Quality Assurance & Testing
Checklist to Consider When Outsourcing Software Testing
Finding an outsourced software testing company is not an easy task. It requires you to invest a significant amount of time and resources to find the appropriate one. Often, companies navigate through the internet to find their ideal testing partner. However, zeroing down among many ideal options is tricky and requires careful consideration. You need to analyze a bunch of important aspects before making the final decision.
Obviously, your software testing partner can’t be someone who lacks knowledge and experience in enterprise software development and quality assurance domain. When testing is not something you’re company specializes in, letting it go in specialized hands is imperative to detect bugs early and accelerate development.
Addressing this aspect, the article will highlight important aspects that you should consider before outsourcing software testing. But, before that, lets first understand:
Challenges Most Companies Face While Preparing a Testing Checklist
Software testing with a checklist is a predefined guide to test activities, which should be practiced for faultless and quality assured software or products.
Companies spend their vital time and energy on software performance testing without any systematic technique. Adopting a checklist format for quality assurance and detecting a bug seamlessly can be simplified and less time-consuming.
The common difficulties companies face during comprehensive software or product testing services are:
Overlapping - Duplication of the same information sometimes becomes the major cause of excessive testing time & repetitive process.
Reports - Sometimes in-house testers could not identify & present the complex functions, systems, and components in their checklist.
Difficult forecasting - Multiple QA analysts have different approaches and techniques that lead to multiple testing backgrounds for an identical task.
Gaps - Since identifying complex system components are tough, hence gap analysis also becomes challenging to illustrate, which leads to lesser coverage.
How Companies can Benefit from the Checklist of Product Testing
Frequently used Checklist for Testing -
System Elements - This category of checklist encompasses analysis of subsystems and modules of higher levels and special data items.
Functional - The functional testing services checklist compounds dominant functions of complete or lower-level systems.
Structure - This checklist category contains various aspects of examination, such as a list of customers and producers for a definite unit or source.
Properties - This category of checklists have fixed values, such as fixed specification units, code systems & similar more.
Things to Consider When Outsourcing Testing Services -
Using a checklist can assist QA experts to identify loopholes in a product or software. Moreover, the analysts can advocate and provide a dedicated software development team with the list of issues and gaps found during the testing process.
Checklists based on qa and software testing services can be leveraged by the companies that help them in forming a base for performance check. It can also ensure:
Team Integration - The checklist is always a predefined guide for assisting the team of quality analysts to enroute towards the right direction.
Flexibility - Any checklist allows complete freedom and flexibility to the testing team in choosing among the types of testing.
Deadline controls - With the help of a checklist, teams can estimate time and accomplish their crucial and complex tests without missing on bugs before deadline.
Create Easily - Creating a checklist is not a tedious task. You can easily create and maintain the same for future references.
Result Analysis - A checklist allows the IT analysts to examine the result of the testing and exercise the needful remediation process for making any improvements in the quality.
Why Outsource Software Testing?
There are numerous reasons why you should outsource software testing: to cut down your testing costs, achieve your business objectives better, improve product quality, and speed up the overall testing process. When you lack specialized testing resources and are in urgency to deliver the software project - the chances of delivering a software solution with a lot of bugs increases. Fixing those errors after deployment can be highly costly. Hence, you should outsource QA to achieve better testing results.
Outsourcing QA services also lets you improve the product quality and productivity of your teams. Outsourced teams perform an unbiased analysis of your software to find out errors that often go unnoticed during in-house testing. Also, outsourced QA companies have specialized resources to identify product risks earlier, fix them quicker, and achieve better testing results.
How to Choose the Right Software Testing Company
Type of Engagement Model
It is one of the crucial steps in outsourcing. Before you hire a managed qa services provider, understand their business model and strategy first. Also, select the geographic location and type of outsourcing you’d be interested in. Some of the popular engagement models include the time & material model, fixed price, and dedicated team model.
When engaging with an outsourced quality assurance and testing services company, don’t forget to review the company’s history, mission, objectives, project methodology, technologies, and custom focus aspects. Check if their proficiency aligns with your project’s needs. Also, inspect whether they have a proven portfolio to start working on your project or not. A vendor with limited experience can affect your project delivery timeline due to the slow execution of test lifecycle activities.
Clearly Defined Service Level Agreement
Service Level Agreement simply refers to the legacy contract between the service provider and client that defines the expected outcomes and processes to be followed by the service provider. You should define SLA before proceeding with the engagement to make sure the interests of both parties are reserved. SLA should also detail KPIs, engagement models, and the type of testing to be performed.
Mobilization essentially refers to three activities: contract development, service level agreement creation, and formulation of SOW (statement of work). In the mobility phase, companies come closer to proceed with outsourcing tasks. Finalization of contract, statement of work, and SLAs, as well as the same should be communicated from your end to the chosen service provider. You should also make sure that the legitimate interest of both of you are protected in the legal contract to establish a baseline for a long-term relationship.
