Cure Your QA Headache

QA Headaches?

Managing the software quality assurance needs of any given company can be a big headache. The fact is that the QA needs of a typical company are not consistent throughout the year. If they were consistent throughout the year, one would simply hire the right amount of QA resources internally and keep them busy year round; problem solved. In reality a firm’s QA needs are quite different, and they represent more peaks and valleys than linear resource needs. Software is developed in various cycles and the need for QA can occur at various times in those cycles. Sometimes you need QA and sometimes you don’t. This makes it quite difficult to staff adequately for the times when you do need it, and to not have extra people on the payroll for the times you don’t. Hence the headache.

Over the years two primary solutions have been tried:

1. Hiring temp workers during the busy phases: The drawback for this option is the time and cost involvement for recruiting, training, and often times quickly replacing the temporary QA testers. Even if qualified QA resources can sometimes be identified, chances are that next time a company reaches out to a group of temp testers, the previous testers won’t be available again, and so another painstaking recruiting and training process has to begin all over again.

2. Making developers put on the tester-hat: This one has been tried before in an effort to ramp up the needed number of QA resources during peak times. The problem with this approach is three-fold: First developers generally hate testing. They like to create and develop but not trying to break the apps that they built. Secondly developers rarely test an application from a true tester perspective. Bugs and errors often lurk in edge cases and not in plain sight. And thirdly, developers are hired to develop and therefore paid accordingly. Repurposing an expensive developer to do work they are not suited for is clearly not the best return on investment.

The best way to take the headache out of the ever-fluctuating QA cycles is as follows:

1. Integrate a QA On-Demand program into your company’s software development effort. This gives you the ability to utilize QA resources exactly when you need them – providing the most cost effective solution.

2. Use experienced testers that are trained experts and who focus solely on QA.

3. Work with a company that will always prioritize putting the same resources on your project each time you have a need for QA. This helps maintain product knowledge and familiarity with personnel and procedures.

4. Look for a company that can utilize your existing bug database (so your team doesn’t have to integrate another new system into their workflow), or can provide and manage a bug database for you if you don’t have one (or don’t want to go through the trouble to set one up).

5. Find a company that communicates seamlessly with your team and can adapt to the way you do business. Communication should be reliable and consistent throughout the project.

6. Pay only for what you need. You should only be billed for time that the QA On Demand team is testing for you.


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