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.

Why 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.

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.

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?
  2. What variety and type of QA strategies do you consider when evaluating a client’s needs? What is your “go-to” strategy?
  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?

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

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.

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.


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Outsourced Software QA Case Study

TESTCo Software Testing Solutions Make Life Easy for Journyx Product Manager

Meredith Zachritz, director of product management at Journyx, reviews customer requirements and market trends then turns that analysis into products that add significant, tangible value to the organizations that purchase them. Her work includes everything from research, development and QA to product promotion and follow-up support.

At one point, the company tried to outsource software testing to India, but it didn’t quite work. “There were communication issues,” explained Zachritz. “When new releases hit the customer base, code was incredibly buggy.” The ensuing support they had to deliver almost killed the company.

What Zachritz really needed was quality testing leadership, a clear roadmap for QA, and a solid testing management team that could provide highly-skilled engineering talent plus proven best practices.

TESTCo Delivers Testing Solutions Plus Tangible Customer Benefits

Since hiring TESTCo, Zachritz no longer worries about team management, rotations, hiring and training, and she can focus on release plans, software improvement and customer value. “Before, hiring and training interruptions would throw off all my annual release plans,” she said.

TESTCo delivered a complete solution, with a local Quality Assurance Manager (QAM) and an expert team of Testing Engineers (TEs). With TESTCo, Zachritz sees no interruption if a TE is replaced. “We don’t have to go out and do recruiting, hiring or even training” said Zachritz. “It’s just amazing how few interruptions there are.”

Prior to hiring TESTCo, the training piece alone would create an additional two to three weeks of disruption. With TESTCo’s pre-trained team in place, Zachritz plugs in a new TE within minutes of the previous engineer’s departure. Since that person is already trained and ready to go, there’s no lag in productivity.

For Zachritz, the improvements had a direct impact on her job and boosted her confidence in their software quality. The big development? Their latest release was delivered with zero customer found defects. That helped Zachritz look like a superstar within the company. “People here were saying, wow, nobody’s reporting any bugs!” said Zachritz. “It was a story going around the company. It was the highest quality release I can remember.”

That level of confidence was something Zachritz had never experienced beforehand. “I don’t have to worry about it, and I’m confident that I’m delivering a quality product,” she said.

“I don’t have to fight fires and clean up after a release goes out.”

Before, they used to have customer found defects that would generate a cycle of hot fixes, maintenance releases and general rework which would derail their release plan. With TESTCo’s QA, Zachritz didn’t have to worry about fixes and could focus on new valuable features for customers.

The improvements spilled over into other departments. The customer service department noted significant changes. “A lot of our existing customers tell us what wonderful support we have and how quickly we respond to any kind of an issue,” said Zachritz. “We’re just no longer bogged down with a ton of problems.”

Zachritz can now deliver valuable features faster, and get customer input on code that actually works. The results produce a direct impact on sales, since each new release and upgrade represents an opportunity for new revenues from existing and prospective customers. Journyx sales people also benefit. Their confidence in live demos increased exponentially and allowed them to present to clients with no embarrassing crashes.

With TESTCo as an outsource QA testing partner, Zachritz, Journyx, and the company’s customers all emerged victorious with a holistic solution to software development, testing and delivery.

About Journyx

Thousands of companies worldwide employ solutions from Journyx to track and manage their time, expenses and resources. Employees at some of the world’s largest companies use Journyx solutions to increase productivity and save money.

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Does Your QA Testing Company Know Your Goals and Constraints? 

Why does it matter if a QA testing company, hired for a quick project, knows your goals and constraints for the project?

You know it needs to be tested, you’re already behind your plan and waiting for testing to be completed seems like a waste of time. You just need it done.

We’re frequently asked to “just get this tested out by tomorrow”. We can do that and we’re happy to do so. You’re in a rush, we know it and we want to be helpful to you.

But taking a few minutes up front can have a huge return.

Pause, Take a Deep Breath, Write Down Your Goals and Constraints

Just do a little bit of thinking about Goals and Constraints (or spend just a few minutes talking with us). You’ll dramatically increase your Certainty of Success. It works every time.

You’ll also get about 10X in increased value from the work of your QA testing company if you can explain your goal and/or constraint in a way they can understand and achieve.

All this can be a little tricky because software quality can be a goal or constraint – or both.