Besides meeting project deadlines and delivering key deliverables, it’s important that your outsourcing vendor offers a certain degree of flexibility to meet the priority tasks first. You should assess the flexibility of your vendor in areas like robustness, customizability, new technology capability, and ease of exit. Also, check whether you can switch the engagement model at later stages depending upon your specific needs.
Intellectual Property Protection
When you have made a decision to outsource your software project, it’s important you define a detailed SLA having clear timelines, project milestones, summary, etc. It should also outline a detailed procedure for processes to carried out in different scenarios. Your personally identifiable information should not be disclosed by the vendor apart from the intended business.
Delay in communication or poor engagement between client and outsourced vendors often results in the failure of the project. Hence, it’s crucial you establish clear lines of communication with your testing partner by putting your expectations upfront. Try and work with a vendor who offers dedicated PoC’s and support anytime. Miscommunication can hamper your team’s productivity and project execution badly. Avoid it by working with QA companies that are proactive and responsive during project execution.
One of the primary reasons why you outsource testing work is to achieve product quality improvement goals through third-party expertise. When you lack specialized in-house resources, focus on engaging with outside vendors who work with the latest testing tools, technologies, and processes so they can contribute to improving the overall quality of your end product.
Before finalizing your testing technology partner, run down an inspection to check the presence of minimum necessary infrastructure for performing test cycle activities. In other words, check if they have all the necessary hardware devices, software, testing tools, database systems, etc. to finish your QA project.
It’s important to consider all aspects of security offered by your potential software testing services partner. Security is available on different levels, such as network security, database security, intellectual property protection, Adhoc security, and more. It’s important not to compromise on security just because your vendor is offering services less at a compromising rate.
Considerable Attributes for Successful Quality Testing Results
Without a comprehensive assessment of the project scope, it is difficult to run the QA process. Your parameters must be clear and dictated well to the offshore QA provider in order to leverage the complete benefits of testing services. Moreover, a scope also motivates both parties to work towards collaborative goals.
An important part of the entire QA process, which promotes clarity, transparency, knowledge sharing, and resources requisite for QA. This phase evaluates the preference of the offshore experts. Do they emphasize more on technology integrated testing practices or the conventional manual qa testing services or both?
Designing & Resources
As aforementioned, the QA provider must begin in the right format, that is by creating a checklist of test requirements. This checklist will enable them to maintain the right balance between the requisite tools & technologies and evaluate the employment of an accurate test framework, that is a data-driven framework, keyword-driven framework, behavior-driven framework, or modular test framework.
The tools used for testing must be versatile, easily maintained, assure test quality reporting, compatible, & more. Companies are also drifting towards agile or scrum methodologies for software development and hence the offshore QA service provider must have the skill to use the compatible tools for sprint planning, test cases, and defect management.
Any proficient and efficient QA provider offers manual testing, test automation services as well as testing of APIs. Moreover, some of the dedicated and expert service providers give additional quality and testing layers.
These layers are focused on security flaws, checking responsiveness, scalability, throughput, and stability of the software. Apart from security and performance testing, which are the two additional layers, usability testing services are also offered as a third layer. This testing layer validates that the software meets the accessibility parameters efficiently.
Strategy To Follow
Using a checklist, a QA partner can identify the right test language, test interface, and test data to use for a consecutive solution. The test case ensures QA providers to avoid repetitions, disruption to the test environment, and unclear outcomes while keeping end-user experience in mind and prioritizing the right test case.
As aforementioned, today's dominant enterprise software development services are focused on Agile or Scrum methods. Hence, offshore QA and software testing service providers also integrate agile testing services for reliable quality assurance.
Hence testing services follow a proper reporting method ranging from sprint testing to regression testing reports. This is an important aspect to keep in mind. Companies can ask your dedicated QA service provider to provide you a weekly or monthly report for the same. These reports assist in identifying potential bugs and problems and escalate them for improvements and allow you to only deliver quality services.
Software testing is needed in almost every software project. Generally, an organization whose primary tasks are other than software testing goes for outsourced testing services. The main intent of outsourcing software testing services is to achieve improved quality at a lower cost and at the same time let the organization focus on its core business areas. There are a lot of vendors available in the market who specialize in providing software testing services. Careful & thoughtful consideration is required before you delegate the work to new hands. You need to match the vendor’s profile with your testing needs and make an assessment of the vendor based on certain criteria.
If you are looking for an experienced and reliable software testing partner for your next project, join hands with A3logics. Our experienced and skilled testing engineers will assist you at every step of your testing project to ensure the delivery of a high-quality and bug-free solution. We have a decade-long experience in delivering proven testing services to clients across industries. Drop us a line to know about how we can help you achieve success in your testing project.
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