Outsource Software Testing Roadmap For Businesess

What Is Outsourced Software Testing?

Outsourced software testing is performed by an independent company or group of testers who were not directly involved in the software development process. 

These independent companies are usually located in a different time zone with respect to the domestic company. Outsourcing of software testing happens as most of the companies or organizations consider it as a non-core activity.

Today most of the companies give their work to external vendors/ companies. This is called outsourcing. Most of the outsourcing works consist of software development and testing. 

The testing of software is a must to rule out the inability of the application to meet the requirements. It is an activity that is part of software quality control. 

Why Outsourcing Software Testing Is Essential?

Software testing is a crucial step in any software development process. When software testing is outsourced, the organization can divert all its attention towards the core functioning of the organization. 

The software development and its testing will be handled by an external expert team. Outsourcing software testing will:

  • Enhance software quality.
  • Reduce the time taken to release the product to the market.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Organizations focus on outsourcing these days so that infrastructure investment can be reduced as some countries have lower labor charges.
  • Freedom to get the best team to perform the testing. Hiring can be done by selecting an expert team rather than handling the tests with an in-house team.
  • Outsourcing will give the organization a stand to do business in other countries.

Key Aspects Of Outsourcing Software Testing Services

Software development is a time taking task that requires proper inputs on various aspects to ensure its functionality. Once the software is developed, it cannot be straightway released to the market. The software has to be tested for its ability to meet the requirement and validate its performance.

Software testing is the activity that is carried out to validate the software performance. An individual tester or group of testers who have specialized in testing the applications performs these ones.

Nowadays most of the companies outsource software development as well as the testing process. 

This is a cost-effective and efficient process. It allows the company to focus on improving its functionality and productivity while an external company takes care of bringing the best of the software application. There are certain aspects of outsourcing testing services.

●      The Engagement Model for business:  Having a deep understanding of the organization's strategy and business model is crucial. The outsourcing can be incremental or total. In incremental outsourcing, the work or project is divided into smaller sections and outsourced to different service providers. This way the work can be handled quicker and more efficiently. In total outsourcing, the complete project is handed to a single service provider. This is a cost-effective strategy for the client as the complete risk is on the service provider.

●      Location of the team: The service provider can be offshore or inshore. Offshore service providers are located in another country with a different time zone while onshore providers are present in the same country as the company. Offshore services will assure the organization high-quality work delivery at a low cost. The only drawback is the communication gap that can build up over time due to the language barrier. Onshore teams can deliver quality work, but it will cost the organization the same amount as an in-house team.

●      SLA (Service Level Agreement): SLA is a contract signed between the client and the service provider defining the delivery of work according to the requirement of the client. A properly defined SLA is crucial to achieving the goals of the client. Things to have in SLA are timelines of project management and reports, quality measures of products, core business know-how, and process compliance.

●      Flexibility: The project should provide a degree of flexibility. This is necessary to ensure that fluctuations are met. The flexibility required should be provided based on scaling certain factors. These factors are robustness and modifiability of the services provided.

●      Improvement in Quality: Quality is a determining factor of outsourcing services. When the services provided have significant quality, this will assure the client of successful project testing and handling. Any project, as the contract matures should be able to deliver improved quality continuously. The ultimate target should be an overall improved end product.

●     Requirement clarification: The ability to provide unambiguous work scope is a must for Outsource software testing. Building a friendly work environment benefits both the client and the testing team. If the requirements are not clear, clarify the needs by asking the clients. These scopes have to be reviewed frequently to rectify any conflicts as well as for modifying the application.

●      Timely communication: Regular communication between the developers and testers will avoid information asymmetry. This will also build a friendly environment with the teams which will help in improving the software productively.

●     Adaptability: The testing team should also be able to learn new processes and workflow quickly and adapt to the new styles while working with clients. This will improve the overall performance of the testing team. 

Software Testing Outsourcing Myths

source: Apphawks

With most of the companies outsourcing software development and testing process, several stories are out there to pull interested people off-track of outsourcing. 

These myths might be developed when someone’s experience or from peer conversation. It is not necessarily the truth. Some may be true while some others may simply be myths. This article is a myth buster surrounding the outsourcing of software testing.

#1. Software testing is expensive

Several clients put more stress on application development than testing. In such a scenario, development is given the highest priority and most of the fund is diverted into it. There may or may not be funds allocated for testing the project.

Testing an application helps in unraveling issues and defects that can cause serious damage to the credibility of the software. Testing will enhance the productivity of the application according to the client's needs and help in improving user experience. 

It is better to invest well in testing to avoid incurring a loss on the launch of the software. When testing is introduced in the earlier stage of software development, the major issues can be rectified along with the pace of development.

#2. The software can be considered bug-free on testing once

Once a testing team performs tests and provides a green signal. It is considered that the application is free of defects.

As in reality, no software is ever free of bugs. Bugs are not formed in any particular step. It can form anytime in any stage of the application development or use. The main reason why any software is never devoid of bugs is due to the numerous layers through which the software offers end user experience. Tests have to be performed regularly to rule out any possibility of bug lodging in any layer. 

