Software testing and quality assurance are the keys to ensuring the success of your product and customer satisfaction.
While there is no way you can get around without thorough software testing before a product release, there is a way to make this process simpler for your team if you outsource quality assurance.
Top Things To Consider To Pick The Right Software QA Company
QA outsourcing is not easy and takes fair levels of attention and carefulness. However, choosing the right specialist or service can be a bit easier if you know exactly what to keep in mind:
1) Relevant Experience
There is no need to say too much about the importance of working with QA services that have decent experience in your industry. All you need to keep in mind is that the more experience a software testing company has in your niche, the faster and generally more effective the testing process should be.
2) A Tester Or A Full-Scale Service?
One of the hardest questions arising before you engage in QA outsourcing is whether you should be looking for adding staff to your team or a managed quality assurance testing service.
The answer to this question depends on your company’s goals and project scale. Dealing with a short-term project, it can be a better idea to hire a freelance software tester. However, if your project is large-scale and ongoing, you might need the support of professional service, especially if your team lacks the needed experience and skills. In this case, a proficient software quality assurance partner can make all QA processes more efficient and take some of the load off your team.
The communication between testers and developers is the key to the success of the whole process. Therefore, one more thing to keep in mind is the ease of communication. To understand how communication is established in a particular QA company, you can read customer reviews or ask the company to provide recommendations of its past or current customers.
4) Type Of Outsourcing
Your next step should be deciding on the outsourcing model that suits you most. It can be:
- Incremental outsourcing – when companies divide the QA process into smaller segments and outsource each part to different service providers.
- Total outsourcing – when companies assign the whole software quality testing life cycle to a single company.
To make a wise decision, keep in mind that incremental outsourcing often means that a provider will not have a full image of your product, which can be a significant benefit if there is any sensitive information you’d like to keep in-house. However, choosing this approach, you will bear the most risk and will probably have to carefully monitor the progress to ensure that your tasks are handled properly.
Total outsourcing, on the contrary, can take the risk off you and is often more cost-efficient. In this method, the partner you choose will have a complete image of your product, which can ensure better results.
Since quality assurance in software testing plays one of the core roles, it is wise to choose quality over price. Therefore, the recommendation is to approach cheap QA testing companies with a fair amount of suspicion. First of all, if a service’s rates sound too good to be true, that might be just the case. And secondly, not always low rates mean low total cost.
6) On- Or Offshore?
The next big question is whether to entrust your software testing & QA matters to a local partner or one from outside of your country. It is vital to consider the pros and cons of each option.
Offshore software QA outsourcing is much more versatile compared to the onshore model. Its biggest benefit is that it doesn’t bound your choice of companies to a specific geographic area. Instead, it expands your horizons and grants you access to the global talent pool. Respectively, having access to a larger number of specialists, you have a higher chance of finding someone who knows your industry and can satisfy your needs.
Another possible benefit of offshore outsourcing can be the rate of chosen QA vendor. The price depends on a variety of factors, including engineer’s experience, professional level, etc. However, geographical location also plays its role. For example, the price for outsourcing in Eastern Europe and Latin America is moderate, while in the US it is the most expensive. Asia is known for offering the cheapest IT outsource. However, don’t make rates influence your decision the most. After all, even the lowest price may not always bring you the most benefit.
Eventually, the decision gets down solely to your team’s preferences and needs. However, it is worth noting that the location of your partner won’t matter too much as long as your team can easily collaborate and communicate with them.
7) Style Of Management
Engaging in QA outsource, you should also consider the management style used by your potential partner. In a perfect scenario, working with a company that speaks the same managerial language as you can give you plenty of benefits and make the whole process much more effective, as you will avoid clashes and misunderstandings.
There are thousands of QA testing services out there, but finding the one that can meet your needs isn’t that easy.
To make the right choice and avoid risks, it is advised to pay special attention to the services’ reputation. Positive ratings and feedback indicate trustworthiness. Therefore, you should carefully check the background and references of every option. This can help you make a more weighted decision.
9) QA Models And Practices
There are tons of software development and quality assurance methodologies. A waterfall model, agile methodology, iterative development, extreme programming – these are just a few examples of many. Every approach was designed with a certain purpose in mind and, thus, each has its pros and cons.
With all that being said, here is another tip for you – before outsourcing QA, don’t forget to find out what methodologies a particular partner uses and whether it follows QA best practices. Keep in mind that the success of your release depends a lot on the partner you pick, which is why you should be well aware of the approach they take in testing.
Outsourcing often requires passing over some product- and company-sensitive materials to third parties. Therefore, in order to prevent data leaks and other security issues, it is vital to know what documents can protect you. Some of them are:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
- Master Service Agreement (MSA)
- Service-Level Agreement (SLA)
- Statement of Work (SOW)
Each of these documents aims to protect both sides and outline their responsibilities. One of the most versatile documents is NDA. This agreement should be signed to ensure that no private information will be a subject of disclosure. It specifies what data is considered private or sensitive, protects intellectual property rights, and determines the terms of the contract.
Signing a confidentiality agreement or other documents can help to ensure your security.
Kate Zalozna. CTO at QA Madness. I’ll share my knowledge and experience in implementing QA strategies and ensuring their alignment with a company’s business needs. After working in QA and software testing for over 9 years, I have a lot of things to share.