If you are clear about which one, you have an opportunity to either reduce your expenses or increase the return on your investment.

If you aren’t clear about which one, you’ll probably be disappointed with either the cost or the outcomes.

Here’s why:

Software Quality as a Goal

If software quality is a goal, is it specific and how much are you prepared to invest to achieve your goal?

What return do you expect for your investment after the QA testing company finishes the project?

For example, “No critical defects” is a software quality goal. “No customer-found defects” is another, but different, software quality goal.

One of these goals focuses on the types of defects and the other focuses on the availability and likelihood of defects. They appear similar but require different software testing approaches. Not all QA testing companies can recognize or build a strategy and plan to achieve these goals.

If your selected QA testing company isn’t clear on this type of goal, you’ll get as much testing as you can afford but you might not achieve your goal.

Software Quality as a Constraint

If software quality is a constraint, what is the most you’ll spend and the minimum you’d accept?

Will meeting the constraints be sufficient to achieve your business goals? You don’t want to come up short.

For example, “No previous features broken” is a type of goal and constraint. “Must fail gracefully without data loss” is another type of constraint.

Your unique constraints have an impact on the type of software testing strategy that your QA testing company chooses. Some constraints are very easy to accommodate and others can be a real challenge. Many QA testing companies skip this step and wind up disappointing their clients when they fail to achieve the goal AND the constraint.

When Software Quality is Both a Goal and a Constraint

When software quality is both a goal and a constraint, how will you measure the boundaries of expense versus investment?

If you limit your expense as a constraint, will the investment be sufficient to achieve your goal?

Yeah, those are some tough questions. It really helps to have a trusted testing partner to discuss the scenarios and risks.

What is Your Quality Goal or Constraint?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone – most of our clients don’t have a clear idea when they first come to us for help.

At TESTCo, we prefer the “SMART” goal format and can easily help you “sharpen” your quality goal.

When software quality is  viewed as a constraint, you should be able to clearly define the limits. We see this frequently with new clients, “We need this tested within X days and for $Y price, can you do that?” At TESTCo, we work with this situation frequently.

What is a SMART Goal?

Smart Goals are built on the S.M.A.R.T Criteria and stands for:

– Specific

– Measurable

– Achievable

– Results Focused (or Relevant)

– Time Bound

If you’ll use this short checklist when writing your goal, you will reduce the amount of time you need to build a good goal and your QA testing company will have an easier time understanding and achieving it for you.

Why Do I Need a SMART Goal?

You don’t need a SMART goal but if you can build one, you’ll get much more value and have better outcomes than if you don’t build a Smart Goal.

Many QA testing companies are happy to work for you without any goal at all. The problem that occurs without a goal is that all you can get is some testing activity and a list of defects.

While that sounds OK, you can and should expect more. Just testing and reporting defects can’t tell you much about the quality of your software or the team building your software. The most it can tell you is that you do have software defects.

If you do have a goal and you find one of the few QA testing companies that can help you achieve your goal, you’ll be rewarded with software testing, a list of defects and best of all, some real metrics, feedback and advice on specifically where you stand towards achieving your goal. Additionally, you’ll get expert consulting advice on how you can more easily achieve your goals in the future.

Otherwise, and without a goal, you’ll just get some testing and a list of defects.

Why All These Hard Questions?

At TESTCo, we have a strong team of experienced and talented software test engineers. We can “point” those talented engineers at almost any goal and they will achieve it. They like this a lot! We can also ask them to “just test it”. They don’t like this as much but they’ll do it gladly.

If we understand your goal, we can help you achieve it.

If we understand your constraint, we can meet it.

If we know both, we can deliver the “Sweet Spot” – high quality that delights your customers and a cost that delights your CFO.

Curious about avoiding pitfalls of outsourced software testing? This article highlights some important lessons.

This QA Testing Company Will Get the Right Answers in 45 Minutes

Our Scoping Process, a 45-minute conversation with you about what is important to you and your project, is designed to clarify your goals and constraints so that we have a perfectly clear picture of exactly what you need and want.

If you’re talking with a QA company and they aren’t asking about your goals and constraints, please give me a call and I’ll help you figure them out – and then achieve them! Here’s my number, 888-254-9709

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What is the Right Way to Think About QA Software Testing Services?

If you’re looking for help with QA software testing services, then this short guide may help you find and get exactly what you need and avoid wasting your time.

