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The Complete Guide to Software Testing Outsourcing

Deciding whether software testing outsourcing is the optimal solution for your requirements can be pivotal. Discovering the ideal partner within this vast landscape requires careful consideration.

Understanding the essence of QA outsourcing is crucial for making informed decisions about whether it aligns with your organizational goals and requirements. Let’s dive into the nuances of software testing outsourcing, offering insights to help you navigate this decision-making process effectively.

The Importance of Software Testing

Before diving into outsourcing, it’s crucial to understand the importance of software testing. We will define it as the technical investigation of software to assess its quality throughout the development lifecycle.

Typically overseen by QA specialists, the software testing process involves a robust test strategy executed by dedicated testers and QA engineers, who play a critical role in identifying code errors and usability issues.

In any development process, software testing remains essential. While development teams conduct unit tests in CI/CD pipelines, the involvement of dedicated testers and QA engineers boosts the delivery of high-quality software. This encompasses various testing types and activities such as functional testing, exploratory testing, test automation, mobile app testing, and meticulous test documentation.

Testing shouldn’t be restricted to a particular phase but should permeate the entire software development life cycle. Effective collaboration between developers and testers ensures the production of top-notch software that meets the highest industry standards both of quality and reliability.

Do Companies Outsource Software Testing?

Software Testing Company

In today’s dynamic business landscape, organizations are presented with various options for software testing, including in-house testing, crowdsourcing, and outsourcing. Each approach comes with its unique set of advantages and challenges.

Due to its benefits, outsourcing testing processes has become a strategic choice for many businesses. However, before delving into the intricacies of outsourcing, it’s essential to explore all available options.

In-House Testing

Opting for an in-house testing team provides complete control over the testing phase. You can handpick talent tailored to your company’s needs and train them accordingly.

However, establishing an effective in-house team requires significant investments in specialized training, tools, and licenses, covering functional testing, performance, automation testing, and test documentation.

Crowdsourced Testing

Crowdsourced testing, is a novel software testing approach that engages globally distributed testers who can swiftly adapt to project requirements. Despite its advantages, this method presents intricate challenges.

While the diverse tester pool offers valuable perspectives, global dispersion complicates management and communication due to varying time zones, languages, and cultures. Ensuring data security becomes problematic, and establishing confidentiality becomes a challenge due to uncertainties about testers’ identities.

Moreover, collaborating with multiple vendors or utilizing general marketplaces may result in high tester turnover. Inadequate oversight can lead to a constantly changing team for each release.

Outsourced Software Testing

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Company To Meet Your Requirements

Outsourcing testing services can greatly assist in handling specialized tasks that may be too challenging or costly to manage internally. These services offer a wide range of advantages across various outsourcing modalities.

Let’s delve into what outsourcing software testing entails, its benefits and challenges, and key considerations for businesses seeking to leverage this approach effectively.

What is Software Testing Outsourcing?

Software Testing Outsourcing

Classic outsourcing companies, whether onshore, nearshore, or offshore, provide dedicated teams operating from remote locations, tailored to meet your specific needs.

This approach facilitates performance tracking and direct communication with managers and testers. Entrusting your testing needs to a reliable partner ensures a professional and structured testing process, freeing up internal resources for other development aspects. Collaborating with a single QA testing outsourcing vendor ensures the security of sensitive information through confidentiality contracts or NDAs.

Types of Software Testing Outsourcing: Nearshore vs. Offshore

Offshore and nearshore are distinctions in outsourcing used to describe the destination. Offshore means to another side of the world often across several time zones. Nearshore means a country nearby that shares a similar time zone.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Company

Offshore Outsourcing

The main advantage of offshore outsourcing is the cost savings. Rates for QA testers are much lower in Asia and Eastern Europe than in the Americas or Western Europe.

While cost savings are beneficial, there can be downsides such as language and communication barriers, cultural differences, lack of transparency, or time differences.

Nearshore Outsourcing

You’re more likely to have greater ease of communication, cultural understanding, and real-time collaboration when you choose nearshore locations.

On the downside, hiring nearshore software testers will likely cost more than hiring offshore. But the tradeoffs are worth the extra cost. Read more about this approach to outsourcing and learn how Uruguay poses an unlimited potential for software engineers and their US clients in this article.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Software Testing

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Software Testing

Let’s debunk some myths about outsourcing software Testing by exploring its benefits and how it can enhance your software testing work.

