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How to avoid risks when you hire an outsourcing QA team?

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How to avoid risks when you hire an outsourcing QA team?

The outsourcing service market is growing with each year more and more. According to Statista, the global market size of outsourced services in 2019 is 92.5 billion dollars, which is much higher than in previous years. Experts from Global Market Insights predict a growing software testing market at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of over 6% from 2020 to 2026. The development of technologies will facilitate a growing market.

Reasons for the risks of outsourcing

Such market expansion is the mark of popularity and demand for outsourcing services among corporations. Entrepreneurs choose to outsource because it's cheaper than maintaining a QA team, you have a vast choice of QA professionals, and it can save you time.
But when you dare to hire an outsourcing team to implement in a development process, you take the risk.

Such risks associated with:
Lack of control. When you handover part of a development process on outsourcing you have a risk of losing control of it. There is a risk of an inability to monitor productivity and quality. A deal can get even worse with weak management and a lack of communication between vendor and client.

Lack of experience and outdated technologies. When you hire an outsourcing team, you can't know how experienced it is, how it solves problems during a workflow, and how enough its knowledge to expand and implement new techniques if necessary. In this case, a decision is to ask a vendor team to demonstrate a portfolio with projects related to yours.

Extra charges. One of the main goals of outsourcing is reducing costs. But you don't pay only for the service. There are many costs in outsourcing — buying software tools, additional testing, setup costs, rework, and so on.

Breach of duties. Outsourcing teams may break deadlines, don't fulfill requests, or break process plans, and all it gets complicated if a team is located on the other side of the globe. Meticulous research and signing the Service level agreement help you to avoid problems and lawsuits.

What to consider before outsourcing?

To avoid risks, let's consider moments to pay attention to before hire outsourcing QA team.

Experience and a full scope of services
Even if you hire a QA team for one kind of testing, bear in mind that you may need a broader range of services later. Ensure that vendor is able to cover a wide scope of testing and have sufficient numbers of testers to provide them. Competent teams have their techniques, approaches, and frameworks in software testing. You can ask a vendor about methods that a team has used and is implemented in a testing process.

Level of trust
Reliable and professional teams arrange a full pack of documentation and can provide it to you at any moment of a workflow. Thus, you are informed about accomplished work, testing plans, and scenarios. One of the most important documents that is signed between vendors and clients is the Service Level Agreement, which adjusts deadlines, quality measures, stage of a testing process, and so on. Ensure that a vendor can provide these requirements, and you can trust it.

Easy and self-managed team
The main idea of outsourcing is transferring part of a development process in third-part hands to provide a client to focus on core operations. Thus, it's important if a vendor team manages the whole process from writing documentation to controlling the testing software process during development. Also, the vendor should provide a QA manager who adjusts communication between the client and the outsourcing team.

What are the common mistakes when hiring an outsourcing team?

Despite technology development and permanent improvement of development methods, such as DevOps, outsourcing still often fails. There are many reasons for this, such as poor management, lack of knowledge and competence in operations that are outsourced, and so on. QA has specific features, ignorance of which can lead to inefficient cooperation between vendor and client.
There are the most common mistakes that lead to a high risk in the process of QA outsourcing.

Non set up or poorly designed test plans and cases.

These documents are an essential part of testing software. A test plan is a roadmap for testing with all points through a process. It contains such information as a scope of testing, schedule of a workflow, testing practices, etc. Before starting to cooperate with a team, your test manager or business analyst should adjust all questions associated with a testing process and negotiate a test plan. It saves you from misunderstandings and losing money.

Incorrectly chosen testing methodology
Since software testing is an integral part of software development, methods like Agile are implemented in a software testing process too. With the right approach, the testing process becomes safer and faster. But lack of experience and misunderstanding of the process can lead to the wrong choice of methodology. For example, if you chose a waterfall methodology, your team won't be able to make fast corrections to the testing process due to strict segmentation inside this method.

Incomplete regression cycle.
The main goal of regression testing is to reveal new bugs after changing code and make sure that previously found bugs are eliminated. To have more accurate results regression testing is conducted at an early stage of the development process and repeated during each sprint. Thus, your team is staying informed about program efficiency. But with project expansion, some QA-teams shrink regression testing or reject it at all due to difficult and complex realization. Overall, this leads to incorrect work of a program. Indeed, regression testing in big projects it's a hard issue. In this case, we recommend to switch to automation regression testing and to design a testing strategy according to this approach.

No bug reports and metrics for tracking bugs.
Tracking bugs and metrics for tracking bugs allows a team to gather data and analyze it. With data, you can see bottlenecks in your program, problem areas, and implement additional testing. Bug reports reveal what steps led to errors and prevent them in further software development. One of the important metrics in QA is defect density. It reveals the total amount of bugs during one period of development. This data allows a team to choose testing strategies and ensures readiness to release.

Sum up

Risks exist in all fields of our life, especially in such vulnerable areas as a business. Understanding the challenges, you can reduce or eliminate risks. QA outsourcing offers a big choice of teams and services. Knowing the specificity of this field, you can make up requirements and choose the right outsourcing team that only brings benefits to your business.

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