Software QA outsourcing (or QA consulting) has been around for a long time since companies are able to maximize the benefits of the long-term partnership with the QA vendor. In many teams, it becomes easy to scale up QA (or test) teams. In such scenarios, partnering with an experienced QA vendor makes technical as well as business sense.
Just imagine, onboarding a known QA vendor opens up the access to a plethora of experienced QA engineers in a single go! The best part is that the testers are not on the payrolls of your organization. Though a lot has been writing about the do’s & don’ts of software testing, very less has been written about the best approach to shortlist a QA vendor.
For many projects, selecting the right type of QA vendor depends on the ROI and the technical expertise offered by the vendor. Since quality is an integral part of any software product (or project), an experienced team of QA managers, team leads, and/or CIOs must be involved in the shortlisting process.
If you are having difficulties onboarding the best-suited QA vendor, do not worry since we have you covered! The learning of this blog will be helpful in building a long-term rapport with the ideal QA vendor.
What is Software QA Outsourcing?
The process of outsourcing the QA and testing activities in a project to a software vendor is called “Software QA outsourcing”. There are a number of engagement models when it comes to QA outsourcing.
In one of the models, QA engineers and testers with relevant domain experience work out of the client’s premises, alongside the in-house QA team. Since the outsourced engineers work closely with the in-house, they are able to gain significant knowledge from the internal team.
For many large-scale projects, it is not a viable business proposition to send a number of QA resources to the client location. In such scenarios, building a dedicated QA lab at the QA vendor’s place is a more viable technical proposition. Many large product enterprises opt for this particular engagement model since it reaps significant benefits in the long run.
Steps to Choose Best QA Outsourcing Vendor
Now that we have covered the basic essentials of software QA outsourcing, let us deep dive into the strategy that can be used to choose the ideal vendor for your project. The points mentioned in this section can be used selectively depending on the size, scale, and complexity of the project.
As per our experience with QA consulting services, here are the steps that can help you choose the best QA vendor:
1. Client Experience and Domain Expertise
A simple Google search for “Software QA Consulting Services” will yield a large number of results, many of them might not be relevant for your business. This is because many QA consulting companies do not have any experience in serving large-scale clients. Onboarding such a vendor can slow down the project execution, even derail it completely!
Before making any choice, it is essential to involve the major project stakeholders so that they can evaluate the vendor from an expertise point of view. It is important to verify whether the vendor has delivered results to their present (or past) customers. It is recommended to stay away from IT service vendors that have QA services only a small part of their business offering.
Projects with complex software modules would require a significant number of resources on the testing front. When evaluating a QA vendor, the team should check whether the testers in their team have adequate domain expertise. It is a known fact that picking up a new domain takes time, hence you should always opt for a vendor that has QA engineers with the said domain expertise.
The experience of the QA vendor can be easily drawn from the company logos present on their pitch deck. A consulting vendor that has served global clients must always be preferred over the ones that have provided QA consulting services to lesser-known companies!
2. Intellectual Property Protection
When a QA vendor is onboarded for a project, their team also gets access to the integral aspects of the project. This might include access to important documents (e.g. functional specification, design spec, test spec, etc.), flow diagrams, and more.
QA engineers and testers associated with reputed QA consulting companies like KiwiQA have the experience working with a range of global clients. Preference must be given to such QA vendors, as they ensure that the client’s IP is protected all the time. Security risks are minimal when enterprises engage with global QA consulting vendors that have proven track records.
3. Business Model
The QA vendor’s business goes a long way in evaluating the approach they take in engaging with their customers. Domain expertise and customer centricity are the two vital parameters on which you can evaluate the vendor’s offerings.
Client-driven testers must be preferred since they devise a delivery model that meets the clients’ needs and requirements. Such testers not only have the test development and execution experience but also have the expertise in providing inputs related to selection of testing infrastructure.
See, the whole point of engaging with a QA vendor is to minimize in-house QA costs and accelerate the QA process. However, the savings should not come at the cost of engaging with an inexperienced vendor. Experienced outsourced QA vendors like KiwiQA have helped clients in choosing the test execution infrastructure that yields short-term and long-term returns.
Apart from the pointers mentioned above, the respective project stakeholders must look into the leadership and partnership aspects, when onboarding the vendor.
Software QA outsourcing is on the rise since it offers a number of benefits. Partnering with an outsourced QA vendor reaps significant savings since it eliminates the need to hire an in-house team of testers.
Beyond price and delivery, careful analysis must be done in evaluating different QA consulting vendors. Onboarding an unproven (or misfit) QA vendor could dampen the progress of the project. It could also result in delayed project outcomes and poor (or average) product delivery.
The strategy mentioned in this blog can be instrumental in choosing the best-suited QA consulting vendor that meets the project budget and financial requirements. KiwiQA is a global QA vendor that has provided a range of QA services to a number of global clients.