Building high-quality software starts with strategic planning. We believe that passionate testing creates great software. At Abstracta, we provide holistic software testing solutions that reduce costs and expand the business. Find out how we tackle projects top-down!
By Natalie Rodgers
Customers often come to us because of referrals received from other customers. They also come to us after researching the best software testing companies worldwide, reading content in the media, and participating in software testing events or meetings with our co-founders.
Abstracta is a leading, pure-play and independent software testing services company founded in 2008 with offices in California and Latin America. We are proud to be ranked 1st by Clutch as one of the best software testing companies globally.
“Our value proposition lies in understanding the client’s needs and working together to meet them in a quality partner mode. And not just running testing. We seek to collaborate on the project through good communication, integration with the team, and approach.”, outlined Alejandro Berardinelli, QE Lead at Abstracta.
“In addition to the above, we always try to go a little further. We don’t usually do staff augmentation but we try to be strategic partners in quality. We help to improve not only the quality of the software but also the processes of the team; the area; and as much as we can get involved. We believe that quality makes the difference not only in terms of systems but also in terms of work methodologies and communication.”, emphasized Alejandra Viglietti, Operations Manager at Abstracta.
“From there, we try to help to be more efficient, eliminate waste, generate synergies, and achieve better results. We also have experience in many areas of quality within Abstracta. And we try to contribute from various aspects such as accessibility, usability, automation, performance, and functional testing.”, she continued.
In this article, we will tell you how we plan our strategy. Step by step, to achieve the best results possible in each development that we are called for.
How we Tackle Projects Top-Down
First of all, what kind of modalities do we offer in our collaborations? We offer Partnering, Staffing, and Specific Scope Projects.
Most of our customers prefer Partnering rather than the other options, and so do us. Because, in that way, we integrate ourselves into their processes and we are able to be attentive to new needs constantly.
Berardinelli explained: “In general, we aim to be quality partners with clients, and we look for ongoing projects. That is where we can add more value.”
For us to be able to offer the best possible proposal, we perform a diagnosis of the situation before we start a collaboration. We seek to understand the need or problem through different meetings with different stakeholders.
Berardinelli detailed, “After the initial contact in which the client shows interest in learning more about Abstracta, we schedule a call to introduce ourselves. We send a pre-call questionnaire to focus the call on a specific need if any (performance, functional, automation). And to know if there is any deadline already known. We have the call where we are guided by the Sales Deck, and we tell them about our services. If there is a specific need, we try to understand it and know whatthe customer’s expectations are about the service. We ask the necessary questions to define the team, and we agree on a date to send the proposal.”
“On some occasions, the client wants to evaluate how they are doing in the different areas of testing. In those cases, we recommend executing an overall testing assessment project to evaluate the client’s current status and generate a prioritized document of issues found, risks, recommendations, and opportunities for improvement, seeking to provide a quality strategy with objectives in the short, medium and long term.”, he continued.
Our proposal always includes:
✔️Deadlines if any.
✔️Areas of software testing in which we will be collaborating along with strategy, activities, and deliverables.
✔️Proposed team and dedication of the leader and testers.
Team definition and duration of the collaboration
How is a team appointed? How is the number of participants defined and who will be involved? The team designation depends on the size of the project and the client’s team where we usually assign a group of testers along with a QA lead.
“If the client does not have a QA area or has a large development team, we will propose more than one person. At the same time, if there is no QA team, the assigned leader will have to have more engagement.”, answered Berardinelli.
“If there is a team already defined, the leader’s participation will be less. Sometimes a strict and demanding deadline must be met and this is also taken into account when sizing the proposed team. Strict deadlines mostly come from the client-side and depend on release dates of new software versions, and the launch of promotions, among others.”, he specified.
For consulting projects, we generally assign a functional tester accompanied by a leader for a duration of approximately two to three weeks.
Regarding duration, performance, accessibility projects, or specific tasks are defined based on the estimation of the tasks to be performed. For this estimation, we try to know which application flows we have to cover and in what way. Then, based on our experience and joint work with the hubs, we estimate the duration. It is worth mentioning that we are internally organized in specific hubs for automation, functional, performance and accessibility testing.
