Outsourcing quality assurance considerationsIT-based systems have long become critical for business processes and software apps have conquered almost all spheres of our life. Quality assurance (QA) is an inalienable part of any software development process as it’s not enough just to develop a software application but it’s also vital to make sure that it matches certain standards and is ready for production. While it’s absolutely clear that QA is a must the question remains whether to accomplish this activity in-house or go for more affordable offshore services.

When it makes sense to outsource QA

  • If you need to hire a team for a short period due to lack of skilled experts in-house
  • If you require greater expertise than you have for a single project
  • If company’s infrastructure is unable to handle searching, interviewing, training and managing a in-house QA team

What are the possible drawbacks of outsourcing QA

  • It’s better if coding and testing is accomplished by a single team since there is a strong connection between these two activities
  • Trust barrier between developers and QAs teams may have a negative effect on the overall project efficiency
  • Sometimes the quality of testing services may by unsatisfactory
  • Possibly poor communication due to delays connected with time-zone differences
  • All the product knowledge accumulated by the offshore QA team is lost after the project is completed
  • QA professionals have access to crucial project information — sometimes it may lead to unwanted sensitive data leakage in the future

What are the critical success factors for outsourcing QA?

  • Making sure that business objectives are agreed upon at early stages and thoroughly managed up to project completion
  • Ensuring the “testing today-tomorrow’s testing” transition is easy in terms of business impact
  • Detailed interviews with QA experts to find out if they are competent enough
  • Competent QA service providers should ask you questions and recommend solutions straight away
  • Ask your potential vendor about recently accomplished projects and challenges faced
  • Ask services provider to present customers references and recommendations
  • As testing becomes more specialized it’s beneficial to ask QA outsourcing provider about their focus in testing and specific skills the team members possess
Final thoughts

The necessity for outside QA experts arises when companies’ in-house resources are unable to cope with the volume of work or there is no possibility to involve a full-time QA team. Naturally, QA outsourcing has its benefits and pitfalls but if you decide to delegate your testing activities to the offshore team remember that it’s absolutely vital to hire experts in your problem domain. Good QA experts can understand what your goal is by taking a look at software application you’re working on.

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