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Can the QA Testing Phase be Outsourced Offshore?

Offshore QA | By Timothy Joseph | December 11, 2018
Can the QA Testing Phase Be Outsourced Offshore?

Now that we all use the internet regularly to communicate in real-time video, often from the other side of the planet, it’s difficult to imagine a service that can’t be outsourced offshore. Even “offshoring” is starting to sound archaic. Technologies like video conferencing and workplace collaboration platforms - along with internationally-understood cross-border business standards - have taken much of the pain out of offshore resourcing.
Keep that in mind when considering whether the crucial QA testing phase of software development can be outsourced offshore. For most companies, it’s a viable and cost-effective means of QA testing.

It has to be done right, and you’ll want to use a mix of digital links and onsite visits, but it’s highly possible to reap the financial rewards of outsourcing your QA testing offshore without fear.

Q: Can the QA Testing Phase Be Outsourced Offshore?

A: Nearly Always.

The final answer on whether your QA testing can be outsourced offshore usually depends on the level of communication. Brief, frequent check-ins are key. But let’s look at what your organization gets out of it first.

Communication is Key

Typically it’s held that you can’t conduct an Agile development methodology while employing any sort of outsourcing. The whole idea, after all, is to keep your engineers practically face-to-face so they can instantly communicate with and react to each other, to quickly realign project goals as needed. In the digital world, however, “face-to-face” no longer requires people to be in the same room. They don’t even need to be in the same country.

Video conferencing has become a common component of the modern business world, and it’s used by more than 80% of US organizations. What’s more, there is a current trend among US video conferencing vendors to build video calling into their employees’ broader workflows. It’s called workplace collaboration, and it has spread from startups such as Slack and HipChat to shape the offerings of giants such as Facebook and Microsoft—Microsoft has shed its flagship Skype for Business brand to refocus around workplace collaboration with its new teams platform.

These emerging platforms can be used to create direct and instant video, messaging, and workflow links between remotely located teams. In terms of offshore outsourcing, they can place your team in immediate contact with the QA process every step of the way.

How to Keep the Conversation Flowing

Yes, it’s advisable that, where possible, onsite visits are scheduled to develop and maintain close relations between your core onsite and offshore talent. Throughout most of the QA process, though, you can reach across the world by simply logging onto your shared workplace platform.

Here are a few tips to managing your digital relationship:

  • Hold brief and frequent meetings;

  • Involve your offshore team early in the project cycle;

  • Centralize knowledge through shared workflows;

  • Create digital avenues for informal discussion and exchange; and

  • Use shared tools and methodologies.

Think of your offshore team as an extension of your internal group. If you can foster working relations between the two, you can recreate that textbook vision of an Agile development method wholly onlinewhile at the same time reaping the rewards of offshore QA testing.

Domain and Technology Expertise

Today’s fast-paced tech landscape means its important your QA partner has specialized knowledge within your domain. Whether you service the finance or legal fields, social media or healthcare, manufacturing or CRM, outsourcing lets you handpick the domain expertise of the people charged with handling your QA.

Many offshore teams now have rich experience with the specific processes and technology of these individual domains. This boosts productivity and increases ROI all around by:

  • Helping your team speak with the right terminology

  • Making it easier to view your product through the users’ eyes

  • Offering solutions - not just bug discovery

  • Knowing where to look for potential defects

  • Prioritizing solutions critical to your system’s core functionality

Working with a QA team that has extensive knowledge of your domain can instantly and efficiently upskill the resources at your disposal.

Offshore QA Testing Will Lower Costs

The bottom line is expense. The cost of labor in many offshore QA testing destinations is cheaper than in the US. India, which offers high quality, English-fluent QA engineers produced from thousands of higher learning institutes, still can save you as much as 50% in labor costs alone during the testing phase.

By any project standard that’s significant. Those saved assets can be redeployed however you see fit, be it in additional infrastructure, upskilling or expanding your internal workforce, or in other streams such as marketing.

Then there are the non-financial benefits. These include:

  • Using the intercontinental time difference to promote a 24/7 operation;

  • Freeing your internal staff for resource-rich tasks;

  • Engaging experienced, purpose-trained QA testers; and

  • Accessing government support from host countries.

Offshore QA outsourcing doesn’t have to mean distant destinations. There are some advantages to outsourcing closer to home (nearshore destinations) in places like Canada and Mexico, such as negligible or nonexistent language barriers, but there are costs to consider as well.

In either scenario, the key to successfully outsourcing is effective communication. We can demonstrate how to achieve that by looking at how an Agile approach to software development can work with an outsourced QA process.

Modern digital communication technologies, like video conferencing, mean time and distance aren’t a consideration with offshore outsourcing. At QASource, you can access a new level of software development efficiency. Contact us today for a Free Quote or call +1.925.271.5555 today.