Protection of Intellectual Property

Experienced outsourcing providers prioritize NDAs for trade secret protection just like in-house team members. They help retain internal knowledge, providing stability during possible employee turnover or role changes.

Control Over the Testing Process

When partnering with a QA team for outsourcing testing, you jointly create a Service Level Agreement, clarifying responsibilities. That way you retain decision-making power on crucial matters for software development.

Understanding of Business Context

Understanding of Business Context

A key skill for software testers is asking the right questions about the product, users, business, and industry to craft an effective test plan and identify critical risk areas.

Having an “outsider” test your product can be especially advantageous. After months of developing your new app, you may stop perceiving it with “fresh” eyes.

Also, many software testing providers may have experience in your particular industry and are already familiar with your business area, challenges, and limitations.

Scalability for Small to Medium-Sized Organizations

While global enterprises are known to leverage outsourcing, there’s no reason why small to medium-sized organizations can’t do the same. If your budget allows for one tester, outsourcing can provide access to a diverse team of experts in test automation, performance testing, mobile testing, and more.

As your product expands, it’s quicker to scale by adding testers to your outsourced QA team, who are already familiar with your product, and the QA process, rather than hiring and onboarding new employees.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Company To Meet Your Requirements

Once you’ve decided to outsource, you need to get some clarity about your requirements before you contact software testing companies. Consider the options outlined below as you research different companies.  

What Kind of Services You’re Looking For

QA testing services providers offer versatility. Tailoring your engagement level with a provider depends on your business requirements, dictating the duration and scope of collaboration.

It’s crucial to align with a provider whose delivery model aligns with your needs by doing the following:

  • Define the role you expect the testing provider to play: from consulting and strategizing to supplementing your existing team.
  • Clarify the duration of the partnership: whether it’s short-term or long-term.
  • Determine the preferred engagement model: whether it’s staff augmentation or fully managed testing.
  • Identify the specific services required to meet your testing objectives.

Selecting the Ideal QA Outsourcing Partner

Selecting the Ideal QA Outsourcing Partner

Once you define your preferred partnership, it’s crucial to assess the key attributes of your ideal software testing partner.

  • Size of Firm:
    • Small-to-medium-sized independent providers offer specialized services, focusing on software testing expertise. With the direct involvement of high-level executives, they emphasize deep testing knowledge.
    • Outsourcing giants, with hundreds to tens of thousands of employees, offer a range of services beyond QA and software testing.
  • Location:
    • Consider whether you prefer nearshore or offshore locations, and if you have specific preferences for cities or countries.
    • Evaluate the importance of working in the same time zone as your outsourced team or having overlapping work hours for effective communication and collaboration with your development team.
  • Hourly Rates:
    • Location significantly influences rates. Companies in the US typically charge higher rates than those in South America, Europe, or Asia. But remember that the lowest rate may not indicate the lowest total cost.
    • The skill level of testers also impacts rates, with experts commanding higher fees compared to junior testers.
  • Cultural Compatibility:
    • Assess the values of potential testing partners through social media, websites, and reviews.
    • Consider factors such as employee treatment, preferred communication styles, and collaborative efforts.
  • Communication:
    • Determine the importance of clear and fluent language skills among testers.
    • Evaluate preferences for real-time correspondence and acceptable communication lag times.

Refining Your Selection: Key Factors in Choosing a QA Outsourcing Partner

Choosing a QA Outsourcing Partner

Now that you’ve considered the fundamental aspects of choosing a QA outsourcing company, it’s time to refine your assessment criteria. This will help you identify vendors that align closely with your specific needs and preferences. Let’s explore key factors to consider when narrowing down your list of potential partners.

Reputation

It is important to look for reviews and read about other companies’ experiences with a certain provider. It should be easy to find testimonials and reviews on each company’s website.

Don’t forget to explore third-party review sites like Clutch.co or GoodFirms.co for in-depth and unbiased reviews.

Testing Specialties and Domain Expertise

The risks, technologies, and timelines that software QA teams deal with vary greatly by business and industry. Be sure to check if a software testing company has experience working for organizations similar to yours.

