What to Consider When Outsourcing QA Services

Outsource QA Services to Quickly Scale Operations

The quality assurance (QA) process is largely considered as a vital element of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Without it, organizations risk launching defective software that fails to meet user expectations.

Today, many businesses outsource QA testing to outside providers in their home countries or nearshore or offshore companies. Based in Argentina, BairesDev is a top-ranked software development outsourcing provider with more an independent division of QA engineers who have successfully completed hundreds of testing projects, providing application, website, security, manual, and scalable load testing.

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Why Businesses Outsource Testing

There are many reasons why businesses choose to outsource QA testing:

  • They can cut back on costs of resources and full-time employee salaries
  • It streamlines and reduces the time involved in the SDLC
  • It allows in-house staff to focus on other efforts
  • They have access to a wider pool of talent and experience in the industry
  • It gives organizations an objective, third-party perspective

What to Consider When Outsourcing QA Services

Outsourcing QA services can improve the quality of products and give a fresh perspective to businesses at a reasonable price.  

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    Past Work and Reputation
    Past Work and Reputation A portfolio can give businesses considerable insight into the quality of the outsourcing partner’s work and their capabilities. It can also serve to better understand their partner’s work style and values as a business.

    Organizations should also look into references to help them see what a partnership might look like. Checking reviews and speaking with previous clients will allow them to get a sense of the provider’s reputation in the industry. In addition to reviewing the provider’s work, businesses will want to find out how they behave and conduct themselves in this type of arrangement. Even if they’re highly skilled, businesses won’t want to get involved with a difficult partner, after all.
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    Area of Expertise
    Experience in a particular niche or industry can lend a good deal of value to businesses when their products are being tested. QA professionals who have worked on education software, for example, will not only be able to catch bugs during testing but will also have a better sense of what kind of user experience the business is hoping to achieve with their education-related software.

    While organizations don’t need to look for providers who have exclusively tested products in their niche, they should have some experience in the area or a related one.
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    Approach
    The QA approach is important as well. Organizations will want a provider whose methodology meets their expectations and aligns with their mission and work style.

    BairesDev, for example, offers comprehensive, end-to-end testing. The process begins with QA consulting, providing an analysis of the projects, and QA testing recommendations. Then, the experts will conduct full-cycle QA, implementing strategies as advised by this analysis, before documentation. The next step is test automation, which includes custom and other solutions to meet the organization’s goals.

    The final two phases include the software testing itself — web, load, desktop, mobile testing, or server-side systems — and pre-certification and compliance testing for relevant standards.
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    Cost
    Cost is one advantage of outsourcing QA services — it tends to be significantly lower than hiring an in-house team. But it’s risky to make decisions solely based on this factor. Hiring providers with limited experience because they’re cheaper than more advanced testers can result in the team missing defects, making errors, and overlooking important testing procedures.

    Organizations should be wary of hidden fees, too. For example, there might be additional costs if testing needs to be repeated more than a certain number of times or if the project timeline is extended. It’s important for organizations to negotiate a contract that is transparent and offers a fair price for the provided services.
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    Security
    Security is a priority when it comes to QA testing. Businesses should ask for a rundown of the providers’ security standards and testing procedures to ensure they are carefully ensuring maximum product security.

    Additionally, organizations must take strides to protect themselves. It can be risky to outsource any services, but QA testing, in particular, can give outsiders access to sensitive information. For example, most businesses will want to ensure IP protection and ask the provider to sign an employee confidentiality agreement, among other steps.
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    Integration and Communication
    There are several different ways in which QA providers can deliver their services to their clients. Will they work alongside the organization’s engineers or independently? Whatever the model, the partners will need to work out an arrangement.

    Communication is essential in any scenario. If the outsourcing partner isn’t located in an accessible area to the contracting business, they will probably use video conferencing, chat, and other tools for staying in contact. There should also be a plan for how frequently and what kind of communication will take place. Perhaps the outsourcing team will deliver bug reports according to a certain schedule unless an emergency arises, for instance.

Going Deeper: SLAs & Engagment Models

As a crucial element of the software development life cycle, it is also worth considering these two elements before outsourcing QA & Testing services.

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    Service Level Agreement (SLA)
    A service level agreement (SLA) defines the level of service the outsourcing partner will provide to the contracting business. Essentially, it puts into writing the expectations around the project. This is an important factor to consider when outsourcing — in most cases, the organization will want to sign an SLA as part of the overarching contract.

    Some items the organization may want to address in the SLA include project quality, delivery schedule, time spent on the project, as well as the quality of test cases and plans.
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    Engagement Models
    An engagement model explains the relationship between the organization and the outsourcing provider. This way, the client can take into account the geographical area and their own business strategy before choosing an outsourcing model, whether they plan to work with a partner for small projects or outsource a large portion of their QA services.

    An engagement model also provides room for scaling services, should the contracting business want to expand the partnership.

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