But first, there really isn’t a “right” way to think about QA software testing services. The only “right way” is the one that achieves your business and technical goals. We use three different approaches to understanding your business and technical needs so that we (and you) have a high degree of confidence that we will achieve your goal for you.

We look at QA testing services as having three different levels:

  1. Strategic
  2. Project
  3. Tactical

Strategic QA Software Testing Services – What the Boss Cares About

If you’re wondering how software QA can help you grow your business faster with greater profits and less risk, then strategic QA services is what you’re looking for. When we help our clients with software QA as part of their business strategy, we primarily focus on resources and leverage. We help them look at their software QA investments (people, tools and processes) in a way that allows them to continually identify and improve specific returns – retention, productivity and quality.

Frankly, most people aren’t looking for this when they first call us, but we include elements of strategic QA testing services in every engagement and project. This is a natural part of the work and value our QA Managers provide to our clients.

The real value of a strategic approach to QA services is two-fold. A strategic approach considers Assets and Advantages relative to Risk and Goals. The primary benefit is use and reuse of QA assets that you may already have and this saves you time and money. The secondary benefit of a strategic approach to QA services is the specific leverage of your current QA assets towards your goal and against risk so that you get a higher chance of achieving your business goal and a lower risk of a defect released into production and frustrating your users.

Project QA Software Testing Services – What the Project Manager Cares About

If you’re wondering how you’re going to get that project fixed, finished, and released, then project QA testing services is what you’re looking for. Finishing software projects with a reasonable level of quality is easy. But, reasonable quality usually means “Google Beta” quality: There will be bugs; we both know it, and we agree not to complain about them.

That’s probably fine if you’re Google launching a Beta product or if you don’t really care if your software project is commercially viable.

However, if you are concerned about the quality of your software project, then you have some software testing work ahead of you.

In most cases, our clients know what they want but either aren’t sure how to get there or don’t have the time or talent to achieve their goals. When we work with clients on project QA testing services, we help them in three distinct ways.

  1. We build a QA Plan that matches their goals, constraints, and timeline. We plan our work and then work our plan. This means you’ll always know where we are in the process of achieving your goals.
  2. We measure and adjust twice daily. Software projects are dynamic and QA testing services are near the end of a long train. Our willingness and ability to self-assess twice daily allows us to match our work to your delivery schedule, not the other way around. This means you won’t ever waste time or money when working with us.
  3. We deliver value, not just defects. Sure we will find the bugs in your software. Then, we’ll help you see how they can be prevented and avoided in the future. This means you’ll always see a positive return on your investment in our QA and software testing services!

How TESTCO’s Project QA Manager Helps

Your Project Manager cares mostly about her team achieving their project goal – usually a successful software release without any defects. Our Project QA software testing approach focuses primarily on optimizing time and money against achieving the project goal.

The primary way our QA Managers achieve goals for our clients is by using effective QA Strategies. There will almost always be more software QA and testing work than you can afford – it’s just the nature of our complex technology world. TESTCo’s QA Managers have a large library of QA strategies and hundreds of successfully completed software QA and testing projects under their belts. This makes it quick and easy to select the best strategy for your project so that we can achieve your goals.

You’ll frequently hear us asking about “progress against the goal” when we ask for your feedback on testing your software project. If you need to succeed with your project but aren’t sure how to get it all wrapped up and successfully released, our Project QA software testing services might be just what you need.

Tactical QA Software Testing Services- What the QA Manager Cares About

If you’re looking for a specific technique, talent or experience, to solve a specific QA problem, then you’re looking for tactical QA testing services. Some examples include Test Automation with Selenium, Load and Performance Testing, Cross Browser Testing and Regression Testing.

This approach tells us that you already have your software QA under control and are just looking to solve a specific problem. We have these talented test engineers and do this type of work frequently. If you’re looking for tactical QA Testing Services, it will be very beneficial if you’ve done some homework ahead of time so we can quickly understand exactly what you need and need to avoid. We can usually have a test engineer working on your project within a day or so of your request.

Getting More for Less

Although we look at QA Software Testing Services as 3 levels, you can and should expect to get more than just one – even if that’s all you really need.

