Software testing outsourcing models
Companies have been using some form of an outsourced QA testing service for decades. Naturally, during this time, the practice of QA outsourcing has become more standardized and structured than it once used to be. Right now, there are two main models for outsourcing QA services — traditional testing services and specialist testing services. Here is what they both entail.
Traditional testing services
Traditional testing services (TTS) are exactly what they sound like. Performed typically by the in-house QA specialists with a possible addition of outsourced engineers, they involve testing the entire product before each software release and communicating the discovered defects to the development team, who then fixes them.
Traditional testing services have been used by organizations for a long time, but they come with their set of drawbacks. Most importantly, TTS are often difficult to manage and nearly impossible to scale, which is not acceptable for projects that are expected to grow or change significantly along the way.
A remarkable aspect of traditional testing services is establishing a Testing Center of Excellence. A TCoE takes complete responsibility for the quality of the product instead of just completing the tasks issued by higher management. This helps create high-quality products faster and with more opportunities for scalability and growth.
Specialist testing services
Developed as an alternative to Traditional Testing Services, Specialist Testing Services (STS) involve outsourcing the testing of particular software elements to third-party providers with relevant experience in the field. The most popular vendors for STS are testing organizations that provide these services on a regular basis to various companies, although it’s also possible to hire independent test specialists for small, short-term projects, or work with crowd-testing vendors if the goal of the project is to mainly test the usability and spotless functionality of the product.
Outsourcing your QA needs to a company providing specialized testing services makes particular sense when you’re dealing with software products from a niche industry, developed using a rare tech stack, or when the process of testing involves highly specific testing types, such as IoT testing, hardware testing, implementing artificial intelligence in quality assurance, and so on.
When to outsource quality assurance?
Even though software QA outsourcing is no longer a novelty, not all companies have enough familiarity with this service or know how to use it to meet their goals. As a result, some business owners believe that outsourcing is the universal solution to all software quality-related issues, while others think that outsourcing only makes sense for highly specialized, smaller tasks. So, when does QA outsourcing make the most sense? These are the situations where you should consider outsourcing your QA needs.
Sometimes, you just need to have your software tested, and you need it urgently. Deciding on the in-house team composition and then hiring new team members can take well over a month, which is the time you don’t always have. With outsourcing, you can go from the introductory call to the launch of the project in as little as ten days. Your outsourcing partner will advise on the team size and structure, as well as offer you a choice of the most fitting candidates for each team role, allowing you to start testing fast and with better results.
Internal team is missing the required skills
Many quality assurance projects successfully go on for years using only the most basic testing types and tools. However, when the project calls for specific expertise, such as API testing or testing automation, it often turns out that no one on the team possesses the required skills. This is where outsourcing comes into play. It allows companies to fill the knowledge gaps quickly and continue the testing process without any interruptions while taking advantage of cutting-edge industry and technical expertise.
Resource-intensive, long-term project
With long-term, all-encompassing testing projects, cost savings are the main reason for outsourcing QA. When you need to employ many QA experts on a full-time, continuous basis, the expenses linked to the project can be difficult to handle for small or medium-sized companies. Outsourcing your QA needs to an external provider, where rates can be twice as low compared to local hiring, makes it more financially feasible to run long-term testing projects without sacrificing the quality of work.
Small or temporary project
When you only need to test a small software product or want to focus on a particular aspect of testing, such as regression testing or security testing, it may not make sense to make any permanent hiring decisions because you may not have a continuous supply of tasks to entrust to new team members in the long run. Instead, outsourcing offers you the flexibility you will definitely come to appreciate, as you can pause, continue, end, or expand your cooperation with the vendor as your project needs change.
Focus on core business needs
When you have a large team that consists of many departments where everyone is responsible for their own chunk of work, there is usually a separate department that takes care of principal business needs and competencies. However, not every business can afford that. As a result, trying to both do the testing on your own and continue working on core business needs, your attention becomes unevenly distributed, and both areas of work begin to suffer. Entrusting testing to a reputable provider allows you to focus on tasks that matter the most or tasks you’re simply better at.