Berardinelli specified, “Depending on the need, we can assign testers in automation, functional, performance, and accessibility. We assign a part-time leader in the case of the Partnering modality, with a dedication of between 40 and 80 hours per month. In Staffing projects, the leader would not be included. Besides the leader engagement, assigned testers have all the hub support where knowledge is shared across different projects and taken back to the current one. Additionally, a Customer Success (CS) is always assigned to the project.”
Efficient Communication, one of the Pillars of Project Success
We are convinced that communication is essential for smooth, effective workflow, and high-quality work. Thus, we pay great attention to it. We are expert and curious testers. We believe in quality and in the power of communication. That is why it is so important for us to share with you how we plan our strategy.
Communication is for sure deep down the key to being able to cobuild better software. So let’s dive in!
– What kind of predefined iterations are carried out?
Berardinelli: The projects start with an internal kick-off and one with the client. In both, we seek to align ourselves with what was set out in the proposal. We also get to know each other as a team and define interactions and other issues. There are follow-ups that we carry out that determine deliverables such as progress reports. Then, if the project is closed, an instance of presentation of the results and consultations is generated. Internally, as the last instance, we do a post-mortem/retro to evaluate ourselves.
Viglietti: During the project lifecycle, leaders meet weekly or biweekly with the Operations Manager and the CS. To align and follow up on what is happening. The operations team provides tactical input and accompanies the needs that are identified, as well as reviews the assignments and the skills of the team members. CS brings relevant information about the most strategic needs of the client and analyzes how we can align ourselves to provide better service.
CS periodically meets with clients to learn about client needs, new projects, milestones, and so on. We want them to have a collaborative bond so that Abstracta can be a strategic partner in the quality of our clients.
– How do you coordinate the interaction within the team? What is the framework?
Berardinelli: Most of the projects follow a scrum framework that already has the ceremonies defined. When we join a project with these characteristics, we aim to participate in those meetings. Other more limited projects such as performance or accessibility have a daily follow-up from our side but for the client, we define together meetings less frequently, let’s say once or twice a week. The seniority of the assigned testers also determines this frequency, mainly on the internal side.
Viglietti: In addition to the instances with the rest of the project or client, the teams usually have periodic meetings to review the work, progress, and curved reviews to ensure the quality of the work.
Berardinelli: There are meetings with the hubs to follow up on the strategy in general. And to ensure that best practices are followed.
– What happens when a scrum framework is not used?
Viglietti: In teams where agile methodologies are used, we usually join their dynamics as another member of the team. When we work with clients that have more traditional methodologies or no methodology at all, we try to help them adopt agile. Because we are convinced that it strongly improves both the quality and the performance of the team. There the role of our leaders is key to generating the appropriate strategies to accompany the client in the implementation of processes. Which also goes beyond the testing team and permeates the organization.
– How important is the client’s opinion and input in the different stages of the projects?
Berardinelli: High! We are always open to listening to the client and receiving both their feedback and recommendations. In case it differs from the proposed objective or our way of working together, the pros and cons of each approach are discussed together to recalculate the course.
Viglietti: Both the team and CS are in charge of being in contact with the client and relieving their perception. We try to be part of our client’s team but with an external view that allows us to provide perspective to propose solutions and add value. We usually have one or more counterparts on the client’s side. Both at the level of daily operations (leaders, supervisors, area managers, PMs), who work in coordination with our leaders. As well as more strategic counterparts (management, sponsors), who deal with CS for agreements and more far-reaching planning. In both links, communication is always clear and honest. Always seeking what is best for the client and their needs but also allowing us to provide our best service.
Abstracta’s main motivation is to help our clients achieve their goals and objectives. We do not try to stay fixed in one position. We love to collaborate in the gestation of new things, to share with our clients everything we know, and then collaborate with other challenges. We believe that there is a lot to do. And that quality is already something that is less and less negotiable for users.
Are you looking for the ideal partner for your company? Abstracta is one of the most trusted names in software quality engineering worldwide.
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