These days, agile testing has changed the way we approach QA. This digital transformation has led to experience-driven development. Thus, testers also check how the product will look and feel from the perspective of the final user along with assessing technical points.
Companies are deploying software updates at a tremendous speed. Companies like Amazon, Target, and Netflix are now deploying thousands of modules daily. Developers are using new tools and techniques to perform different permutations for test scenarios.
The mindset associated with QA has also changed. These days, instead of hiring in-house professionals for testing, companies outsource their work to QA outsourcing vendors. There are many benefits of outsourcing QA such as less cost, access to skilled labor, and quicker time to market.
Of course, the process of choosing a partner requires serious thought and discretion. You want a seasoned vendor that can provide the best possible product. For example, BairesDev, a software testing company, that offers a dedicated team of industry’s top QA professionals to work on your project.
There are certain points to consider before choosing a QA vendor. Some of them are mentioned here.
There may be some potential changes in your business requirements based on market trends. If you’re partnering with someone to handle your project, make sure that they can scale your project as per requirement. You also need to check if they have the infrastructure to handle elements that are bigger than the ones defined in the project’s scope.
They should also have the flexibility to assign people on and off the project. For example, if your project needs more experienced people, they should collaborate and consult without significant addition to your project fee.
Credibility in the market
You would often be in a situation where you have to trust vendors you haven’t worked with before. In that case, you have to check their credibility and see if they have social proof to support that credibility.
You can ask them if they’ve handled similar kinds of projects for other clients, if they have references/testimonials/reviews from those clients, and which are the processes that power the whole development.
Once you assure yourself of their credibility, check whether the vendor is willing to sign service level agreements (SLAs) regarding serviceability and delivery. SLAs assist in laying down escalation and reporting guidelines, ensure less downtime, and help achieve customer satisfaction.
Your outsourcing vendor should have experienced employees that can collaborate on your project. While evaluating vendors, check how many years of experience they have. What kind of professionals do they hire? What’s their hiring policy? Also, check if there is a mandatory certification that those professionals have to complete before handling projects. You can also do a background check on the vendor to ensure that the said vendor is proficient and has the appropriate industry experience to successfully handle that project.
Many times vendors tend to hire amateurs/cheap resources to fit into the budget of the project. While negotiating with your vendor, make sure that you have the best people working on your project. The key is to strike the right balance between cost and quality. Also, check that they have adequate subject matter experts (SMEs) and project managers to provide knowledge transfer in the project.
Check if your vendor follows all security guidelines required to run an outsourcing firm. Based on their location, infrastructure, and industry, they may have to comply with standards such as HIPAA and GDPS data protection compliance.
Security compliances help to protect your company IP and the sensitive data associated with your company. Make sure that the vendor signs confidentiality clauses, and employees sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Along with security standards, your vendor should also focus on application security. Identify what sort of application protection policies your vendor follows. Ensure that the policies followed by your vendor are updated and included in your SLA agreement. Make sure to question particular points such as data security and loss prevention, and data clustering and classification.
You should check for their network security policies as well. The vendor is required to demonstrate what sort of network security they have. Also, check if they do regular testing on their network to ensure it’s safety. Ask for vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and URL filtering reports for their network. Also, review if they have necessary security components such as firewalls, antivirus software, VPNs, and intrusion detection systems.
And if you are hosting your data into a vendor’s servers, another thing you should consider is the physical security of your tape drives. Ask them what techniques they are using to protect your data center. Check if the data center is protected from environmental factors such as rain, storm, fire, etc. Make sure that all visitors entering that datacenter have proper identification and are logged into a database for review. Ideally, a data center should have video surveillance facilities and multiple secure access points.
You have to think about specific goals while outsourcing your QA. Keep in mind, the QA vendor will only perform the duties that you assign to them. They can put forward recommendations, but it’s your choice whether you want to implement them or not.
Think about what sort of engagement you want with your QA partner. Do you want total outsourcing or incremental outsourcing for your project?
Also, figure out your precise objective for your project. What is the final result you envision? That will answer the question that if you want a long term or short term partnership. And if it’s long term, how much engagement do you want in your project?
The best outsourcing strategies involve both vendor and client understanding each other’s perspectives and sharing a similar vision on the work to be done. The client provides the methodology and ideas, and the vendor executes those ideas through innovation and talent. An outsourcing vendor will help you focus on your core competencies by sharing expertise, experience, and knowledge.
To create a long term strategic partner, you have to make sure that both you and the vendor are clear on the present and future goals. You need to set the right contract highlighting engagement, SLA policies, and requirements.
Outsourcing does have slight disadvantages such as losing control, few hidden costs, different time zones. But if done right, outsourcing QA will ensure that you get a high-quality project at a much lower price.
You can read more about Testing And QA Methodologies at jelvix.com.