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Seven Guidelines for Offshoring QA and Testing Services

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Outsourcing QA and testing is gaining momentum in the IT industry. This article highlights this emerging trend with a particular focus on the offshore component. It also discusses factors to think through when selecting an offshore QA and testing partner.
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Introduction

Tight release schedules, overextended development efforts, and project staff stretched thin often leave little time for the multiple cycles of product testing. When software companies cut short the critical development phases of application testing and quality assurance, however, they compromise the quality of the software they deliver. One solution is to hire third parties to detect and correct defects.

Companies such as Microsoft, Concur Technologies, SumTotal Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and IMlogic have begun leveraging offshore resources in an effort to transform their QA and testing processes. The goal is to resolve problem issues such as compressed "go live" dates, frequent application changes, the lack of well-defined requirements, increased security concerns, and unpredictable user loads.

As a growing number of IT companies begin offshoring QA and testing, it is important to assess, understand and monitor some critical issues. If the offshore strategy goes as planned, companies uncover product defects before their products are released, verify that they meet designated requirements, and gather sufficient test data in order to decide when to ship them. If offshore strategy is not executed well, then significant problems ensue.

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