It seems there is a new software app testing company born every week. That can be good or bad depending on your situation.
It’s good in that newer companies can bring innovation and higher levels of customer service to a very mature market. This can give you a broader set of choices to meet your unique needs.
It’s bad in that there are so many choices! Pages and pages of them and then more websites to help you evaluate their particulars. It’s been proven that too many choices can actually make it harder to make a wise choice.
Why Bother? The Risks of Making a Bad Choice for your Software App Testing Company
There are many risks in business and technology. Testing your app properly will identify these risks so you can make a smart decision about what to do with the risk. If you fail to identify and eliminate the risk, your business will suffer the consequences.
Selecting the best software app testing company also has risks.
Testing is Secondary
Your software app testing company is not really a testing company. They primarily build apps but do offer testing when they don’t have enough work building apps. Your risk is that your app won’t be properly tested by trained, professional Test Engineers. Rather, your app will be tested by junior developers who’d rather be building something than testing it.
Test engineers are better than junior developers because:
- Test engineers can learn your application, write and organize test cases into suites and run defect reports; a junior developer can only run test cases and tell which ones passed and failed. The knowledge and problem-solving abilities separate test engineers from junior developers.
- Test engineers can keep their test case suites updated to match the applications’ changing functionality requirements; the junior developer can only notify you when test cases no longer work
- Test engineers can compare their test case suite to their functionality matrix to ensure the right areas of the application are being tested at the right time. This differs from junior developers because they can only run as many test cases as they can get test coverage on.
No QA Manager
Your software app testing company provides a “project manager” but doesn’t provide a QA Manager. Your project manager will make sure your “testers” are working but won’t have much information on how to focus or optimize their work. Poor work, poorly led seldom produces outcomes that you’ll be confident in.
Using competent QA managers for your project is vital because normal “project managers” cannot perform the same functions needed to complete a project. QA managers are superior to project managers because of the multiple roles they play within a QA project. Some of the roles a QA manager plays include:
- Team builder: QA managers are responsible for building teams that consist of test engineers, managers, etc. It’s up to the QA manager to ensure that all operations are going well and they take care of any team needs. This can include training, on-boarding or hiring team members.
- Project manager: QA managers also fulfill the role of project manager within a QA team. QA managers are responsible for talking with the client, setting project goals and making sure it is completed. They provide reports to clients and act as the client’s ear within the QA team.
- Expertise: QA managers also are responsible for providing expertise for the team. At TESTCo, all QA managers have at least 5 years of experience and 1 year of working within TESTCo. This industry and TESTCo experience makes QA managers the most knowledgeable staff within a QA team.
Your software app testing company can’t offer an effective QA Strategy or Plan. They don’t specialize in software testing and QA. They can “test it for you” but you won’t be able to see and measure how deep or how broad your app was tested.
Specializing in software testing and QA is important because it correlates with the service your application will get. General software service providers who additionally offer QA services do not have the expertise or the staff needed to do QA for your application at a high level. Specialization in software testing and QA is one of TESTCo’s unique value propositions. The industry experience and the talent at TESTCo ensures your application will have the correct strategy and testing for all your needs. How does TESTCo specialize in software testing and QA?
- Over one million test cases completed since 2002
- A team of software engineers that can be available to work on your project within 24 hours
- Software test engineer, not testers, assigned to test your application
- Software testing services to fit any QA strategy
At TESTCo, we are built on top of these three foundations – Test Engineers, QA Managers and proven/tested QA Strategies. If your software app testing company is missing any of these foundations, your risk of failure is higher.
Three Criteria for Selecting a Software App Testing Company
You’re going to need at least three really important things from your software app testing company if you want to be successful with your app launch or update.
- You will want to Set and Achieve Your Goal. You may not have a goal yet – or you do and don’t realize it. “Just test it” isn’t a goal – that’s an activity. “Zero customer found defects” is a goal. “Zero fatal crashes” is also a goal. You’re building a software app for some business purpose, right? What is that purpose and how can your software app testing company help you achieve it?
- You will want to achieve your goal Within Your Constraints. You *do * have constraints! Most probably you have limited time and limited budget to achieve your goal. If you’ll share your constraints with you software app testing company, you’ll avoid a nasty surprise and/or the run around trying to make an overly large proposal fit into a tiny budget and timeframe.
