Nothing hinders the success of a mobile app or website as finding critical issues close to launch. That’s why quality assurance testing is essential to the development lifecycle. Many agencies, on the other hand, are not QA experts themselves. It’s also possible that an organization doesn’t have in-house QA testers or has limited resources. Whatever the reason, the partner you choose must fit your organization’s criteria. But how do you choose?
QA is all about trust and collaboration. It’s important that QA analysts respond to your questions and communicate well with your development or project management team. Even as an outsourced team, QA should function with your staff and be ready to resolve problems when an unforeseen event arises during the testing cycle.
You may be in the research phase or already have experience with an in-house or outsourced QA team. Wherever you are in your journey, these tips can help you choose a QA testing company that fits your project, be it meeting WCAG guidelines for an accessible website or compatibility testing before a mobile app launch.
Finding a QA Testing Partner for Your Needs
There are several questions to keep in mind:
- Do you know what types of testing your organization demands, or are you unsure?
- What is the potential partner’s turnaround time for a project?
- How does the QA firm’s methodology work with your processes and priorities?
- Would working with in-house testers be beneficial?
- What types of projects is the testing organization most familiar with? Are its analysts familiar with a project similar to yours?
- Does the testing organization have confidentiality policies? Are background checks completed on the QA testers?
- What security policies are in place? How will the testing vendor protect your data?
- Does your project have budgetary restrictions?
It might be helpful to list your questions in advance of meeting with the first point of contact at the QA company to get the most out of your time. Be upfront about your project, including any limitations or concerns you have.
What is the Scope of Your Project?
First, it’s important to understand organizational priorities and what you’re looking for in terms of outsourcing QA. Often, with ever-changing development cycles and other unforeseen circumstances, the QA phase of a project can come at a moment’s notice. You may need to outsource help quickly. Other times, you may prefer a partner who can provide services for a prolonged period of time–on an inconsistent basis.
While there are a myriad of testing partners to choose from, a careful analysis of your requirements will help to narrow down your search. Here are three areas to put at the top of your list:
- Timeline: Keep your deadline or launch date in mind. Do you need a partner who can start immediately? Or, do you have the time to complete a trial project and invest in a long-term relationship? Generally, we need minimal lead time to onboard before starting a new project. Other providers could differ.
- Communication: Decipher the communication style that best fits your team and project. Will you need them to participate in stand-up meetings and provide daily reports, or do you prefer communicating via messaging services? To some, having a testing team in the same time zone will be important.
- Testing Services: If you are familiar with QA, then you might already know what testing QA services are necessary for your project. Will a quick round of testing suffice? Dedicating more time to ensure you are free of critical errors is important if you are seeking to improve the user experience. We provide a range of services, including compatibility, functionality, test automation, and accessibility, also known as A11y, testing. And we’re well-equipped to scale, from smaller websites to large software applications.
What QA testing services are most important?
Not all testing partners are created equal. QA testing is a vast field. Some companies offer more than others in terms of coverage, types of testing available, and length of lead time required before getting started.
An important part of finding the perfect QA partner is selecting a candidate who can perform the services you need. You may be interested in finding a firm capable of expanding or evolving its services as your team grows and your needs change.
While some projects may only require a quick round of testing, it’s beneficial to select a partner with whom you can build a long-term partnership. Analysts will be able to develop a deeper understanding of your products and goals. For instance, while your current project may not include testing against accessibility guidelines, it could be important to select a testing partner who provides accessibility services for future iterations or separate projects in your pipeline.
Offshore or onshore testing?
Communication will be vital throughout the testing process, and ensuring that your partner will communicate effectively and efficiently is a high priority. While some testing companies utilize off-shore testing, this can become complicated if testing is being completed outside of your time zone or without a centralized point of contact.
Outside of security concerns, your product may require an NDA or other considerations. If that is the case, then it is often beneficial to have access to a consistent tester or team of testers whom you become familiar with over time—a prospect that becomes less possible if the company utilizes off-shore testing or contracted testers.
We don’t utilize off-shore testing, and have a staff of 100 employees who are trained in-house and on-site in Portland, Oregon. Our clients have a single point of contact who can provide daily findings reports, participate in team meetings, and address immediate or urgent concerns via email or messaging service applications. Test Platform, our all-in-one QA testing management system, was developed to track bugs and streamline the testing process. Our clients can use it free of charge.
What Are the Company’s Testing Methodologies?
Lastly, the way that the company approaches handling testing requests should be a top concern in selecting a partner.
When interviewing candidates, be sure to note the way testing is carried out:
- Will there be a single resource testing your product, or will there be a team of testing associates?
- How will the testing results be delivered? Do you want a thorough report or the bare minimum to meet legal guidelines?
- If a critical bug is found, how will the testing team communicate with you? Will they be able to adapt to any last-minute changes on the testing timeline?
- Do you mind working with an off-shore team or would you prefer testers in your timezone, who work the same hours as your organization’s staff?
Test execution should be flexible and adaptable. Finding a model that will work best for your situation, whether that is a dedicated resource or a team of testers who can consistently be assigned to a project.
At the end of the day, taking time on how you choose your QA partner will make a difference in the development lifecycle as a whole. When it comes to selecting a QA testing partner, there are many factors to consider. Overall, the best QA partner will be flexible and adaptable, and they will also be pleasant to work with.
Most importantly, they will understand your company’s product goals, and blend in with your org’s style of working.
If you are ready to take the next step, please reach out with any questions about our QA testing services. We will provide a free consultation to better understand the scope of your project.