Benefits of Outsourcing Your Quality Assurance

For many businesses, quality assurance (QA) is both challenging and time-consuming, especially if they don’t have the right resources to support their efforts.

QA outsourcing allows organizations to spend more time focused on core activities. At the same time, quality testers work behind the scenes to identify risks, bugs, and errors, and ensure the code is secure before deployment.

Outsourcing this critical function enables companies to get to market faster–without compromising on quality. Here, we’ll look at some of the key benefits that quality assurance outsourcing can provide.

Quality Assurance Outsourcing Companies Typically Follow Agile Processes

Agile is a set of principles for developing software that enables early delivery and continuous improvement through cross-departmental collaboration, adaptive planning, proactive communication, and a rapid response to changes in requirements.

Other Agile characteristics include:

  • Tasks are broken into smaller increments, called sprints, and require little planning. Sprints operate on short timeframes called time boxes and typically last no more than a few weeks.
  • A cross-functional team performs all of the tasks in a sprint, including gathering requirements, design, development, and testing. This team often demonstrates a working product to the stakeholders at the end of each sprint.
  • A sprint doesn’t need to provide the functionality needed to warrant a market release; it just needs to produce a release with minimal bugs.
  • In most cases, releasing a new feature requires multiple sprints before it’s ready for a market release.

 

While Agile software development operates around a specific set of best practices, it doesn’t
require practitioners to follow any particular development methodology or use any specific tools.

The primary benefit of Agile is that it minimizes the overall risk of a project, allowing developers to respond to changing requirements quickly. Quality assurance in software development means testers can identify bugs, functionality issues, and vulnerabilities in the code during each sprint, ensuring that problems never snowball out of control.

Quality assurance outsourcing stands to improve this process for teams that don’t have a dedicated QA team embedded in the development process. In an Agile team, quality testers spend most of their time focused on efforts that generate feedback designed to improve both product and process quality.

If you’d like to learn more about this methodology, we recommend checking out the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Cross Functional Teams Including Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance Outsourcing Enables Rapid Response to Change

Software requirements can change overnight in today’s business.

A company’s explosive growth may require a dramatic increase in the software’s scope, or a new regulation may require the software to have additional features.

New technologies such as enhancements to mobile devices may also necessitate increases to the software’s functionality.

The problem is, keeping pace with change can be disruptive to organizations that still operate using traditional software development methods like waterfall, as they must repeat every step of the development process to accommodate any change, no matter how small.

Agile development can accommodate changes more easily by adding them in the next sprint, eliminating the need for rework. Additionally, Agile’s rapid response process can keep projects alive and moving in the right direction when they might otherwise fizzle out prematurely.

Stakeholders are integrated into the entire development process, allowing companies to monitor a project’s progress and weigh in with feedback or share new requirements with the development and QA teams.

Continuous Integration of Stakeholders

Stakeholder involvement is particularly beneficial in quality assurance outsourcing, allowing clients to play an active role in ensuring that the final product aligns with strategic goals.

These days, QA outsourcing companies are taking on a more critical role in Agile software development, working closely with in-house teams to support strategic initiatives.

Quality Assurance Outsourcing Can Help Teams Reduce Risk

According to the traditional Waterfall methodology, developers create the code for the entire application, hand it off for testing.

Then, once QA testers have reviewed the entire codebase, they’ll send it back to the development team, now tasked with fixing all bugs and errors across the entire application.

This approach accumulates problems throughout the entire development can cause significant delays and risks throughout the development lifecycle.

By contrast, Agile allows companies to minimize risks and get to market faster by providing users with tangible evidence that the software will (or won’t) perform as expected. Here, quality assurance is baked into the development process.

Clients may also begin testing a feature before the project is completed in cases with sufficient justification. Robert C. Martin states that 80% of software development is maintenance in his 2008 book, Clean Code.

Tangible Evidence of Performance

He adds that bad practices in the development of the original code directly result in a dramatic increase in the resources needed to maintain it, including time and money. Worst case scenario, poor code may even require a complete redesign.

Agile development also reduces risk by using a proven design, allowing developers to clean up the code and reduce load times quickly. It also makes it easier to build a scalable architecture that can handle dramatic fluctuations in the number of active users.

QA Outsourcing Companies Can Help Deliver Higher-Quality End-Products

Continuous QA testing is another core characteristic of the Agile methodology, integrating testing into each step of the development process. In our experience, clients find that Agile offers a higher-quality end product than traditional development methodologies.

By breaking large projects into more manageable sprints, teams write and test the code, one feature at a time. QA testing is performed on each step–independent of all others, preventing critical errors from slipping through the cracks and creating bigger problems down the road.

Agile also makes room for periodic project reflections. During these meetings, teams discuss the project’s successes and failures, and development teams can share lessons learned and come up with a plan to do things better the next time around. Project reflections also present an opportunity to evaluate any new processes or tools that were applied after the previous reflection.

This process also involves daily standup meetings–a Lean management practice where teams meet before starting work for the day.

During these standups, teams discuss project status, share feedback, and their goals for the day. These short, daily meetings ensure that developers can incorporate user feedback after each sprint and respond to new requirements as needed. This enables them to improve existing features and apply lessons learned to future features.

Agile methods improve the software by increasing the collaboration between developers and clients. As you might imagine, achieving these benefits with QA outsourcing hinges on choosing the right vendor.

Look for solution providers who take the time to understand your goals, vision, and offer a collaborative work style that supports Agile processes. Keep in mind, activities like daily standups and short sprints demand ongoing communication throughout the day.

As such, a nearshore team is better equipped for QA outsourcing than an offshore company on the other side of the world.

 

Flexibility to Change

Video: The Importance of Quality Assurance When Developing Software

YouTube video

 

QA Outsourcing Success Depends on Finding the Right Partner

Working with quality assurance outsourcing companies isn’t always easy. Success is more about relationships than technology, especially if you’re using Agile processes.

Tiempo Dev’s nearshore business model, Agile methodology, and high-performing teams allow companies to leverage the full range of benefits QA outsourcing has to offer.

We’ll be there for daily standups, collaborate closely with your in-house teams, and help you bring high-quality products to market–fast.

Contact us today to learn more about our testing and quality assurance outsourcing services.