QA Software Testing Company

Does Your QA Software Testing Company Do Both?

That’s not a typo in the headline. I’ll repeat. Does your QA software testing company do both?

Both? Both what?

Why, both QA (Quality Assurance) and Software Testing, of course.

QA, Quality Assurance, is a goal and process.

Software Testing is an activity, usually inside the QA process.

Is This Difference Between QA And Software Testing Important?

It depends on what you have and what is important to you, of course.

If you already have a rock-solid QA process for your software quality, then software testing help may be all you need.

After all, your rock-solid QA process should inform you exactly when (and how much) you need software testing versus when you need test strategy and planning.

Your rock-solid QA process already has a SMART Goal that drives your software QA and testing team to the right activities at the right time with the right effort to achieve your goal, right?

But, if you don’t already have a rock-solid QA process, then you may need a little bit more than just software testing. A qualified QA software testing company, LIKE TESTCo, can (and should) help you with this as a natural part of their work with you.

Why Would You Even Need a QA Process?

There are three important reasons to consider building a QA process, even a small one, before you start software testing.

  1. You can’t test everything
  2. Testing can be expensive
  3. You can’t “undo” disappointed customers

As you can see, you can’t win in this situation unless you have unlimited time, money and fresh customers.

How can you win against these three big constraints?

Build a simple QA Process with a SMART Goal, clear strategy, and simple plan to achieve your goal.

Unless you already have a QA Process, goals, strategy and plan, you should seek a QA software testing company that does BOTH – QA and Testing.

Note: a QA software testing company CAN’T help you with this unless they assign a QA Manager to your project and they collect the information needed to build a SMART QA Goal. Testers, no matter how experienced, just don’t have the skills and training to build effective QA Goals or QA Processes.  TESTCo provides a QA Manager, at no additional charge, on every software testing project.

How Much QA Process Do You Need?

We think you should have the “Goldilocks” QA Process – not too much, not too little, just enough to achieve your business and quality goals with minimal risk.

Too much QA process will slow down your software development and release process and you’ll struggle to hit your release date targets.

Too little QA process and your customer service phone lines will light up like a Christmas tree.

A “just right” QA process should produce software that meets your business and quality goals and makes your team feel proud of their accomplishments.

Knowing Your Goal

How much is “just right”? That depends on your goals and constraints. If your goal is for ZERO defects, you should know that your budget is going to need to be *very* large. This type of quality is usually reserved for nuclear power plants and military software.

If you don’t have a quality goal and just need to get it “tested” then you won’t need much budget or time. But, your customers will probably experience significant bugs and delete your mobile application based on their poor experience. This type of quality is typically used by businesses testing a market or idea rather than penetrating and competing in that market. New customers are expensive to acquire and bad mobile applications or buggy web apps are one of the easiest ways to drive them away.

If you *do* have a quality goal, then the right amount of QA process is exactly the minimum needed to achieve your goal. This usually means investing in building test cases during your specification phase, designing and building test frameworks during your build phase, quickly executing test cases and reporting defects as soon as possible after it is built (real-time functional testing), and then a brief functional and cross-device regression testing after all the fixes are completed and prior to roll out.

Reaching For The Right Assistance

Helping you design, experiment and build your QA process is something that an experienced QA Software Testing Company can help you with. A mobile software development company can help you build your development process, but they seldom do well helping you design and build a software QA process.

Why? Software developers CREATE and BUILD software to add FEATURES. Test Engineers TEST and attempt to DESTROY software to find DEFECTS in the FEATURES. Test Engineers typically have the same university-level education and training as software developers, but have chosen a different path for their career. Additionally, QA Managers have a library of QA processes and strategies so an effective strategy and process that meets your specific needs is quick and easy to find, evaluate, and implement.

How Can You Know Which Vendor Has Which Capabilities?

That’s easy – here are three questions you can ask that will quickly and easily let you find out if the QA software testing company you’re talking to has both Quality Assurance and Software Testing experience you need.

  1. How do you establish and achieve quality goals for your clients? What is a recent example? QA Goals should be SMART Goals and have a clear plan for achievement. QA Goals should also have clear constraints – especially in Budget and Time – no project runs forever for free! Lastly, QA Goals should have clear Business Value – they achieve something useful that moves the entire business forward in achieving its’ goals.
  2. What variety and type of QA strategies do you consider when evaluating a client’s needs? What is your “go-to” strategy? There is always more than one way to achieve a goal – these are strategies and help you quickly determine if your plans can work to achieve the goal within the constraints. Sadly, one of the most popular QA Strategies is “test everything” and that seldom works. It feels good because you can see and measure a lot of activity but it almost never provides the detail and coverage most modern technology applications need. In some cases, it can actually be counter productive and delay a release! A smart QA Strategy should be proven effective and simple enough for stakeholders to understand and support.
  3. How do you document, update and communicate your test plans and percentage of goal completion? What is your goal completion percentage for your clients? Documentation of technology projects can be cumbersome but accurate documentation, reporting and measurement of QA and Testing is critically important. Poorly documented defects are literally worthless if they require developer time to diagnose and recreate the defect. Test plans are mathematical equations for demonstrating test coverage and completion across a technology project. They must be updated real-time to provide the real value a testing team needs to achieve their goal and the quality goal of the technology project. Goal completion is a critical value measure for outsourced software testing providers. Without measuring Goal Completion, your outsourced software testing partner is doing the work but failing to deliver the true business value.