- You will want Real and Lasting Value. You probably want defects – bug reports. Yes, those are valuable but only if they are accurate, unique and developer-ready to fix. You can also capture even more value that last much longer than a bug report. That additional value might be a small process change that improves your software development speed or it may be an open source requirements management tool that help you shave a couple days off your product specification process. Insist on and capture that extra long-term value, too!
You have a huge variety of choices when you select a software app testing company to help you complete and release your software project. Making a wise choice will save you countless hours and thousands of dollars that a poor choice will cost you.
Ask us these questions at TESTCo. I’m confident you’ll be pleased with our answers. I’d enjoy speaking with you about your project. Call me at 888.254.9709 or schedule a call back using the green button on this page.
Bonus – Three Traps to Avoid when Selecting a Software App Testing Company
So, you’re clear on your goals and constraints. You’re on the alert for how your choice of a software app testing company can improve your situation now and in the future.
Now, be on the alert for these three common traps.
1. Price Vs. Cost
Seeking the lowest hourly rate – their price – can lead you into a trap where the hourly rate is low but your project cost is high. This can happen when your software app testing company struggles to attract and find top quality software testing talent. They might also possibly be testers that were originally software developers but weren’t good enough. Be on the alert for “too good to be true” hourly pricing.
2. Missing Manager
Software app testing companies can also reduce their hourly rates by “body shopping”. This occurs when you rent or lease a person’s time to perform tasks for you. One of the most common ways to reduce the price of a tester is to eliminate any management oversight or coaching. You get the tester and that’s it. This may or may not work well for you. If you’re an experienced QA Manager with plenty of experience managing remote teams, this might work for you. If you’re not experienced with outsourced testing or QA, you might be disappointed when you find out that you’re going to need to manage and task this person every day.
3. Testers Vs Test Engineers
It is very common to find “testers” available to help you at a relatively low cost. This might work for you if your software app is simple and you already have a QA Strategy, Test Plan and Test Cases. A “tester” can probably run those test cases for you. If you have anything other than a very simple app or don’t have a QA Strategy, Test Plan and Test Cases, hiring a “tester” will lead you to disappointment. Only a Test Engineer is educated and experienced in the art and science of software testing and quality assurance.
If you are on the alert for these Three Software Testing Traps, you’ll make a better decision with a higher degree of certainty. That’s what you’re looking for, right – a Certainty of Success?
Double Bonus – Three Tests Plus One Guarantee to Consider When Selecting a Software App Testing Company
So, now you’re clear on your software testing goals and constraints and you’re on the alert for the traps to avoid.
You’ve “pre selected” one or two testing companies that you think can help you achieve your goals.
You’ve talked with them in depth and shared all of your relevant project information.
You’ve received a “proposal” that tells you what they will do, what it will cost and how long it will take.
Here are four “tests” you can use to make sure you’re getting everything you need to be successful with the software app testing company you are going to select.
1. Repeat Your Goals and Constraints
Your proposal should clearly explain your goal and constraints. This is evidence that the software app testing company *knows* and *understands” your goals. If this is missing from your proposal, you should be concerned that they don’t clearly understand your project or goals.
2. At Least One Strategy and A Plan
Your proposal should show “the math” – just like your grammar school mathematics teachers required. Software and software testing projects are complex and there are many different ways to achieve your goals. Your proposal should show the software QA Strategy that was selected as the best approach to achieve your goals within your constraints. It also goes without saying that your proposal should also include a plan that implements the selected Strategy. Double check that the Plan actually follows the Strategy. Award bonus points if your proposal shows more than one QA Strategy and the thinking behind how the best Strategy was selected.
3. A “Fixed Price” Offer?
You probably won’t see a Fixed Price offer in your Proposal unless you ask for one. So, ask and see what their response is. This will give you an indication of how confident the software app testing company is in their Strategy, Plan, and Estimates. Be aware though, that Fixed Price projects can be more contentious to manage to completion. That said, it never hurts to ask.
4. A Success Guarantee
You almost definitely won’t see a Success Guarantee in your Proposal. But, what types of success guarantees will your software app testing company offer you? Ask and see what their response is. The is a powerful conversation to have with your software app testing company and here’s why. Not every project goes according to plan and your’s may not either. Wouldn’t you rather know how your software app testing company is going to respond now, before the crisis happens, than later when everyone is caught by surprise? You deserve to know if your testing partner is committed to your project and how they are going to help you resolve the crisis – if and when it occurs.
If a software app testing company can pass these tests, you’ve found a partner to help you achieve your goals.
If they can’t pass these tests, you’re taking on additional risks needlessly.