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Checklist for Selecting an Offshore QA and Testing Vendor

  • Focus of the vendor
    • Does the vendor concentrate strictly on QA and testing services or does it offer a one-stop shop (application development as well as QA and testing services)?
    • Do QA and testing comprise a significant portion of the vendor's business?
    • Does the vendor have a clearly defined QA process in place, or are they experimenting on your project?
    • Does the vendor have offices onshore or just a token presence?
  • Experience and expertise
    • How does the vendor recruit employees? Is the vendor recruiting people off the street or hiring people only after adequate testing and screening?
    • Do the offshore employees have expertise in technology areas relevant to your project?
    • What continual training classes does the vendor offer employees? How frequently?
  • Automation
    • Are the offshore employees experienced with the testing tools you use or plan to use?
  • Specialization
    • Has the vendor worked with companies in the same or similar industries?
  • Security
    • How can the vendor assure the security of your data and intellectual property?
    • Has the vendor established effective backup and disaster-recovery plans?
    • Does the vendor enter into legally binding nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with clients, or is an NDA just another piece of paper?
  • Project management and communication
    • How does the vendor address critical project-management issues on an everyday basis?
    • Are project managers dedicated to a project or to certain customers?
    • What project management tool does the offshore team use, and how accessible will it be to your company?
    • What escalation process does the vendor follow to resolve issues quickly?
    • Does the vendor have a clearly defined offshore transition process that covers all aspects such as knowledge transfer, project management, and status reporting?
    • Are project managers available onshore to personally interact with your company on a dedicated or part-time basis?
  • Documentation standards
    • How much importance does the vendor assign to documentation?
    • Are standard templates available for test plans, test cases, and change requests?
  • Supporting infrastructure
    • Does the vendor have a well-equipped test lab? Does the lab have the software and hardware you require, as well as the necessary software licenses?
    • Does the lab have adequate infrastructure to facilitate communication between the U.S. and the offshore location (for example, VoIP, high-bandwidth Internet connections, and videoconferencing facilities)?
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