Your Complete Guide On Managed Testing Services

Are you stuck with testing your software? Stressed after browsing over dozens of webpages in search of a professional software testing provider? If you do face the same problems, this article is for you. In this guide, we will tell you how to get rid of testing stress and delegate that to professionals. Managed testing services are an excellent way to feel relief in knowing that your project is in the hands of highly-skilled people. 

Quality assurance and testing are some of the key factors affecting project success. However, lots of companies face challenges in reaching the right level of QA:

  • In-house end-to-end testing is rather expensive
  • Testing is not core expertise to the business 
  • Over-reliance on developers skills 
  • The budget is not allocated for the required testing toolset
  • Other

Testing as a service might help you overcome all the above-mentioned challenges. Below you will find the most important things you should know about managed testing.

Managed Testing Services Meaning

Managed services are a type of outsourcing aimed at delegating some tasks and jobs to an external provider to increase efficiency and cut costs. The services are provided based on service level agreement (SLA) which indicates performance level and metrics to be measured. 

As well as any other IT services, testing activities and jobs can be also managed by a managed services provider (MSP). This type of testing service is especially valuable when you don’t have the respective expertise and experience in-house. Sometimes, even IT companies choose managed testing to extend their QA teams if there is a strong need in resources for a complex software project. Managed testing services are particularly enriching when you are under a very strict deadline, want to save time, efforts, and resources. By contracting with an MSP, you can start testing immediately and get tangible results soon. Managed testing services, when provided by a reliable vendor, are cost-effective, seamless, and fast. 

In your agreement with a service provider, you could formalize the following things:

  • Service key performance indicators: time, staff, communication, service delivery model, meeting deadlines, providing deliverables, customer satisfaction.
  • Quality key performance indicators: all sever defects found, documentation requirements met, complete test coverage.
  • Value key performance indicators: cost per bug, productivity metrics, automation return on investment. 

The list is not limited to the above-mentioned indicators and can be simplified or extended if needed. It depends on your goals, requirements, time, and budget allocated for testing. 

When to Use Managed Testing Services? (Plus Cases When It Is Unnecessary)

So, as you could read above, managed testing services can be acquired when you don’t have a respective skillset onboard. Let’s summarize the other cases when you might need that:

  1. You have no software development and testing expertise in-house.
  2. You lack test engineers and would like to extend your team with external resources.
  3. You need to get things tested asap as you are under a strict deadline.
  4. Budget constraints prevent you from getting test staff on full-time positions. 
  5. You need some specific knowledge, expertise in a particular framework, etc.
  6. You have got manual testing specialists, but need to write automated tests. 

Surely, the list can be extended as you might be in a situation different from these. Whatever reason you have, you might be interested in what a managed testing service provider is responsible for. 

Are there any cases when managed testing is unnecessary? Absolutely. Here are some situations when there is no need to search for testing as a service:

  • You have signed a non-disclosure agreement with your customer that prevents you from sharing any data with third-party providers.
  • You have enough in-house testers with the right industry expertise
  • Your software is being developed for governmental organizations and requires secured test data to be used. So, you should agree on giving all the rights and access in case you would like to involve external providers. 

So,  managed testing services work best for medium-to-large projects with predefined scope and budget. However, it works well for startups, as well. For example, use outsourced testing to verify your startup idea and validate your minimal viable product (MVP). Depending on the project’s complexity, buyers could choose the best-suited payment type: fixed fee or outcome-based. More details in the next section. 

Two Types of Managed Testing Services: Pros and Cons

You should know that you should distinguish two types of MTS. These are fixed fee testing and outcome-based testing. Both have pros and cons. 

The pros of fixed fee testing are as follows:

  • Transparent and easy to understand costs 
  • Clear reporting and performance monitoring

The cons of fixed fee testing include:

  • There is no motivation for a vendor to improve the service level
  • Expensive governance for customers

The pros of outcome-based testing are as follows:

  • Highly-motivated provider
  • Aligned with customer requirements

The cons of outcome-based testing include:

  • The cost may grow
  • A little bit complicated to track vendor’s performance

Learn more about our services and schedule a free call to discuss your testing needs. 