For example, if you need help maintaining your test automation scripts (Tactical QA), you should also expect to be given some recommendations on how to manage this within your usual QA project so you can avoid maintenance lags in the future (Project QA). You should also expect to receive some advice on how you can maximize your returns and reduce your costs in the future (Strategic QA).

If you need help getting your project fixed, finished and launched (Project QA), you should also expect some detailed recommendations on tools and tactics that can improve your speed and quality (Tactical QA). You might also expect to receive recommendations on how to embed QA in the “front” part of your future projects as a way to reduce your QA time and increase the productivity of your developers.

Looking at QA from different standpoints can give you a better perspective on getting the most value for your time, money and effort.

Value and QA Software Testing Services

It can be a challenge to determine if you’re going to get the value you need from QA Software Testing Services. Here are 3 things you can think about before seeking software testing help that will help you make the best choice for you:

  1. What is your goal? Yes, “doing the testing” is important and you want that but, that’s the activity, not the goal. What does “doing the testing” do for you, your software project and your company? Eliminate bugs? Launch on time? Release every month? If we know your goal, we can build a simple strategy for you that will “do the testing” and accomplish your goal!
  2. What are your constraints? Yes, you have a limited budget. We all do! If you’re up-front and let us know, then we can craft a solution that achieves your goal and within your budget. But, there are other things that are constraints, too. How much time do you have left? Do you need automation and manual testing? Do you have a list of old mobile devices that you need covered? List them all so we can build a strategy and plan that meets all of your needs.
  3. What is your culture & environment? If we know *how* you work then we can adapt to match your style. Nothing is worse than a “stranger” coming into your house and not knowing if you’re a “shoes ON OK” or “shoes OFF ALWAYS” kind of house. We can achieve your goals for you even if we don’t know your style but it sure makes everyone happier if we do!

Unfortunately, these three critical items aren’t usually discussed in the phone calls where you’re looking for your next QA Software Testing Services partner. Don’t worry though, we’ll ask them even if you forget!

One Outsourced QA Company That Excels at All Three Levels

Software QA testing services covers a lot of ground. If you can take the time to understand the nature of your software QA needs, TESTCo is an outsourced software QA company that can quickly adjust and work with you to provide you the level of QA software testing services you need to achieve your goals.


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Software QA Services Ignored Value

When is the value of software QA services lost or ignored? More often than you might believe.

In many software testing projects, there is a large chunk of real-world value that is left laying on the floor – ignored or overlooked. It’s a shame really, because software testing is actually just a small part of delivering the software QA services that result in the top-quality software that your customers expect.

And, here’s the kicker, that real-world value that was just left on the floor?  It could be had just for the asking – at no additional charge! In some cases, it is even offered and declined!

The Ignored QA Report

Insane at it seems, recommendations for improving the software development process are often ignored when provided along with the defect report by a software testing company. Here’s why this crazy thing happens.

Very few people wake up and decide to make a strategic decision about their software quality. Most people wake up, go to the daily stand-up meeting and get whacked with a software quality problem. Then, they either change their plans to stay late for the rest of the week, OR start looking for help with the specific software testing services they need to solve the problem that whacked them that morning.

The Expense of Re-Applying the Band-Aid

Adding some software testing services will help solve the software quality problem from today’s daily stand-up. More software testing will almost always find more defects that can then be corrected and retested. This will improve your current software product’s software quality.

There’s a catch – fixing today’s broken software will NOT help, improve, benefit or change the quality of your next software release.

If you’re in the software business or build software to run your business, you should know that this strategy is an expense rather than an investment in long term software quality.

And, it could be an investment if you just asked for or read that software quality recommendation report that is often provided by an outsourced software testing company (this is in addition to the usual defect reports).

Extracting the Total Value from Software QA Services

Software testing is only the measurement activity in a larger activity of producing quality software. Again, testing only locates defects and measures your current quality.

If you don’t read and analyze the root causes of the defects discovered, whatever problem that caused the software defect will still be there – lurking in the background to pop up again when it can harm you the most.

TESTCo’s Software QA Services delivers everything you need to find and fix your software defects. What’s more, TESTCo also provides you with the analysis and recommendations (at no additional cost) you need to convert the cost of testing into a long-lasting investment in software quality.

Expense or investment? Just software testing, or QA improvement? You choose.


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QA Outsourcing Scorecards

Is your QA outsourcing partner helping you track software defects? Do you know the status of your test plan on a daily basis? By track I mean are they providing a concise scorecard that is meaningful to you and the development team?

