The digitisation of business has created an increasing demand on software used for numerous everyday life activities. According to the Research and Markets, Global Software Testing Services Market is going to grow at a CAGR of close to 11% during 2016-2020. Hence many companies spend a lot on software development and invest heavily in improving it by testing all the processes. In most cases companies strive to reduce the high costs connected with software failure, without the investments associated with rigorous in-house testing processes. This in turn increases the focus on software testing outsourcing to offshore and nearshore companies as the most lucrative option. It ensures high quality of the product which requires lower maintenance cost.
However, before entrusting the quality of critical software applications with one of the software testing outsourcing providers, the company must take into account certain aspects of QA testing. So here are 7 golden rules that can help achieve the desired results while outsourcing software testing.
1. Don’t underestimate the value of software testing
Testing is an additional opportunity to look at the product from different angles: destructive – by trying to break it and the constructive – whether it meets customers expectations and whether the product is easy to use. A good QA team may increase product quality and reliability, starting from the inception of the design till the project launch. This will not only minimize the amount of defects in production but also reduce the amount of defects coded. Professional QA specialists are always reviewing the requirements and the source code thoroughly ensuring that the code is of the highest quality. The more information a customer and developers provide for the testing department, the greater are the chances to find all vulnerabilities and bugs.
2. Give insight for broad understanding of the product
To test a product effectively, a professional QA team should know it well enough. This also includes knowing how end-users expect it to work and having a “customer-oriented” approach. The golden rule is: the more you know the product, the better you can test it. So a professional QA team is well-informed about the technicalities of every product they test. They build their domain knowledge about the product, along with understanding the business objectives.
A professional QA team is always aimed at understanding how software development process can fit into the business approach and goals of the customer. What’s more, they analyse the design right after the black-box test plan is completed. Indeed, knowing the design can widely influence the test strategy itself. So consider companies that are getting more and more information to refine the testing and have a high-level vision of your product. In this case, they may offer objective insight into the validity of any features and changes of your application.
3. Apply the best testing practices across all projects
Some clients are looking for a professional testing team that can handle testing a few of their projects simultaneously. In this case, the QA team should analyze each app and find a unique and flexible approach to each of them. Oftentimes the combination of preventive and proactive testing approach is the best solution. It helps to define bugs at early stages thus minimizing costs spent on debugging in comparison to reactive and other outdated testing approaches. Moreover, in this case testers may be helpful in finding inconsistencies in design before the development stage as well as suggesting ideas for improvement.
4. Engage a tester at early stages of development
Software testing should start as early as possible in the software development life cycle and should have defined objectives. In this case, the QA engineer can spot and correct any error in the requirements before the development stage. Moreover, testers can write test cases and scripts that can be used by developers during the design process. This can reduce time, development costs, and increase efficiency of the whole bug fixing process. So the presence of a QA specialist at early stages of product development is of vital importance in terms of understanding the customer’s vision, saving valuable time and finding the best approaches to testing.
5. Consider flexible and adaptable QA specialists
Flexible and adaptable testers are always in high demand on the software development market. Many of them master automation and manual skills and thus become more adaptable and well-informed about the implementation processes. Using multiple levels and types of testing helps them correlate real-time scenarios to software testing along with understanding and setting testing priorities. Furthermore, creativity and the ability to target trouble areas are a must for a professional testing team. In such way, they are able to think outside the box and find interesting solutions. Additionally, this enables them to generate more ideas to test the product, analyze data and find various sets of circumstances that can reproduce a bug.
6. Pay attention to testers with solid technical knowledge and certificates
It goes without saying that effective Quality Assurance requires knowledge about software development as well. A great QA team should have some understanding of development workflows, methodologies, and frameworks. This knowledge is required to eventually code automated tests. So if the testers know how to develop, they will have better ideas on what is “dangerous” to code and thus what they should test more thoroughly. Hiring a testing team with such skill set is great for creating powerful automation infrastructures which are scalable, easily-maintained, and approachable for other teams. That is why professional QA testers are constantly improving their skills and enriching their knowledge by attending and organizing various QA Tech talks and meetups. Moreover, the most qualified testers are ISTQB/CTFL/CTAL certified which proves their proficiency in testing practices and technologies that are compliant to industry standards.
7. Formulate accurate requirements and acceptance criteria
Projects that start with inaccurate acceptance criteria often face low customer satisfaction levels, missed delivery dates, and development cost overruns. That is why it’s absolutely critical to accurately define acceptance criteria and requirements before any testing and development begins. Identifying specific tasks, business processes and functions that must be in place at the end of the project is an integral part of efficient QA testing and smooth project flow. In some time, QA team becomes a fount of knowledge on your project since they know exactly how everything works.
On the whole, software testing outsourcing is not only effective for saving money without additional risks but may also minimize business disruptions. This allows companies to focus on their core competencies and maintain a positive brand reputation. So, in case all the above-mentioned rules were taken into account when choosing an outsourcing vendor, companies may significantly enhance their product quality and save costs in the long run. See also: how N-iX approaches digital transformation in banking.