Asking these questions can help you avoid the painful lessons of working with an outsourced software testing provider.

Can Location Choices For A QA Software Testing Company Be Helpful Or Harmful?

Having a QA Software Testing company near you can be helpful – especially of you have hardware closely connected to your project. Technology projects are rapidly evolving to include the Internet of Things.

QA Software Testing companies span the world and you have many choices about where you want your software testing & QA services located. There are two primary considerations when considering where to locate your QA software testing services.

Timezone Considerations

If your project is rapidly evolving and the stories/requirements very fluid, then selecting a QA Software Testing Company in the same or very similar Timezone will probably work in your favor. This will help you avoid some of the communications challenges that occur when a team is working at the opposite end of your clock. If your project is relatively stable, then selecting a QA Software Testing Company in an opposite Timezone will work in your favor. This will allow your QA and Testing team the opportunity to complete their work prior to your local team arriving at work. Fresh code at night and fresh bugs in the morning!

Time zone considerations will largely depend on the needs of your business. Generally, teams with the same time zones are more standardized and work together more efficiently. This is the more popular way to work and you don’t have to accommodate other teams that work during strange hours. If your team is focused on a continuous delivery model, having different time zones can be an advantage. This is because one team can work on the project in the morning and at night the other team picks up where they left off. This allows projects to be done around the clock and can be very advantageous. Take a look at the nature of your projects and you can decide whether it’s better to share the same time zones or not.

Intellectual Property Considerations

If your company or project has new and highly valuable intellectual property in your software project, then it makes a lot of sense to avoid locating you QA Software Testing Company in a country that does not have reliable and effective IP protection laws. If you’re building a cutting edge artificial intelligence system then locating your QA Software Testing Company in another country with strong IP protection is almost a basic requirement. If you’re building a marketing mobile app, then you probably don’t have much IP to protect (in your app) and the risk of IP theft is very low and the country where you locate your QA Software Testing Company is not nearly as important.

IP considerations for your mobile app might seem tedious and unnecessary at first, but the long tail consequences are enormous. Without proper IP considerations, your business intelligence is liable to be stolen at virtually any time. Locating your business in a country with strong IP laws protects your data, branding and everything else related to your mobile app. Aspects of your mobile app like logos, patents, trademarks, etc. are protected under countries with strong IP laws. This protects you from having copycats steal your entire business model, name and brand.

The Nexus Of QA Software Testing

TESTCo is ideally located in Austin, TX, with offices in Mexico and Ukraine. This allows us to work in almost any time zone you prefer. Our offices in Mexico and Ukraine allow TESTCo to work on your project without any state-sanctioned IP risk.

Our physical locations enable your mobile app to have both quality assurance and software testing. With TESTCo you can customize your QA and testing process. You’ll be given a QA manager that will help you design SMART QA goals for your mobile app and guide you along your entire QA process. In addition, you’ll also be provided with test engineers that will identify and solve defects within your application. The several locations of TESTCo allows you to choose a location that accommodates your time zone and IP preferences. With the talented QA staff and multiple available locations, your application will have the human and technological bandwidth needed to succeed.

A QA Software Testing Company Should Give You a “Certainty of Success”

This is both a set of facts and feelings that your outsourced software testing company can deliver the value and services you need to achieve your business and software quality goals.

Seeking a software testing company that does both QA and testing will be the most cost-effective solution for your business. This prevents you from incurring additional costs associated with each service and the final invoice amount would be much larger. Also, choosing two different companies to do these services can cause a disconnect; some parts of QA and testing overlap and having one provider for both is the most optimal solution. This creates a seamless integration for both of these services and you’ll get access to all the talented staff that work on QA and testing.

When consulting with a vendor, asking the right questions provided above will enable you to see the important details in both their QA and testing processes. If your QA and testing provider can’t answer those specific questions, you should seek a different provider. A competent QA or testing provider will be able to answer all the pertinent questions related to your project and provide some consultation to help you choose the best path forward.

At TESTCo, every team consists of a Test Engineer and QA Manager to make sure you get the Quality Assurance you want and the software testing you need. It makes a difference. Just see what our clients have to say.

Give us a call at 888-254-9709, or request a call back with the form on this page if you want to explore this further with me.

software testing services company

How a Software Testing Services Company Helps a Software Development Company

If you aren’t releasing software as quickly and effectively as you think you can maybe a software testing services company can help.