Tracking your software defects is important and valuable, but just tracking the features and defects (you are using your defect tracking for new features, aren’t you?) is not enough to improve how you build software.

Is your QA outsourcing partner providing you with a clear way to understand your software quality so you can make a good decision about when to release your software?

Releasing your software too soon with too many defects can backfire on you!

Is your QA Outsourcing partner helping you build better software and a stronger business that attracts and retains valuable customers?

When Scorecards Help Development and Testing

Here are some potential problems that you might be struggling with that can be solved with a software quality scorecard.

The QA Outsourcing Team Doesn’t Know Your Software Quality or Production Goals

A lack of focus and clarity is the #1 reason most goals are not achieved. A scorecard can quickly uncover who doesn’t know or understand your most critical criteria – your goals! This same scorecard can also show you, every day, exactly who is focusing their effort to achieve your goal. The goals should be clear and concise and re-written in the scorecard every day. Each person’s plan should show you the steps and outcomes that will be accomplished each day in pursuit of achieving your goal. You should be able to read and understand each step towards the achievement of your goals. If it doesn’t make sense, a scorecard makes it easy to see and make adjustments that day so you can get the project or person back on track to achieve your software quality and production goals.

Your Team Doesn’t Have a Daily Plan

A scorecard can record each person’s daily plan. A daily scrum or stand-up meeting is not a plan. The true value in a plan lies in the work and thinking that created the plan. A plan is simply a measure of the amount and quality of thinking that produced the plan. Without a daily plan, you are relying on luck and fleeting good intentions to accomplish your goals.

Your Team Doesn’t Have a Daily Summary

A scorecard can record each person’s daily summary. A daily summary can provide every person on the team with an insight into coordinating their work with everyone else on the team. Without a daily summary, the rest of the team is left to guess (or infer from the daily standup the next morning) exactly what was accomplished and if their dependent work can proceed.

Your Team Finds Blocking Issues

Your QA outsourcing partner’s work can’t continue until someone else clears some sort of blockage. Blockers occur every day – it is the nature of fast paced software development. But, without score carding blockers, their frequency, resolution and cost can’t be determined – and you’re doomed to continue facing them at inconvenient moments!

Your Team “Pushes” to Meet the Goal

This frequently occurs in the world of software development and is probably the biggest reason software teams make mistakes! A simple scorecard from every member of the team could have alerted everyone else to the time crunch issue way before it occurred. A little forward notice could have prevented the “push” and the corresponding wasted energy by the rest of the team.

The solution is simple – use a daily scorecard from each member of your software development team – at a minimum from your software QA team since they are the prime “measures” of your software quality and production capacity.

The Problem with Scorecards and QA Outsourcing

Most people do not want to be measured or judged.  And yet, measurement, analysis and correction is the cornerstone of ANY production process or quality assurance method. Think about it – if you can’t (or won’t) measure it, how can you ever be sure – of anything?  Would you want to drive a car, bake a cake or raise your family in a home that wasn’t inspected and measured/scored for quality while it was being built?  Yeah, not really, so why would you tolerate that in your software project?

Most software QA outsourcing companies and their testers do not want to be measured.  The perception is that bad things will happen so ignoring measurement extends the work for another day – in the shadows…

Ask your software QA Outsourcing vendor for their scorecards.  If you’re talking with TESTCo, we’ll happily share our scorecards with you.  If you’re talking to someone else – expect crickets….

The QA Outsourcing Team Should be Providing the Scorecard

At TESTCo, we issue report/scorecards twice daily. The morning report/scorecard reports the daily plan and establishes the most important metrics and outcomes for the day. It also has target values for each metric or outcome.  The evening report/scorecard reports the daily actual production metrics, plan completions and adjustments, any blockers waiting resolution and statistics on the most important daily metrics and outcomes. These twice-daily reports are distributed to the QA Manager and anyone else that may be interested or connected to the workflow.

The true value of a plan is the planning. Planning is the process of moving from your current state to a desired state – a goal. Moving from one state to another requires measurement. Daily measurement of critical outcomes is required to achieve your goal as efficiently as possible.