The main objective of the testing team is to ensure the application meets client requirements and no dangerous bug slippage occurs.

#3. Testing software can be carried out by anyone and everyone

This implies that software testing does not require any software knowledge, and anyone can do it in the comfort of their home.

Software testing is not at all an easy task and requires sufficient and strong basic knowledge of testing. A tester can be considered good if he has good clarity if the requirement. A tester can be called an expert when he has a good number of work experiences and can deliver high-quality work. 

The testing process is of different steps. Initially, after gathering information, the team has to lay down relevant test cases and test the application accordingly.

#4. The client will lose control of the outsourcing team

This defines that once the project is handed to the outsourcing team, the client will lose complete rights over the project.

Such a thought comes due to the lack of understanding of the role of the outsourced team with that of the client. The client can hand over a part or whole of the project to the outsourcing team after having an agreement. 

The outsourcing team is considered as an extended part of the in-house team. For producing quality work, 100% transparent has to be maintained by both parties. A good outsourcing company cannot extend its branch by building a reputation by going against work ethics. 

Factors To Be Considered Before Outsourcing Software Testing

It is quite difficult to choose an outsourcing company as the processes and plans of different companies are so similar. There are a few factors that should be considered before outsourcing software testing as mentioned below:

●      Experience of the outsourcing company:

Before selecting or offering any project to the outsourcing firm, its experience should be considered as the most important point. It should match and meet the requirement of the one who offers the project. The outsourcing software testing company should have the required resources for the timely and successful completion of the project.

●      Company’s market reputation:

The reliability of the software testing company is a very important point to be considered. Before assigning the project to an outsourcing company its name and repute should be checked in the market.

●      Engagement Models:

In the outsourcing plan, the engagement model of the company shall also be considered which is very important. It includes different aspects such as geographical location, business strategy elements, and the landscape, etc. The engagement models are Incremental outsourcing and total outsourcing. In incremental outsourcing, the companies can reduce their outsourcing chances by dividing the task with the small outsourcing companies. In total outsourcing, the numbers of projects are outsourced to those outsourcing service providers who provide all program management. It also includes the delivery to the client.

●    Service Level Agreements (SLAs):

SLAs should be prepared as a contract on the basis of rewards and risks. The contract should be there to make sure that both the partners have a common desire to fulfill the project requirements. SLAs should include the number of services that is required to be offered outsourcing company. The points in SLAs should be purposeful and measurable which would be beneficial for both the parties in the long term projects. Few points to be considered in the agreement are client satisfaction, amount of work, timely delivery of the work, effectiveness, sensitivity, system downtime and availability.

●    Security:

Every company has a security policy and before assigning any project the security policy should be observed and meet the requirements of the client. While outsourcing the software testing, the IP protection factor should be considered by the client. The outsource service providing companies shall have guaranteed protection of every information given by the client. The information should never be disclosed or conveyed to any of the third party in any situation.

●    Ethics:

Selecting an outsourcing company with good ethics and great values is very important. The company should show its responsibility towards the project so that the client would be confident enough in respect to any guidance and strategies at the time of issues.

●    Communication:

Proper communication between the client and an outsourcing software testing company is a must. A proper communication channel is required to understand the requirements of each other and attain the required results.

Software Testing Outsourcing – Best Practices

Few of the best practices in software testing outsourcing are as follows:

●    While software testing the QA is the core objective and its main function. The outsourcing software testing team must see the larger picture. The team should be aware of the expectations of the application.  The introduction of a new testing tool extends the testing scope and offers more inputs. It also shares experiences that may add more value to it. It meets the expectations of the customer and reduces the development cycles.

●    To test everything of all the products is not possible and therefore the components and their objectives are designed for every release. While testing only a particular factor can be focused. The testing team should discuss with the client about the parts of the product that needs to be updated or kept untouched. It would help in focusing on the important parts using automation testing. Focusing on the new code while testing helps in saving lots of time.

●    In new releases, bug fixing is a significant aspect and its usage is the best way to prioritize it. As to check the high traffic area on the website one can use Google Analytics. For rarely visited websites, the testing can be done later. During the release, the bugs should be fixed, and release should be on time. So, at the high traffic areas bugs should be fixed.

●    For continuous integration and testing, two-tier approaches shall be considered. During this process, every code commit provides a quick validation of the changes that are done by the developer. It involves a sanity test that completes in a few minutes. It also helps in the automatic running of exhaustive regression tests at night. It facilitates by providing more time for testing the changes and speed up the testing process.

●    Another practical approach is the shift left for better visibility in the rising competition. Shift left recommends that in the development cycle the testing shall start a way ahead to make it a continuous process. It helps in saving lots of time, bring the software or applications quickly in the market and in cutting down the testing efforts.

Benefits Of Outsourced Testing Team:

The outsourced testing team adheres to the goals and ethics of the client's business requirements. It focuses on the core business and results in timely and quality work. 

The human resources in the outsourced testing team are well trained and well qualified in the field of software testing. Some of the benefits of the outsourced testing team are mentioned below:

Quality testing

The outsourced testing team is skilled enough to provide a good quality of testing to the client. The client’s main alternatives are either to train the existing staff or to hire newly qualified staff for the project. 