Or maybe not.

There are 3 key leverage points that you should be getting from using a software testing services company.

  • Speed – delivery times for software project should be faster.
  • Quality – defects should be found more frequently and earlier in the development process
  • Sustainability – subsequent software project should start and end much quicker with higher predictable quality.

Here’s how to know if you are getting the most value from your software testing services company.

It is very easy for a software testing services company to get disconnected from your software development team and then take the blame for late releases or poor quality.

Daily meetings are good but agendas get stale and the value of the meeting can begin to decline. Daily reports are also good but it is also very easy to just glance over or even delete a status report email. Add to that, the fact that software testing outcomes are a lagging indicator – not a leading indicator – and it is easy to find yourself with a software team that struggles to release quality software on time. Is there a simple fix? Not hardly, but there are 2 simple things you can do that will pull your software testing company closer to your software development team.

Two-a-Days Keep Both Teams Sharp

We have found that software services testing companies that report twice daily and adjust once weekly seem to produce the most benefit in keeping their software testing teams aligned and in sync with software development teams. But, there are some subtle elements to these reports and adjustments that make them very powerful tools you can use to meet your software product release and quality goals.

  • Report what you plan to do and why – each Test Engineer should do this daily as a part of their daily personal planning
  • Report blockers immediately and then assign someone accountable to solve them – the software testing company QA Manager should be responsible for managing the resolution of blockers
  • Report the deliverables you actually created and why each one is valuable – a list of defects or test cases is important but the “why” behind them is ultimately more valuable
  • Meet to adjust the test plan weekly so that it is in sync with your product release date and quality goals – not all weeks need adjustment but most do

Here’s good reading if you’re interested in learning
how scorecards keep your software testing services company in line.

A Dedicated QA Manager Makes Magic Happen

You just can’t test every thing every time. And, you need to release quality software on time. This is where a dedicated QA Manager makes magic happen. In order to release software on time with the highest quality possible, a huge number of trade-offs need to be made to meet all of the constraints. This is part of release planning and a dedicated and experienced QA Manager can make your life easier and products better. Here’s how a dedicated QA Manager can help you get all the value you expect.

  • A Playbook of Software Quality and Release Strategies – A QA Manager has seen more software releases than you will ever probably see yourself. Learning all the little tips and tricks to plan and navigate a software package into a stable release is only one part. The real learning comes from experience – seeing and doing it many, many times. Every software package and business situation is different and requires a slightly different strategy to be successful.  Do you know which strategy will work best for your situation?
  • Test Planning – there is always more to do than can be done. How and when you select and run tests can have a huge impact on your developer’s productivity and quality.  Learning Test Planning is straight forward.  Actually building and running a successful Test Plan requires experience.
  • Software Quality Process Improvement – One definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.” Process evaluation and improvement allows your development team to build better products faster. Only an experienced QA Managers have seen enough software processes to help your team make the changes they need to make to get better.

Hidden Benefits Behind the Scenes

There are three big benefits going on behind the scenes that may not be immediately obvious.

  1. The process of planning and discussing the “why” of the goals is much more valuable than the actual plan. Every Test Engineer should be taking a few minutes at the start of each day to plan their day – and insure they are working on the highest value items in the right order. Planning requires thinking to make sure that each person is making the most of each day in support of the product release date and quality goals.
  2. Blockers are nasty and get in everyone’s way. Get someone outside of the daily software production process to resolve them and your plans will run much more smoothly.
  3. Reporting value is subjective but immensely valuable. Why? Without a clear idea of value, work is just work – activities to accomplish an outcome. Value implies that the outcomes are worth more than the cost of the effort. In today’s fast moving world, it is almost impossible to complete all the tasks needed. Forced triage becomes the norm and value judgments become requirements. Don’t you want everyone on your team working on the most valuable outcomes? Wouldn’t you want to know if one of your team members thought something was valuable but you didn’t? Report value every day and you’ll quickly find your team is one the same page and in sync with each other.

What You Should Expect from a Software Testing Services Company

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. You make promises to your customers about the quality and reliability of your software.  We can help you honor your promise to your customers.

At a minimum, you should expect that your software testing company is exclusively focused on software testing and software quality. It’s just that simple. You just can’t get the same level of software testing service and experience from a software testing company that does not specialize in software testing. If you’re doing this to save money, you probably won’t.

Your second indicator about the quality and capability of a software testing company can be seen in their Test Case Management System.  Just ask, “How do you keep track of your test cases and test plans?” If your software testing company (or even your software development company) doesn’t use a Test Case Management tool then they aren’t well equipped to provide you the service and software testing outcomes that you need to honor your promises to your customers.

A Software Testing Services Company Should Deliver Value Every Day

At TESTCo, we know that simple processes that produce real value every day result in software products that meet their release date and quality goals. If you are having trouble meeting your software product goals, we’d enjoy the opportunity to share what we’ve learned and implemented for our clients every day.