How to Make The Onsite & Offshore Software Testing Model Work for You

TestFortExpert by TestFortExpert
Created: 09/24/2013 | Updated: 06/9/2023

How to Make The Onsite & Offshore Software Testing Model Work for You

Offshore software testing is far from being a novelty in the IT industry: companies of all sizes have been using offshore software testing services for decades and getting the best combination of quality and prices. But there is another offshore testing model you may consider — the onsite-offshore model.

The onsite-offshore model is a popular solution for quality assurance in many companies. It’s used for a variety of software services, onsite & offshore software testing being the most common one. Find out how exactly it works and how to make onsite & offshore testing services work for you. 

What is onsite & offshore QA testing?

The onsite and offshore software QA model is a hybrid delivery approach that takes the best from the two models and combines them into a new winning solution. Under this model, the entire job of testing a software product will be distributed between the onsite and the offshore team. There can be more than one offshore team working on the same project, and they are not necessarily going to be from different countries — although, more often than not, the term “offshore” means “overseas” in this context. 

How onsite and offshore QA works

The overall composition and setup of a team on an onsite & offshore software testing project can depend on many factors, including the skill sets possessed by each team member and the specifics of the project. The client will also make the decision based on the business interests — e.g. how much of the work it makes financial sense to entrust to an offshore team.

On some projects, the distribution of work is 30% and 70% to the offshore and onsite teams respectively. In other cases, it’s closer to a 50/50 distribution. And some companies prefer to engage with offshore teams only for a small fraction of the work — 20% or 30% of the scope. This is typically reserved for companies that are looking for specific QA expertise they may not have in-house, such as automation testing, usability testing, and accessibility testing.

Responsibilities of the offshore team

The exact set of responsibilities for the offshore testing team is determined by the client together with the onsite department, but only when there is a comprehensive idea of the scope of testing and the onsite team’s capabilities and limitations. However, some things are typically found in every offshore team’s project plan, and here they are:

  • Writing test cases;
  • Signing off on test cases;
  • Documenting the test cases;
  • Preparing the test data;
  • Executing the tests;
  • Reporting on the defects;
  • Preparing the test reports;
  • Providing inputs for test metrical collection;
  • Taking part in the defect review and other project-related meetings.

Responsibilities of the onsite quality assurance supervisor

With some occasional variations, the management team operates on the client’s side. Therefore, they are the ones who will supervise the testing process and control the delivery of the anticipated results. The typical responsibilities of the customer’s side supervising team include:

  • Conducting client-to-team experience;
  • Receiving technical insights and sharing them with the team;
  • Distributing the functional requirements document;
  • Contributing to the test plan;
  • Examining the test cases with the client’s team and providing a sign-off;
  • Conducting consultations on the test data preparation phase;
  • Communicating the timelines, progress, delays, etc., from the team to the client and vice versa;
  • Supplying the directions on test execution;
  • Executing smoke and sanity testing on any deployed build and giving a go-ahead for the team to continue testing;
  • Participating in the test execution;
  • Conducting defect review meetings with the concerned development and support teams.

Advantages of the onsite – offshore software testing model

At first glance, it may seem like planning an onsite and offshore QA project takes more time and effort than doing the work completely in-house or outsourcing the full scope to an offshore team. But why do so many companies prefer the combined delivery method nonetheless? These are the biggest advantages of using onsite and offshore testing services:

  1. Uninterrupted software development and testing life cycle. When used right, this model can assure that there is work going non-stop.
  2. Face-to-face client-team cooperation. Close cooperation helps build better communication and also enhances the business relationship between all parties.
  3. A cost-effective delivery model. Offshore teams usually cost less and can be quickly scaled up and down, so you can easily reduce your expenses.

Potential challenges of onsite & offshore QA testing

As good as this delivery model is, there are possible challenges that can occur at any stage of the process. These are two of the most common issues encountered by the participants of the project:

  1. Onsite resources say that offshore resources don’t know what they are doing and are not available when they need them.
  2. Offshore teams complain that they are not getting the right inputs they need and that the onsite team is not always easy to reach.

The good news is that these issues can be easily resolved with enough commitment from all parties involved and clear communication. Here is how to remove those challenges:

  1. Remember that onsite and offshore are two sides of a coin. Nobody is more, and nobody is less. The two counterparts should coexist in harmony; otherwise, this model will be eventually broken.
  2. Establish regular communication where all sides of the project can exchange information, share knowledge and news, and promptly resolve any misunderstandings. These meetings should take place over fixed periods of time — for example, weekly. However, you need to be mindful of possible time differences.
  3. Have a list of what you need to do for one another and make sure you are working on the list and updating each other on the progress. This will help each party have a realistic view of the work in front of them, both in the short and long term.

Final thoughts

Onsite & offshore testing services promise multiple advantages to a company with limited resources or a need for niche industry expertise. Moreover, it’s often the most financially sound way to manage quality assurance on a software project. All you need for the project to be successful is a reliable partner with proven experience and complete faith in the process from all parties.

Frequently asked questions

What is onsite-offshore testing?

The onsite-offshore testing model is the practice of combining in-house resources with an offshore QA team to achieve maximum efficiency of the testing process, speed up the release cycle, and test aspects of the software product that would otherwise be out of reach.

How does onsite & offshore QA testing work?

Under the onsite & offshore software testing model, the entire chunk of work on a QA project is distributed between the in-house and offshore teams according to their strengths and expertise. The participants of the project then start doing the work mostly independently, but with regular communication with one another and frequent status updates.

Why is software testing offshore & onsite better than just onsite?

Working with an offshore testing team can give the company access to QA skills and technologies they don’t normally use but need to complete a particular project. The combined delivery mode is also usually the money-saving option, as offshore testing companies are mostly located in markets where labor is cheaper.

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