Outsourced QA Best PracticesOutsourcing quality assurance needs can be beneficial both from the standpoint of saving money and ensuring that projects are completed on-time if internal resources are limited or strained. Yet, sometimes outsourced QA can create perceived or real conflicts with internal Agile and Scrum efforts. Many of these conflicts can be decreased or eliminated by following the below outsourced QA best practices.

Identify Gaps Early

The goal of using a QA vendor is to fill in any testing gaps. Both the client and the vendor should work together to determine where major gaps exist and what steps need to be taken to fill them. If the two sides strive to cooperatively integrate, the client will see drastic improvements in output quality.

Establish Communication Plan

When outsourcing QA needs, clients will be working with vendor teams around the country – or possibly even the world. Not everyone will be on the same time zone and the greater the time zone difference between client and vendor, the harder it is to keep a solid communication flow. Time has proven that a solid communication flow is the key to success of any project.  Therefore, when selecting an outsource vendor, look for a manageably small time zone difference and verify that a solid communication process is in place.

Create an Issue Plan

If conflict does arise between the client and vendor, ensure that a plan is in place to resolve problems. To whom should the problem be escalated if it can’t get resolved between two teams? What’s the plan for resolving these conflicts? Having these answers in place and making them known to everyone on both sets of teams will help eliminate delays.

Select an Internal Point of Contact

With an agile environment, changes take place on a nearly constant basis. An external team may not be able to keep up with all of these modifications as quickly without a dedicated internal point of contact. Select an internal QA lead that helps communicate any amended needs to the vendor. The main purpose of this member will be to quickly handle any change requests and overall the change management process.

Conduct Reviews and Ask for Reporting

As the project is progressing, clients should be reviewing the output of the vendor. Verify that deliverables are being received and that testing is adequate and complete. The vendor should also be providing regular reporting to the client. Create a reporting schedule ahead of time.

Knowing these QA best practices can help save a company headaches and eliminate time and money-wasting delays.