Key Responsibilities of a Managed Testing Services Provider 

First off, it should be stated that the responsibilities of a managed testing services provider are defined at the beginning of your cooperation. You as a client should ask what a provider is responsible for and make sure you understand that right. If you have any additional requirements concerning the level of service, feel free to discuss that beforehand and document in the service level agreement. The list of responsibilities may vary from project to project, however, standard responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Test strategy development
  2. Test cases writing
  3. Test execution and test case maintenance
  4. Metrics measurement and reporting
  5. Bug and errors resolution recommendations
  6. Retesting after bug fixing
  7. Requirements analysis 
  8. Documenting testing results 
  9. Coordinating all testing activities 
  10. Communicating with developers, architects, analysts
  11. Defects tracking and management
  12. Managing and preparing test data

A client, in its turn, should be ready to provide a testing team with all the necessary resources and access to start working, ensure effective communication between all the stakeholders, and give timely feedback. 

Top Five Benefits of Using Managed Testing Services

There is no need to talk about the advantages of outsourcing. Usually, businesses outsource their projects to external vendors because they want to cut expenses, increase efficiency, improve quality, or get access to specific skills they can’t find in their country or those cost too much there. In the list below, we have gathered the top benefits you can get from managed testing services:

  1. No need to have test engineers on board. You can save costs significantly as you don’t need to organize a separate workspace for test engineers, buy costly hardware, and install special software tools for testing. 
  2. No stress while choosing a proper technology stack. With a professional testing vendor, you can rest assured that your project is managed properly. The provider will select the right technology stack, develop a comprehensive strategy, and organize the process from A to Z. 
  3. The ability to focus on key business processes. While testing is delegated to external testers, your employees will be able to focus on those tasks and activities that are more important to your company. 
  4. Quick scalability and flexibility. Managed testing services providers are quite flexible to scale up testing resources, skills, or efforts. Usually, they are prepared to provide you with more specialists or find some specific expertise asap. 
  5. Professional technical support. As a rule, managed services providers offer various options for technical support. For example, you could agree on around-the-clock support or support between particular business hours. 

With managed testing, you get access to business-driven vertical expertise. For example, if your company is running an e-grocery business, you might be searching for testers with the relevant expertise in e-commerce testing. You will likely search for those who could test your payment gateway or usability of your web app. 

Related article: Payment Gateway Testing Guide 

Four Stages of Managed Testing Services 

Like any other IT services, managed testing is delivered following the stages. 

  1. Audit or discovery. To start collaborating with the managed testing vendor, you should be ready to share the information about your IT infrastructure, software documentation, available testing data, and surely, your requirements. Test provider’s experts will discover and analyze all these things to come up with the relevant test strategy. 
  2. Knowledge transfer. The stage is all about getting all other information for creating a successful strategy and formalizing it with the client. 
  3. Execution. This stage is divided into test case preparation, planning, and execution. Here you should know what types of testing will be provided. For example, functional testing for the web application to test new features. The scope and type of testing depend on your aims and goals so these should be discussed in advance to avoid any misunderstanding. Reports are created and handed over to the client during this stage, as well. 
  4. Post-service stage. Once the client gets what expected, the testing services provider can offer to extend the services. For example, an additional type of testing may be proposed or automated tests can be written based on a series of manual tests executed. 

Here are important questions to discuss before testing:

  • What is the goal of testing and what should be checked (system, functionality, bugs)?
  • How to test (including the depth of testing)?
  • When testing starts and ends?
  • Who are the key stakeholders? 
  • Who are the key decision-makers?
  • Who is responsible for communication between the stakeholders?

End-to-End Managed Testing Services with Apphawks

At Apphawks, we provide managed testing services to free up our customers’ internal resources for higher-level jobs. We deliver functional testing, usability testing, integration testing, and many more. Apart from manual testing, we deliver automated testing. 

When selecting a testing provider, you might be evaluating a wide range of criteria. We are open to discuss any questions you are interested in beforehand. Below are some pros of cooperating with our team. 

Why Choose Apphawks for QA

✔ All types of testing for your enterprise system, web/mobile app
✔ Reasonable costs to plan your budget effectively
✔ Wide toolbox and strong knowledge of the latest testing frameworks
✔ Scalability and flexibility of cooperation
✔ Dedicated testing teams for large and complex projects
✔Transparent costs to establish long-lasting relationships
✔ Highly-educated staff from Central Europe
✔ Working hours reports for full transparency
✔ Up-to-date testing tools for high efficiency

We offer comfort conditions and testing plans. For more detailed information about terms, our rates, capabilities, please contact us and tell us more about your project scope. 

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Grzegorz Kłos
Grzegorz Kłos - Apphawks Co-founder
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