Today more and more IT companies and corporations use staff outsourcing and even the whole companies working remotely and offering their customers a certain package of personal services and solutions.
Let’s analyze such relations through employing a remote group of testers (QA specialists) for a project, who should absolutely efficiently and qualitatively test our product and deliver us a finished report that everything works, everything is OK, so a client will be completely satisfied.
But we don’t know will we be satisfied since such a type of relations (remote) can be the reason for numerous risks and preventions which can be a turning point of a crash of one more release or the whole build of software in development.
So what should we primarily understand and how does QA outsourcing work, what are its advantages and how to cope with risks and does your company really need a group of remote testers?
We will analyze this below.
The Confusion Between Outsourcing and Outstaffing: Similar Realities
It’s really very easy to be confused between these terms and descriptions. Particularly if 2 terms have a similar meaning.
To eliminate the confusions, we should identify the main features of these 2 terms to put an equal sign between the terms.
Testing outsourcing is executing determined tasks on testing the functionality of the software. The contractor takes the responsibility to perform all the necessary work with the help of remote resources.
The most interesting thing is that the internal workings of testing outsourcing is usually unknown and not available for clients: a client only gets a necessary result.
Testing outstaffing is a process of employing staff to introduce a group of qualified employees of a particular field (QA, back-end, front-end, etc.) to the project. Issues on deploying and organizing the work of such employees are solved by a director of a company which employed them.
Everything is pretty clear but there is the main question: how to reduce risks from remote testing on the project? Where can we find a list of risks and weaknesses which can completely destroy a project in development or seriously extend the deadline of its release?
But before analyzing the risks, we should identify the factors by which IT companies use the services of specialists working remotely.
The Advantages of Outsourcing
It’s right to start with good things when analyzing a bad one.
Proper Distribution of Functional Load
Frequently, an IT company meets the stage of “temporary need” of a particular group of testers. A good example of such a practice is a testing department which can have no work for weeks but then for months float searching for the functionality of a product in development.
Outsourcing allows us to properly control the workload of the staff. when they reach mentioned overload, it’s good to employ a group of remote testers for a project to properly and, the main thing, qualitatively prepare the product for a final release and don’t pay a salary to employees which are not occupied when there is no work.
Reducing the Costs of Employing New People
We can say for sure that a form of remote employment of employees allows us to spend much less money on the salary of a specialist but there is also a group of uncertain factors:
- Rental of an office;
- Purchasing necessary equipment;
- Formalization of employees.
Also, we can mention that the factors described above need not only costs but also time.
A Look from Another Perspective
Don’t be surprised since even the most professional and mature team of web developers needs to be clearly analyzed by a third-party which will allow us to identify the particular disadvantages of a product in development.
Executing a Particular Group of Tasks
Sometimes we lose control over creating necessary reports and technical documentation of a project while having huge releases and executing basic tasks. In some time, such omissions can lead to decreasing productivity.
Such work (for example, writing test cases for a typical product) can be transmitted to a remote team of specialists.
Disadvantages of Testing Outsourcing
Some customers started to say that the remote type of testing is today too overrated. We must mention that such a point should be analyzed quite carefully since every product in development is unique and its price can (and will) vary primarily because of the amount of the testing performed, popularity of testing (in other words, a balance between its qualification and quality of the work done.)
To find the right decision, we need to get answers to such questions: how long has your QA team been performing remote testing? What time frames do they suggest? Do they have reviews on specialized web platforms (forums, social networks)? How do they plan to build the process of your mutual work?
It’s logical to suppose that the more requirements you will give them, the more expensive the remote testing will be. This means that you as a client need to set priorities and identify a group of primary plans.
Not all IT companies are ready to give an unknown person the internal resources of the software product. Usually, to solve this task, QA specialists need private access only to a particular area of software functionality or they sign a personal NDA – non-disclosure agreement.
This means that before you give outsourcer access to developed software, you should be sure that he/she will analyze all potential risks in the field of information security and understands all the risks he/she may have.
To not argue and quarrel with anyone, first tell a specialist that all the scripts created while testing, test cases, and other technical documentation is an intellectual property of a client and can’t be used by a remote tester as he/she wishes.
If you plan to employ external contractors for testing a product in development, then you lack qualified staff.
And if for any reason, you will need to immediately stop working with such a person, you will have numerous unclear technical documents, the purpose of which is not completely clear. Even the most experienced and skillful specialists will have difficulty in its understanding.
The solution is very simple: before testing the product of remote employees, discuss all the facts regarding that they should not only test its functionality but also write detailed technical documentation, permanently commenting on unclear and complex places in their templates and constructions. Such rules will help you to quickly understand the previously performed work and don’t lose time on interpreting given documentation.
Now we can think about such a fact: do we really need outsourcing?
The Importance of Testing Outsourcing
We need to build a compatible table of data: before and after performing work on testing by remote specialists.
|Time factors||Big lack of time needed for testing||A big amount of time for solving other important tasks|
|Human factor||Low level of professional responsibility||Work only with highly-qualified specialists|
|The issue of resources||Permanent costs spent on resources and equipment||Paying only after the work is done not needing to purchase additional equipment|
|Quality factor||Permanent combining the tasks, a low level of efficiency of performed work||Discussed responsibility for product quality|
|Issue of control||Observing all performed tasks||Simplicity in observing of quality|
|Speed of development||Low speed of professional development of employees connected with permanent time spending on achieving the primary goals||Providing the tasks and resources only when this is really necessary|
To completely analyze the information on risks of working with outsourced staff, we should highlight the followings facts :
- Size of the project. If you have few employees in the QA department and the task set is not trivial, then only outsourcing will allow you to properly use qualified services spending a proper amount of time and resources ;
- The peculiarities of the project. The process of outsourcing means quick studying the product specifics but sometimes there are situations when studying the peculiarities of software is quite hard.
- Peculiarities of the project. The process of outsourcing means quick studying the specifics of the product but sometimes we have such situations that studying the features of the software is quite hard. That’s why even the most experienced outsourced contractors can’t assure you in the proper understanding of the testing methodology of your product. It will easier to teach the employees of your office;
- Privacy. Sometimes a level of established security is so high that it doesn’t even allow you to completely access the internal group of outsourcers and this will have the negative consequences for the quality of testing of the project functionality;
- Qualification. Sometimes even the most popular group of outsourced contractors can’t provide you with a group of specialists for a project who are ready to quickly complete the task set. This means that you need to conduct a job interview with a few contractors at once, analyze their functional skills, find the best one.
Outsourcing field became an essential part of the modern IT business. According to polls, approx. 77% of companies which work in software development, plan to continue to use this practice again and about 44% of them plan to increase the amount of the tasks performed to employ a remote group of contractors.
If you understand that outsource QA is good for your company, then you should certainly build mutually beneficial collaboration with a contractor of qualified testing services since such an approach will definitely have numerous advantages :
- Concentration on developing business processes inside a company;
- Huge saving of costs ;
- Quick qualified help from the third-party ;
- Dealing with the disadvantages of the unequal occupation of employees of the QA department.
We have also told you how to cope with minimizing the risks in outsourcing and every field has its disadvantages and the main thing is to them by proper evaluating your key needs and necessity in getting a positive mark and a good result.