QA Outsourcing activities has become a trend in IT industry these days. The firms hire local or global businesses for finishing non-core tasks.
QA has been one of the most outsourced activities. Rigorous testing of software can be performed more professionally by a specialised organisation.
Many companies will face trouble in covering the complete testing process. Many things may be left unnoticed. With specialised forces at work, the clients have one less activity to worry about.
There are many QA Outsourcing providers available today. A business needs to choose the right provider according to its software type to harness the full benefits of QA Outsourcing.
We prepared 25 tips to have a successful QA outsourcing. Let us look in detail at the list.
25 tips for an excellent QA outsourcing experience
1. Establish your objectives with outsourcing
First, understand your goals and expectations with Outsourcing Quality Assurance job. You cannot explain your requirements unless you know them first. The method is simple – collect a team of software experts in your organisation take out a notepad and write down all the testing requirements. Also, note down what are the essential characteristics that you need in outsource employee providers.
2. Plan your budget
Budget is an integral part of choosing your outsourced QA team. Define a rational monetary plan before going to search for outsourcing testing service providers. If your budget is high, you can seek services from developed countries with advanced technologies. Whereas, having a low budget will allow you to find inexpensive labour from developing countries that have reasonably acceptable technologies too.
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3. Choose the type of outsourcing agency
If you are hiring an international QA team or an independent one, then they will mostly work from their own office and communicate with you digitally. Foreign QA outsourcing can save you a lot of labour costs. However, if this option does not suit you and rips off too much control, you can go for an outsourcing company close to you, which provides its employees to the office. You will be receiving trained employees to work directly under you during the QA process. This allows personal supervision. But your business will first need to prepare for this kind of setup. You must have a skilled and disciplined manager who can keep a check on the new faces.
4. Hire a tech expert for communication with QA team
If your company is from a software background, communicating with the outsourcing agency is convenient and straightforward. You can maintain proper communications and showcase your knowledge to the new partners. However, if you are not from the software field, you should hire a technician who is well versed with the process. This shows professionalism and puts a good impression on outsourced QA team. Keeping a tech expert also improves your communications with partner firm and helps in understanding their queries and progress better.
5. Do not go blindly for the low rates
As a software company looking for QA outsourcing vendors, you will see different kinds of offers. Some offers can be meagre and economical. But it is to be noted that Low rates do not mean Low total cost. Hiring a cheap QA team can lead to reduced quality of work and untimely submission. You should run a quality check when you stumble upon a low priced service. There can be several reasons for explaining the grounded price structure. One reason can be a lack of inexperience. Companies just starting in their career often use this pricing strategy.
6. Experience matters while making the choice
We are talking about the experience from the start because it matters a lot in QA works. You cannot give instructions to Outsourced team for everything. They should incorporate some methods of their own and find out quality bugs proactively. All this is possible only with an experienced team. They can focus on critical areas of quality testing based on your business model. Having served major industries gives the team a lot of exposure to make profitable decisions for their clients. These benefits are not available with a team made up of newbie no matter how much skill they are.
7. Go for a managed service if repetitive jobs are available
Managed services keep a complete tab of your QA needs from a distance. You do not need to bring in any outsourced employees to your office. They will work from their tech-enabled environments and treat you as their asset. You become a permanent customer based on subscription. Managed Services are the best options if your QA needs are repetitive. If your company is rolling out products continuously and need extensive Quality Assurance activities, then managed services will prove better results than employing in-house workers. In a managed service, your QA management partner will have more freedom to implement the latest and will participate with enthusiasm as you are a long-term client to the service.
8. Get a QA team that knows Agile Testing
Agile development is a revolutionary software development method. With dynamic and robust methodology, incorporating Quality Assurance and testing is often complicated and confusing. If your company follows agile software development, then choose a partner with agile development support. Their services should be on the same page as yours. Hire an outsourcing agency that can begin the testing work before the system is finalised. This is possible with agile testing support.
9. Consider the cultural differences
While choosing a distant QA team, you should get knowledge of their cultural practices. The festivals they celebrate, the holidays they will expect, their language barriers, and the work culture in their region are some of the relevant information you should check. A QA team can be flawless in skills, but a cultural and language incompatibility can break the deal. If the company cannot adapt to your way of work and your language differences, then it is not an ideal match for your business.
10. Always prepare an SLA before starting a partnership
Outsourcing an activity to other industry is a form of a unique collaboration. You should always sign legal documents defining the terms of the partnership. In the case of Outsourcing QA, you should draft a Service Level Agreement. This agreement protects both the participants from breach of information and stealing of ideas. Signing an SLA reduces risks and establishes trust between parties.
Additionally, the SLA also defines outlines of the project, deadline, and rules and guidelines. During the QA work, both parties can refer to SLA for clarification. Not to mention that SLA can serve as a valid legal document in court in case of any disputes.
11. Motivating teams is crucial
Giving more and more work to outsourced QA team can reduce their productivity. You need to motivate them once in a while. They are employees of some other firm, but they currently work for you. Treating them as your employees and providing moral boost will help increase productivity. Showing your appreciation is easy. Listen to their inputs with focus and give feedback simultaneously. Engage in meaningful discussions with the outsourced team, allowing them to showcase their knowledge. Provide up-to-date information updates for easing the work of employees. Tell the employees that they are doing a fantastic job. All this will subtly and continuously increase their satisfaction levels.
