Testing in an outsourcing model

Outsourcing is here to stay for a long time. It has both advantages and disadvantages. In an interconnected world where products are being commoditized and all companies are looking for faster, better, cheaper services what differentiates the companies is the quality of the outsourcing teams.

Image-(99)One of the advantages of outsourcing is more and more delivery centers are now in India and other Asian countries. This helps in getting results delivered overnight and we have round the clock services for our customers as well.

With the increasing footprint of digitization of the business world there is an increasing need for software that works across various platforms. With the shift left trends and dev ops Software testing is a key area of focus many organizations and rightly so. We also know that there are big costs associated with finding a defect later in the Software Development life cycle.

Software testing is one of the most crucial aspects to be considered when outsourcing application development. The basic premise is we need organizations who can serve both offshore and onsite services.

Over the last few years Software testing has gained a lot of traction and is a great professional field where we need skilled people on tools, methodologies and working knowledge of process implementation. One of the reasons Software testing is being outsourced is finding onshore testing resources is increasingly becoming more difficult.

It is not only software testing which is important but Software quality is a key aspect in terms of the strategy of an organization. In order to provide a seamless outsourcing solution we should have a strong software testing team producing high quality work irrespective of location.

The main aim is to reduce the number of defects in the final product. The ultimate aim is to provide defect free software. As an organization it is important to identify partners who have an outstanding track record in terms of outsourcing projects and producing defect free deliverables.

One of the best practices is to have an operating model for how software testing should be performed in your organization. Some of them are having a test strategy that outlines the objectives of the testing effort, detailing a test plan outlining how each of the objectives will be accomplished and determine metrics that will be measured to identify if you have succeeded.

Here are some of the best practices to implement a successful testing center in an outsourced model:

  1. Involve the Software testing team right from the start of the software development life cycle. In other words implement the Shift Left methodology.
  2. Ensure the testing team is part of all the requirement sessions. One of the challenges is teams in diverse locations so have recorded webinar sessions, have one onsite QA coordinator to facilitate the understanding between what business wants and what the team needs.
  3. Create an operating model detailing the testing methodology and process to be followed. It contains information on overall objectives, testing types to be done, roles and responsibilities, metrics, key approvals needed, RACI chart and other information needed to have a successful software testing experience.
  4. Security testing is one of the key trends across all organizations now. It is imperative that when you are establishing networks across various offshore locations there is a strong firewall and network in place to ensure smooth seamless functioning of IT services.
  5. Establish clear communication channels with clear demarcation of responsibilities. This is the key for dealing with diverse teams across geographies.
  6. The responsibility of the results should be still with the organization requesting the outsourcing services. We cannot outsource the responsibility.
  7. As an organization you need to identify which projects can be outsourced and which cannot. This is crucial for a successful outsourcing effort. Not all projects can be outsourced.
  8. Finally we need to have clear service level agreements to ensure that there are benchmarks which are met and there is a shared responsibility.

To conclude outsourcing is very much here to stay and we will need to keep evolving as organizations to get the most out of it. Software testing will continue to play a major role in advancing outsourcing to the next level of excellence.

Shyam Ramanathan

Director of Software Quality Assurance, North America Delivery Head, Virtusa. Shyam has been working in the Quality Assurance world for over 15 years, where he has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience in test management, planning, design, execution, and establishing global delivery teams across geographies and building test Center of Excellence. Experienced Leader in QA/testing services and successfully executed many large engagements. Shyam has focused on the Insurance industry, his clients include Fortune 500 companies. His responsibilities range from business development, project management, program management, QA management, relationship management and partner strategies to technical oversight and delivering creative solutions. He has also a PMP, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Associate In General Insurance and Associate in Commercial Underwriting certifications. He has run 5 half marathons and one 25k run. He is an avid blogger and loves reading business books. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Madras in India.

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