As we know every software development project includes software testing. Many companies outsource the software testing work to software testing partners. Choosing the right software testing partner is an important step for shortening your software release cycle and ensuring the required quality in your product. The main intent of outsourcing the software testing services is to achieve improved quality at lower cost.
Software testing is a crucial phase of software development, but it is not the core activity for most of the companies, often because of lack of time or resources. When this software testing is outsourced to dedicated, experienced and specialized quality assurance partners it brings in better results and the companies can focus on their core missions. While choosing such specialized software testing vendors, certain aspects are to be considered as part of the evaluation criteria. Let us discuss the aspects one by one
Reviewing the company‘s (partner) history, mission, objective, standards, existing clients, type of projects, industries supported, technologies, domains, customer focus is one of the primary aspects to be considered. Check if the proficiency aligns with your needs. The more the partner understands your business and the product, the better the testing results are.
This is one of the crucial steps to consider to understand the business strategy and business model. Depending on the project size, complexity, technology and timelines, the engagement model will be decided. Largely, there are 2 types of engagement models while there are other variants too:
- On-site team – Resources with required skill set and knowledge will work at the client premises closely with the development team. Infrastructure is provided by the client.
- Offshore team – Resources works from the testing vendor location. All the necessary infrastructure is provided by the testing partner.
Investigate and Interact
Investigate the partners with the help of web, social media, references etc. A thorough analysis has to be made before choosing a partner for outsourcing. Managerial experts and technical managers can look at more information like their capabilities, strengths, team and experience by interacting with the partners.
Detailed Service Level Agreement (SLA)
SLA’s should be defined upfront to ensure 100% alignment of goals between service provider and the client. It also provides detailed summary for project specifications and timelines for each testing phase.
Team and Its Capabilities
The team of QA Engineers, technical staff and managers to which the partner assigns the work should be competent and expert in software testing and management skills. Many clients conduct the interviews of the engineers provided by the partner to ensure that they are proficient enough to take up the work and their readiness. It is essential that the testing partner company understands your products and your clients. Certifications of the team members can also be checked as it gives the confidence for a company on the testing approach of the partner.
Data Management and Security
Inspect the security provided by the partner as the protection of the data is highly critical while outsourcing from a business perspective.
Smooth and regular communication must be established between the partner and the client. Dedicated POC’s must be provided from the partner who are reachable and can support clients at any time. Miscommunication might affect productivity unless management uses the right technology and processes to avoid it.
It is important to make sure that the testing service provider has the necessary infrastructure to support your product which means they should have all necessary software, hardware devices, testing tools, backend database systems, operating systems (Mac, Windows, Linux) etc.
Documentation and Transparency
The test cases, test scenarios, test scripts, test reports and test results should be documented in the standards of the client and these documents are easily accessible for the clients. By defining KPI’s both the parties will know what needs to be in place for successful testing.
During the development stage of any product there will be changes from the client which impacts the testing cycle. A strong change management system should be in place to overcome the additional cost, time and efforts in handling the change requests.
Response for the Queries
Evaluate how quick the partner responds to your queries. This will help in easy valuation of the partner and their expertise.
Outsourcing software testing is not a tricky process if you know what to expect from it. A software testing partner must be viewed as an extension of an organization bringing in value to your customers.