12. Keep a tab on the progress
The QA team can often get derailed from their track when work from some other client arrives. Keeping a constant check on the momentum will keep them engaged with your work. Asking for progress reports puts healthy pressure on the outsourced team to keep the job on track. They improve their speed, reduce time waste, and put full effort into your project. However, it is essential not to disturb them too much. There is a fine line between checking on the progress and being over-worried about the progress. Keep the right balance of freedom and pressure on the QA team.
13. Know the working style before hiring
Get a complete report about how the team plans to work on the project. Asking questions about their operation methods will tell you a lot about the quality of the organisation. Professionalism can be seen in the report if their plans are up-to-date and giving promising results. A right outsourcing provider will be available to such questions. It will readily provide reports and will be excited to gain your trust and appreciation. Also, the questions you ask to them will help them understand your requirements and expectations better. You can ask about their business knowledge, working methods, and so on. You can even interview over a phone call as you are on the decision-making side and have control.
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14. Test the waters
You can still be unsure about your decision after hiring an QA outsourcing agency. There are several doubts in managers’ minds about credibility, speed, and work quality of the new partner. The one simple solution to test all this at once is to start small. Give a small project in the beginning, which can test the abilities of the QA team. A small project means something that will be difficult enough to show traits of the QA team and does not cause much loss to the company in case of failure. Such projects are difficult to find but useful for testing the testers.
15. Get Samples and check portfolios.
Always ask for a portfolio of jobs completed by QA team. The portfolio features all the industries that receive services from the team. Having many MNCs and global leaders on the list is a sign of impressive and adaptable services. This is one of the most accurate judgment criteria. You can also ask for a sample QA work or QA report from the past. Mock reports and getting work done on simulated software are the best way to check the work techniques. However, do not bluff by giving actual work as mock. It is unprofessional and easily detectable.
16. Only provide QA work to an outsourced team
You should keep the QA team focused on their niche work. Businesses often give extra work to in-house or foreign outsource teams related to development or coding. The team also accepts this work sometimes out of respect. However, they should only concentrate on QA work to prevent quality decline. Giving other work related to development can be very counterproductive. When the same team performs development and testing, it reduces the error finding ability. Thus, if you think of getting different types of jobs done through QA team, then you are harming your own business.
17. Keep a focus on core activities
The whole purpose of outsourcing non-core activities is to improve core activities. The time available for managing the core activities increases. However, if you sweat too much about the outsourcing company, then it can remove the main benefit of outsourcing. While you check on the progress of the job, do not get engulfed in the QA work. You should be available to give instructions to the development and maintenance department too.
18. Give Trust and Freedom
The focus on core activities brings us to trust part. The most time consuming and analytical part is selecting your QA outsourcing agency. Once you choose the right organisation after multiple tests, give your trust to them. Trusting your partners will reduce your interference in their work. You will be able to focus on essential jobs within the organisation. Trust gives a sense of freedom to the QA team, which allows them to incorporate innovative ideas for the QA process.
19. Access Continued Support from the company
You will need to make revisions in the software and perform quality testing again. There are many other instances when having support even after the end of the contract period is helpful and logical for your business. Do not forget to add a warranty or extended support clause in the agreements signed before hiring the company. A right QA outsourcing vendor will not have any issue in providing the same.
20. Set up communication platforms
In-house outsourcing is simple and allows easy communication. But when you seek foreign QA outsourcing, you need to be creative and proficient in setting up communication platforms. Using means like regular phone calls and text messages are unprofessional and expensive at the same time. You should establish networks like Skype, Face time, and Slack for real-time video calling. Video Conferences are the best way of communicating in businesses over long distances.
21. Do not ignore home employees
As discussed earlier, your permanent employees may feel insecure and agitated when you outsource several business activities at once. It gives them a feeling of incompetence and brings down their self-confidence. When you decide to outsource an action, it is crucial to communicate the benefits to all employees. They should be assured that their jobs are not endangered. You should establish transparency in the organisation to prevent any doubt and confusion.
22. Make ownership clauses in Agreement documents
The SLA document prepared must include an ownership clause. The information about who will own the final product and role of the QA team in ownership of software should be cleared. The Outsourcing agency should also be informed about the intended use of the product. Future dispute cases require these clauses in the agreement.
23. Be prepared for the worst
You can always wish for the best but have preparations ready for worst-case scenarios too. The partnership will end in good terms if communication and contract were, but sometimes adversities can lead to shutting down of partner’s business or unexpected delay in work. Keep several backup plans to get your software QA done in the office or through some other industry.
24. Send works and instructions in writing
Consider this as a way of protecting your interest by giving new instructions and change of plans in written form. It can be a digital file sent over mail, or a written document stating change in SLA. Always keep your business’s safety, above all. Written proofs will make your partner accountable for the mismanagement of their responsibilities.
25. Mutual respect is the key to good relations
As you wrap up the project, it is profitable for both parties to part ways with good memories and experiences. The style of reaching a happy end is to give respect to the outsourcing company throughout the project. This involves respecting their time, providing timely instructions, and treating them as work partners and not employees. They will return the respect you give. Showing these kinds of professional mannerism will open gates for business works in future too. Spreading Goodwill never hurts a business
How working with software testing companies is beneficial?
● Faster output to market
Offshore testing, when combined with onshore team’s work, can drastically cut short the testing time cycle by half. This will double the efficiency and effort put without increasing the expenses.
● Ensures high ROI
Any business is successful when there is adequate ROI (Return of Investment). Working with software testing companies has a high ROI. The labour cost is low and provides the same or higher quality testing services.
● Provides space for Core Business focus
When software testing is outsourced, the onshore team can centralize focus on developing core business functions and also bring in additional projects.