Hiring and training the staff is a time consuming and cost-effective process. To get timely and quality work outsourcing a project to the specialized outsourcing firm that has a well-trained testing team is quite a good option.

Time Saving and quick responding

Outsourcing testing teams have sufficient suitable testing tools that help them in completing their tasks on or before the time. It is beneficial for the client also as they can get their work done within the time deadline they offer. 

The testing team can do better work in less time and the client has no stress of it. The work done by the outsourced testing team shows no errors or bugs when tested further by the client. They understand the actual requirement of the project and work accordingly. 

Most of the clients consider getting their work done by the outsourced testing team of the outsourced company due to its these features.

The decrease in the complexity of the operations

The outsourced testing team is capable enough to manage the complex activities and supervise the testing processes and its quality. They prove themselves to provide a trouble-free environment to the client in terms of timely output. 

The outsourced testing team remains constant and updated than the in house teams of the client. They also have standardized solutions that prove their work and work quality. 

The outsourced testing team facilitates the client to stay away from the complexities of the project work and its procedures.

Reduction in costs

Cost reduction is the main aim of outsourcing a project. As mentioned above, it reduces the cost of both the short term and long term projects. It saves the expenditure that may be incurred on the training of their department's individuals. 

When the project is handed over to the third party it reduces the complexity of the client. And the third-party testing team is a specialist in the field of projects' requirements. 

The outsourced testing team charges less when compared to the actual cost that would be incurred in the house.

The Benefits Of QA Outsourcing Services

Outsourcing the QA services during software testing is beneficial to the developers and to the company as well. Some of the benefits of outsourcing services are given below.

  • Efficient use of resources of the company
  • When the software testing is outsourced, the employees of the company can lay emphasis on other important aspects of the company’s projects.
  • Reduction of costs and risks
  • Improved performance and quality of the product or application
  • Increased confidence in the product
  • The product satiates all the parameters of quality

Why Apphawks For Software Testing Outsourcing?

Apphawks is not an all-in-one company, but it is the company that provides only QA Services. We have a team of experienced and qualified software testing professionals who are dedicated to providing you with the best QA Services.

Our mission is to provide the best software testing outsourcing services to our clients so that they may deliver their product within the timeline and detect the issues that block its operation.

Our software testing services include automation testing, manual testing, performance testing, regression testing, exploratory testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, usability testing, compatibility testing, localization testing, and many more.

Our team works in proper coordination with the Project Managers, Business Analysts or Product Owners throughout the complete testing of the software.

We provide QA services for both short term and long-term projects (preferred) to our customers and work up to their satisfactory level. In long-term projects also, we do software testing with the latest testing tools to minimize the bugs in the future.

Our company is a European localization company and we deliver a wide range of QA outsourcing software testing to the clients who want to have QA Partner from Europe.

Our software testing team is experienced in Agile that follows Agile culture and reduces your changes implementation cost in the agile projects.

 Summary - Software Testing Outsourcing

Software testing outsourcing is a step of a qualitative evaluation of the software against the user's or client's requirements. The short summary of why software testing is important and outsourced:

  1. Software testing outsourcing is the testing about the quality of the project or the product to be delivered to the customer. Quality in software testing is measured in terms of the integrity of data, security, usage and the look of data presented.
  2. The idea of each individual differs from each other and software testing is done through outsourcing to analyze different ideas. Software testing for ideas is done to select the most suitable idea and approach. The ideas evaluation should be done before testing so that the observations can be considered while testing a project.
  3. While testing software the customer's requirement should be kept in mind. The software should be designed in a user-friendly way. Software testing should be done to identify and remove the troubles that customers would face while using it. Negative scenarios shall be considered and taken care of within the testing process.
  4. Software testing is done to find the defects that act as a barrier to the customers' requirements. Every defect in the data affects the quality of the product. In software testing, the defects should be raised rapidly with the relevant requirement of data.
  5. Software testing is done to recognize the coverage of the product that improves the quality of the product. All the test combinations are executed, and odd combinations are uncovered.
  6. Outsourcing of software testing is a must because it cannot be done all alone. It requires a team of experts that are skilled enough to meet the project requirements. The outsources testing professionals are trained and capable to design, process and develop the software.
  7. High complexity software is of no use as it may not be understandable to every user. Software testing helps in identifying and designing the software in the simplest form. Users always prefer simple and easy applications that can be analysed with software testing.
  8. Software testing helps in documentation also.
  9. Time management is also one of the factors to be considered in software testing. Outsourced software testing provides the quality result within the timeline.

To confidently survive in the current competitive world, we should keep on upgrading ourselves with the latest technologies. 

If the approach and base are not correct all the practice efforts get ineffective. Few of the business owners feel that software testing is a boring and money-wasting activity but in actual it is a challenging activity.  

Challenges in software testing are the understandability of the customers' requirements. Outsourcing software testing helps in overcoming these challenges and meet the customers' requirements.

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Grzegorz Kłos
Grzegorz Kłos - Apphawks Co-founder
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