlines. It protects both parties by serving as a legal reference point for them.
#3) Coordination Between The Outsourced Team And In-House Staff: For things to move more quickly and easily, there should be better collaboration and understanding between in-house staff and outside testing. One should be able to contact the appropriate person within the organization.
Inadequate coordination and communication between both parties can lead to a poor understanding of the product requirements, ambiguous bug reports, late changes in the test plan, and missed delivery dates.
#4) Keep Outsourcing Testers Focused On QA: The outsourcing team should focus solely on quality assurance tasks. Involving them in development tasks can lead to bias in testing.
#5 Frequently Evaluate The Outsourcing QA Vendor: Periodic reviews of your outsourcing partner will help you meet your QA objectives. You should assess the company’s current position, review testing documentation, identify any hidden actions and cost drivers, and adjust your current business system with the vendor.
#6 Choosing an Engagement Model: You should select an appropriate business model that aligns with your company’s needs and minimizes risks. The crucial decision here is whether to go with incremental or total outsourcing.
You must make this decision while considering various factors such as geological area selection, business policy, landscape comprehension, and so on.
#7 Motivate the Outsourced QA Team and the In-House Team: Maintaining team morale is critical for successful QA. You can show your appreciation for team members in various ways, but keep a few key points in mind.
Sharing the most recent tools and information with the team to help them work more efficiently.
Listening to employees and attempting to remove roadblocks/issues
How Do You Choose The Best Company?
When choosing a QA outsourcing vendor, you should conduct extensive research and consider the following important factors.
Reviewing the organization’s portfolio in terms of its Vision, Mission, Objectives, Goals, and Existing Clients is critical. It should be a reputable company in the outsourcing world with a good fit in the industry.
To assess the company’s capability, the following three factors should be examined:
Skillset/Area of Expertise: Testing is done by an amateur vs. an experienced resource significantly affects the overall outcome. Thus, before you choose an outsourcing company, learn about the services they offer, such as what types of testing they offer and what expertise they have, as well as the company’s age and track record of previous projects and clients. Furthermore, the most skilled QAs are typically ISTQB/CTAL/CTFL certified, demonstrating their technical strength. As a result, you can determine whether the company’s testers have these certifications.
- Make a concerted effort to verify the references provided by the vendor.
- Check out which QA outsourcing companies are making strides in the industry.
- Examine market trends and reports.
Check to see if the testers have prior experience serving the industry vertical in which you operate. Knowledge of business functions can help with testing and thus improve quality. For example, if you work in the Healthcare industry, you should prefer a tester who has previously worked on Healthcare projects. It also applies to other domains such as finance, law, and academia.
It is critical to understand whether the shortlisted company will be able to meet the flexible needs, i.e., for some projects, more resources may be required, or a smaller number of people may be required, and they must be able to handle the needs accordingly.
As a result, they must be adaptable enough to scale up and down as the project requires. Outsourced QA staff should also be capable of dealing with changes in requirements, test plans, regression errors, etc. They should be able to perform well in ever-changing conditions.
They should also be adaptable enough to persuade your internal procedures and practices.
Knowing more about the company’s infrastructure is undoubtedly one of the most critical factors. We deal with a lot of secure data in today’s world and have access to confidential information. As a result, understanding how the company caters to security is critical.
Furthermore, specific testing necessitates specialized setup such as devices, network conditions, and so on; therefore, it is prudent to investigate the mechanism used to test devices and the connection setup before outsourcing the work.
Many companies send their dedicated employees to work in ODCs (Offshore Development Centers), where the team works exclusively on a single client project and has no access to outside personnel. ODCs have cameras installed for monitoring purposes, and they also limit the use of mobile devices, storage devices, and other similar devices to prevent data leakage.
Everything you need to know about QA outsourcing is covered in depth here. We talked about the advantages of outsourcing, software testing outsourcing models, essential factors to consider when outsourcing, and helpful tips for successful QA outsourcing.
With these opportunities and benefits from outsourcing Software Testing services, the concept of TCOE is gradually fading. As a result, the increasing benefits of outsourcing QA services are pushing organizations to outsource software testing.