Things To Consider Before Hiring An Independent QA Vendor
Quality-at-speed has become essential for businesses all over the world. Mobile app users have become brutal and they won’t return to a compromised and lower performing app ever. Increasing customer expectation and more frequent release cycles have made it more difficult for businesses to sustain quality and deliver a flawless customer experience.
However, setting up an inhouse QA team equipped with all the required resources including automation tools is a money intensive affair. And on top of that, there is no guarantee whether you would be able to meet your QA goals or not. To mitigate such risks and minimize costs, it is better to collaborate with independent testing partners to deliver reliable and robust applications. However, there are a few crucial things that you need to consider before hiring an independent QA vendor.
Let us check out.
Having the right engagement model is essential in outsourcing the work. You must understand the business strategy, location of the business, and pick up the accurate outsourcing plan.
As per the business requirement, you can either go for complete outsourcing or incremental outsourcing. Here are the differences:
- Incremental Outsourcing: All the business goals and tasks are divided in small parts and all these parts are outsourced to the independent QA vendor. However, you have the option to select multiple QA vendors as per your requirements. It means, there is a lower risk for the business and you also get to keep the product knowledge and portfolio in-house. However, you will face the hassle to coordinate with multiple clients simultaneously to get the job done.
- Total Outsourcing: It includes assigning all the business tasks to a single QA vendor. It is considered more cost-efficient because the risk is always on the vendor side. However, you need to make elaborate planning to ensure the success of this arrangement.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
SLA is the contract between the client and the QA vendor. The agreement states all the tasks to be done and the expected results within the required timeline by the service provider. Detailed drafting of SLA is business-critical to achieve end-to-end alignment of goals amid client and vendor. Consider the engagement model, KPIs, and testing plans before drafting the final SLA.
Some points that you should remember:
- Reporting and timelines of project management
- Quality control metrics
- Process compliance
- End-to-end knowledge transfer
- Core business knowledge
Organizations are often puzzled with the dilemma of whether to hire a vendor in the same country or with an offshore software testing company. Offshore vendors offer great value for money but are located thousands of miles away. Problems like cultural difference and time zone barriers might pose operational challenges for the business. However, if vendors are equipped to eliminate these challenges there should not be any problem.
On shore QA vendors will offer the same service but at a premium. However, you will not face the same apprehension that you would face with the offshore QA vendor. It is advisable to deliberate the pros and cons carefully before taking the final decision.
The mobilization phase includes creating SLA, formulating the Statement of Work (SOW), and developing the business contract. This phase is normally the stage where both the organization and QA vendor come together to close the terms and give a go ahead to the outsourcing of QA business.
The process may include instant intimation to service providers about the business contract, statement of work, and SLA. All the terms and conditions of both clients and vendors should be mentioned in writing. The contract should ensure a long term engagement with cordial relationships.
The main motive of outsourcing a QA business is to achieve greater quality more cost-efficiently and reliably. Hence, the vendor is always expected to constantly improve the working style and processes for added efficiency. The primary goal should always be to achieve constant enhancement in products and services that are built by the web developer.
Scalability and Flexibility
For an outsourcing arrangement to become successful, you need a certain degree of flexibility in the timeline to overcome unexpected business challenges. Both business and vendor should discuss capabilities, ease of exit, ability to modify, and robustness to draft out the amount of flexibility. You should also agree upon the amount of scalability you might need in the future due to business expansion and evolving requirements.
Robust change management mechanisms can help vendors to meet frequent change requirements without impacting the testing cycle workflow. A robust change management system can efficiently handle increased time, cost, and resource requirements.
The vendor should be able to mitigate all the communication barriers to ensure efficient execution of all the tasks in hand. Hence, it is crucial to establish a robust and reliable communication channel between both the parties. Clients need to exchange the list of POCs for all the tasks with the QA vendor.
Intellectual Property Protection (IPR)
IPR protection is one of the top-most concerns for any client who is outsourcing the work. It is always a challenge to secure innovations and intellectual properties of the business from getting exposed to rival market forces. It is essential to categorize the intellectual property based on the level of risk and the business objective it achieves. Based on the risk level, the chain of command should be given access to IPR.
Vendors should have a bullet-proof mechanism to keep all the IPR and other information safely and securely from all threats. Any data breach must attract a hefty penalty or severance of the engagement.
Quality of Resources
The quality of resources assigned to a project play a crucial role in achieving the desired business outcomes successfully. All the resources including QA test engineers, leads, technical staff, manager, and more should be interviewed to ensure your project is going into the right sets of hands.
Quality assurance has become one of the most essential requirements for businesses globally. It helps in achieving greater customer satisfaction and business growth. Hence, it is essential to thoroughly research before finalizing an independent QA vendor.