Friday, May 20, 2005

Outsourcing Web Site Testing

Offshore Outsourcing must be considered for several reasons:
The company may be launching a new site, or a redesigned version of an older site, and may feel that most testing tasks can be delegated to the third party.
The available company resources may not be enough -- people, skills, software, hardware or time -- to perform the testing themselves.
The average life span of the project may be of short-term and the company doesn't need any long-term investment in testing processes for the project.
The company may be outsourcing the development and coding for the site, making the offshore outsourcing of the testing a reasonable decision.
Make certain assumptions about how will businesses be done. Quality control is a system for testing all output against a standard of quality; this is an ongoing process, because in a proper quality control environment all output has to be tested.
Issues to Consider When Outsourcing Testing
Some of the points below are important to address when making the decision to outsource testing for a commerce site.
Understand the scope of services/products to be outsourced.
Learn about the importance of concepts like testing, quality control and quality assurance for your business success. You can manage the tasks well when you understand the scope of the task Look beyond the buzzwords and learn what testing, quality control and quality assurance really mean and involve.
Testing and quality assurance are different aspects
Testing is a methodology used within the quality assurance process, and if it is correctly managed, offshore outsourcing some testing tasks makes some sense.
Make a point to test every change
The process of quality control measures the success of all products to verify they meet a standard of quality; If a company outsourced testing, then plans must be made considering long term decisions on how to handle all published output.
Processes form the basis of quality assurance
Because QA focuses on processes, the company requires constant and deep involvement in the planning, design, and development phases of a major project. Getting QA involved up front will save money.
Audience identification
Quality assurance is deeply involved in the definition of the site's audience, including identification of the target browsers and platforms used by the audience.
Who will set and maintain the standards?
When outsourcing a process or elements of a process that is by its nature ongoing, all parties involved must be clear on who sets the standards and who maintains the standards.
The management of quality assurance shouldn't be outsourced.
When a company outsources any part of the testing process, the company should create a full-time position in the company for somebody to manage quality assurance; this person should liaise with and set the direction for any testing contractors. A wide range of tasks fall under the umbrella of quality assurance, including testing -- usability, compatibility, integration, regression, etc. – as well as requirements management, design reviews, and reviewing customer complaints.
Advantages of Outsourcing Testing
Outsourcing testing can have definite advantages.
Getting the work done
Even the best team/company runs out of the time to get certain tests accomplished. If hiring a test firm to perform certain tests takes care of some test goals, then offshore outsourcing is a great idea.
Expertise hiring
Some tests are best performed by experienced professionals, either because the necessary knowledge requires specialize education or backgrounds. As some tests require a specialized understanding in order to interpret and analyze the results
Authority hiring
Some kinds of test firm -- have an authority that an in-house test team may not be able to compete with. Thus it becomes relatively important that the official executives hire third party professionals for the work.
Maintain a central point-of-view
Sometimes having an independent team perform testing tasks can provide an objective point-of-view about quality issues like usability or compatibility. Outsourcing some testing may provide the company with more data.
Hiring fresher
Involve a new team in testing so as to expose the code to new test tools and methods; a test firm may find defects the tools were unable to find.