The future of your product is in the hands of many people, including your engineers, product managers, sales and marketing, and your executive team. But it’s also in the hands of another group of people that may be overlooked: your QA engineers.
QA engineers are tasked with ensuring the quality of the product which directly impacts customer acceptance and satisfaction. They’re the last line of defense between the bugs that can run your product (and business reputation) into the ground and your users.
That’s a huge responsibility, and it’s important that you devote time and attention to your search for the right software testing services provider. In our opinion, there are a few ways to tell when you’ve found a match.
Here are five non-negotiable, must-have things for any competent QA partner:
The Right Team
The team that your software testing services provider employs is the bread-and-butter of your relationship. They’re the ones that will be learning your business and shaping your product, so you should ensure that the team has a wealth of experience with all of the technical tools they’ll be working with, plenty of domain expertise in your specific industry, and the soft skills required for smooth communication between offshore and onsite teams.
The Desire To Be a Partner
It’s one thing to do great testing work. It’s another to take ownership in that work and see the larger implications of it once it’s complete. The mark of great QA culture is a team that views themselves as an extension of your onsite team. Great testing providers are ready and able to analyze market trends, your competitors, and current industry best practices so that they can provide actionable, constructive feedback about testing strategy and the larger product roadmap.
The Right Technical Infrastructure
Maybe you have a competent QA team on site, but you lack the technological infrastructure necessary for completing the testing you require. This is where a well-outfitted testing facility comes in handy, and the partner you choose should have one. Look for a provider that offers the latest testing devices, high-end machines, robust server setups, cloud services, and security testing environments. By leaving the concern for hardware up to your partner, you can focus on core business objectives and other high-priority issues.
The Right Process for Productivity
Clear, defined processes are the best way to keep any project moving along efficiently. Look for a partner that can set out these processes for your review during onboarding. These can include issue escalation, meeting schedules, tool training, knowledge transfer and distribution, and more.
The Desire To Communicate Often and Openly
Honesty, transparency, and accessibility are key characteristics for a great QA provider. The nature of outsourced QA demands that teams remain on the same page at all times -- any lapse in communication can result in a misunderstanding of business objectives, ineffective testing, missed deadlines, or a poor-quality product. An effective software testing services provider remains committed to regular meeting schedules (daily, weekly, monthly) and is always accessible through various communication tools (phone, email, chat, collaboration software, etc.).