6 Questions to Ask When Searching for the Best QA Outsourcing Partner

The Secret to Exceeding Your Customers Expectations

If you develop software and don’t have QA professionals on staff, you need a quality assurance (QA) outsourcing partner like BairesDev to make sure your deliverables meet the highest quality standards and your customers’ expectations. A wide array of providers across the globe are available to help, so how do you find the one that best fits your needs? 

First, think about the qualities you want in a partner. Of course, a high skill level is critical. Depending on your specific requirements, ease of communication, ability to meet in person, or time zone alignment might be key. Professionalism and people skills are also highly important. 

To get started, you can ask colleagues for recommendations and do your own online research to find possible providers. Once you’ve narrowed down your list and reviewed their websites thoroughly, set up meetings to interview team members, and get a feel for what it would be like to work with each team. When you do so, be sure to ask the five questions here to ensure the vendor you hire will be not just a service provider, but a true QA outsourcing partner. 

6 Questions to Ask When Searching for the Best QA Outsourcing Partner 9

What Is Your QA Process?

The first thing to ask a potential vendor is what their process is. You’ll want to ask this question for a couple of reasons. First, you can check whether their process sounds reasonable and appropriate. Second, you can learn what to expect if you hire this team. Look for the following elements in each response:

  • Talking with you about your goals and expectations.
  • Developing a testing plan.
  • Designing and reviewing tests.
  • Preparing test cases.
  • Executing tests.
  • Developing tests and bug reports.
  • Fixing bugs and performing regression tests.

Also listen for the why of QA testing, keeping in mind that the role of this process is to push your software to its limits and determine its weakest points in order to strengthen them. Also, remember that there are different kinds of testing that might be mentioned, including automation, manual, API, web and mobile, security, and performance testing

What Is Your QA Methodology?

Of course, it’s important to understand the nuts and bolts of how a provider will complete your project. But it’s also important to understand the approach of their process and the strategies they will use to ensure a successful outcome. Learning their preferred methodology will help you understand what to expect in your work together. Additionally, you can determine whether it’s a match with the methodologies you typically use. 

Common methodologies include Agile, Lean, DevOps, Waterfall, Scrum, XP, Prototype, and RAD. Keep in mind that none of them are suited for every situation. The methodology chosen will depend on the team’s preference and the needs of the project. For example, Waterfall projects are highly structured and sequential whereas the Agile method is more appropriate for providing the best results in situations that involve more change.

How Many Projects Like Mine Have You Worked On?

Today’s students have grown accustomed to searching for information online whenever they have to solve a problem or learn how to do something. By doing so, they are now used to interacting with search engines, ebooks, educational and how-to videos, and online platforms and forums. All of that needs to be present in any classroom to leverage the students’ familiarity with them.

Naturally, educators can go beyond that. They can use online tools to allow remote access to students, use streaming to provide tutoring classes, and even use gamification elements in a custom educational software to provide centralized resources more efficiently and in a more engaging manner.

How Will You Communicate With Our Team?

No matter what kind of project you’re working on with an outsourced vendor, communication is key. Their responses to this question should reflect a communication cadence that’s comfortable for your team. For example, daily status reports may not be necessary but weekly might be too infrequent. 

In addition to frequency, find out who you can expect to hear from. Ideally, you’ll communicate with only one individual who will serve as the point person for the outsourced team. That way, you can establish a good rapport with that person and build mutual trust. Also determine what tools they prefer to use, such as Slack, Zoom, or Skype. 

How Do You Handle Unexpected Challenges?

The answer to this question will reveal a lot about the potential vendor. If the response is vague or dismissive or implies that challenges don’t happen, move on to the next provider. The best QA outsourcing partner for your project will have enough experience to have developed specific ways of managing the unexpected. Listen for the following or similar elements in their response:

  • We address issues immediately, before they become bigger.
  • We maintain transparency at all times, sharing the problem and what we’re doing to resolve it. 
  • We communicate regularly during a crisis. 
  • We are available at all times to discuss challenges that may arise.
  • We do everything possible to resolve the issue. 
  • We build time for the unexpected into our timelines. 

In addition to getting a sense of how a challenge would be handled, find out how your overall project and costs will be affected. For example, does the provider charge extra beyond a certain number of hours spent on your project? 

How Will You Keep Our Software and Data Secure?

Cybersecurity is more important than ever, especially for large-scale projects. Security breaches can lead to customer and company data leaks, the need to invest time and money in fixing the problem, customer dissatisfaction, and defection, and something that is often much more difficult to repair: a tarnished reputation. 

Managing security risks when handling sensitive data or business products should be a priority in any QA project and at every development stage. Find out how the QA provider will ensure the security of both your product and your data. Ask:

  • Who will have access to our data, and will they be required to sign an NDA?
  • What kinds of physical protection do you employ to keep information secure? 
  • How do you meet regulatory guidelines? 

If you want an experienced QA outsourcing partner, be sure that your candidates can cover all the points mentioned above. Or if you don’t want to go through all that hassle, contact BairesDev. We have a proven track record of successful QA projects under our belt, which provides us with the experience you need to ensure the quality of your projects. 

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