A final thought on twice-daily reports. I always get pushback from my Test Engineers when I initially ask them for twice-daily reports. It looks like a big hassle! But, being perfectly clear on goals and status, twice each day, quickly turns them into big fans of daily scorecards because they know they are highly valuable and efficient engineers – the twice daily scorecard give them the opportunity to demonstrate their talent and drive to their customers and managers. TESTCo Test Engineers very quickly become fans of scorecards because it gives them the feedback they seek to become even better at delivering the value they are committed to. Just ask one if you don’t believe me! For other client comments, check out our testimonials page.

What sort of project should you assign to a new outsourced software QA company? I invite you to read my post on this topic; the recommendation may surprise you.

What to Look for in a QA Outsourcing Software Quality Scorecard

A Software Quality Scorecard should be customized so that it meets the following criteria

  • Takes less than 5 minutes to create.
  • Contains your software production and quality goals (these don’t change) for the current period.
  • Contains brief On-Plan, Ahead-of-Plan or Behind-Plan indicator and short explanation of why.
  • Contains 3-5 quality metrics related to your production and quality goals that clearly tell you where you stand relative to your goals.
  • Contains any other information you need to make decisions on releasing your software project and achieving your goals.
  • Contains 1-2 recommendations for improvement from the person creating the scorecard.
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When You Stop Loving Your Software QA Outsourcing Company

B.B. King’s signature song, “The Thrill is Gone,” sums up the feeling many engineering managers have about their software QA outsourcing company after having worked together for a period of time. The software testing company has been doing the job, meeting deadlines, but it’s just not the same. Something is missing, or is it you? It’s not you.

Familiarity Breeds Contempt or Why I Stopped Loving What You Do for Me

We have all experienced the situation where you just wake up one day and decide that what you’ve been doing in the recent past just isn’t cutting it anymore. What used to be new, shiny and valuable has slowly turned into old, tarnished and low value. Why?

In the world of software testing, we believe this happens because “value” is not specifically pursued as a prime goal. The need for software testing services seldom just goes away or becomes radically simpler such that fewer people are required. The software testing and development workload is relatively constant and slowly increasing over time with almost any growing software product company.

What does change with time are the environment and goals. The environment (or economy or marketplace) changes and that usually forces a change in a software company’s goals. The changed goals are usually communicated to the software development team but not always – and even then, seldom communicated to the outsourced software testing team. So, the development team changes focus and direction and the outsourced software testing team just tried to understand as best as they can and keep up running more tests.

We see this happen all the time!

Considering your first partnership with a software QA outsourcing company?
Here’s a post that will be helpful.


What is Value for Software QA Outsourcing?

Value can be thought of as the benefits received divided by the cost paid. This isn’t exact math but you clearly know when you’ve received much more than you’ve paid and you definitely know when you’ve paid too much for what you’ve received. Yes, it’s a perception but it is a very important one to establish and then maintain.

The Cost of this Sneaky Problem

Here’s what happens when your value ratio begins to decline.

  • You get fewer references and referrals because your clients are not impressed enough to say how much they like what you do
  • Your customer satisfaction scores decline but the feedback on why is very sparse.
  • It becomes very hard to figure out how to make your clients truly happy with your services.
  • Your employees become frustrated and unappreciated – causing more problems with hiring a retaining great talent.
  • Your revenue begins to decline and you can’t figure out why.

How We Build Value at TESTCo

At TESTCo, we are constantly pursuing value with every customer. We conduct an ongoing Value Proposition System that insures that our clients are always receiving the benefits that are most important to them at that time. We also acknowledge that goals and value change over time so we regularly update each client’s Value Proposition.

We start by working with our clients to understand the following:

  • Jobs & Tasks you want us to perform
  • Pains you want to avoid
  • Gains you want to achieve

We take that information and build goals, strategies and plans that spell out the tactical work we need to do to keep your software moving forward and achieve your strategic goals. We also build a Value Proposition Strategy and Plan so that our “normal” Jobs & Tasks work also accommodates the Pains and Gains you’ve told us are important so that we can help you achieve your goals.

We measure our Value Proposition Plan weekly and adjust it monthly based on feedback from our clients.  When we have achieved your goals, we start the process again looking for more value that we can create for you.

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises and one of those promises is to deliver Real Value Every Day. The TESTCo difference is that we know the value you want because we took the time to ask and then do something about it.

If you aren’t happy with the value you currently receive from your  partner for outsource software testing, then contact us and speak with our client who have trusted us for years.

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