Technology and Toolbelt

Check with each company if they have experience with the tools you prefer to use. If you’re unsure about which would be best, ask if they can do an assessment and give you a good recommendation. Consider your product and the kind of testing that needs to be performed.

It’s unrealistic for a testing company to have experience working with each of the thousands of testing tools on the market. But keep in mind that it’s easy for a good tester to incorporate a new tool. What’s more valuable is the mindset they adopt and their testing approach.

Extra Considerations for the Most Discerning Software Testing Services Buyer

While we’ve covered essential considerations and research aspects for selecting a potential software testing services provider, there are additional factors to consider if you aim to confidently choose the right company for your needs:

  • Sophisticated and highly selective recruitment process with a low employee turnover rate.
  • Ample employee training opportunities and career planning.
  • Multiple, strategic locations.
  • Flexibility on their part to travel to attend in-person onboardings, training, host workshops, etc.

It’s key to find a provider who demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a strong company culture. It can predict how well they can work with you as an outsourced software testing partner. Additionally, consider the testing company’s ability to adapt to your culture and processes.

Explore further insights on selecting the ideal outsourcing partner with our guide on How to Choose a Software Testing Company with valuable tips and strategies to make the best decision for your project.

Best Practices to Follow for Outsourced Software Testing

Best Practices to Follow for Outsourced Software Testing

To achieve a successful partnership and fulfill your testing requirements, it’s essential to establish effective collaboration between both parties. Explore the best practices that promote synergy and drive positive results in outsourced testing efforts.

Establish a Point of Contact on Both Sides

When outsourcing software testing, it’s key to allocate time for addressing concerns and issues. A good practice is designating a main point of contact from both your development team and the outsourced testing company.

Creating an environment where anyone feels comfortable to ask questions is essential for successful QA outsourcing. This encourages teams to raise concerns and seek clarification, fostering a collaborative and productive testing process.

Involve the Testing Team at the Beginning of Development

The sooner you involve the QA company, the quicker and easier they’ll be able to understand your product and what it is you’re trying to achieve in order to add value. It’s also a huge time and cost saver to start quality testing as soon as possible. For more insights on optimizing testing workflows, consider exploring this article on shift left and shift right testing.

Determine a Strategy and Project Goals at the Outset

Establish the testing strategy and expectations before starting to work on your project. Without a solid plan, you may come to some dead ends. Make sure all parties are aware of the plan and give testers all the necessary information, including the requirement specifications.

Work to Build Trust

Work to build trust

To make outsourcing work smoothly, trust between both parties is essential. Establishing trust within the team is vital, and to do so, consider these key steps:

  • Listen to the team’s needs: Actively address the concerns of the outsourced team to foster mutual respect and trust. Uphold commitments and deliver on promises to establish reliability as a partner.
  • Be honest: Provide genuine feedback. Transparency builds trust and enables effective collaboration.
  • Get to know the team: Showing genuine interest in team members as individuals strengthens relationships and fosters a sense of camaraderie.
  • Get everyone on your team on board with the decision: Ensure transparency and inclusivity across your entire team. Explain how outsourcing benefits both in-house and outsourced testers, maintaining morale and promoting collaboration.

Treat Outsourced Testers as Long-Term Partners 

When outsourcing for short projects or contracts, it can be tempting to view the external team as a temporary addition that doesn’t demand much attention.

A reputable vendor values all clients equally. Treat them as a long-term strategic partner, regardless of project duration, to cultivate lasting professional relationships paving the way for future collaborations and projects.

Expand on this point and the value of partnering with a software testing partner.

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Software With a Smart Use of Your Resources

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Software

Given the various advantages of outsourcing software testing, many software engineers and QA experts have turned to outsourcing as a helpful solution to their business needs. 

Make sure to consider all the benefits and challenges of outsourcing software testing. Make a list of criteria that satisfy your business goals when searching for the right testing company, and with enough careful review and assessments, you can find the best software testing company that suits your needs. 

Remember the best practices once you’ve onboarded a new dedicated QA team. As with any internal team, it requires proper management in order to provide high-quality testing and the most value for your company.

Partnering with a software testing provider can help you bridge the gap between testing and development, giving faster feedback while reducing costs and business risks. And that’s just the start! 

Contact us to discuss how we can help you grow your business.

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