Key Considerations When Outsourcing QA and Testing Services

June 8, 2016 6:14 pm | Updated 4 months ago.


The increase in global outsourcing activities has led to many companies looking for outsourcing QA testing as an independent process in order to guarantee high-quality deliverables and gain an advantage over competitors.

QA and Testing Services were possibly the first to be outsourced to offshore vendors because:

  1. These services were not considered to be critical to the business of the company
  2. The tasks involved were repetitive in nature and did not involve too many interactions with the business team
  3. “Change Management” with additions of new functionality and features to the application under testing were relatively less complex compared to the complexities involved in “Change Management” and Scope Management for new application development.
  4. Significant scope existed for automation of many of the repetitive tasks
  5. The developers in the IT organization of the outsourcing company, simply did not want to do testing and wanted to be rather engaged in requirements analysis and development, and last but not the least
  6. The business and the Management of the Company wanted the application to be tested by an independent organization that has not been involved in the development of the application.


Have these considerations changed with the advent of the Digital Age and especially after Gartner introduced the Bimodal IT Model – the Mode 1 being “Traditional IT”, the low-risk model focusing on stability and efficiency of managing core legacy applications and the Mode 2 being “Fluid IT”, aligned to the growth of the business and focusing on rapid application development, innovation, and time to market.

The questions that the CIOs are grappling with are:

  1. How different are the considerations for outsourcing of QA and Testing Services for Mode 1 and Mode 2
  2. Should the QA and Testing of both Mode 1 and Mode 2 applications be outsourced to the same offshore vendor or to different offshore vendors
  3. How to ensure that there is Collaboration rather than Conflict for QA and Testing activity streams for both Mode 1 and Mode 2.

Fundamentally the delivery in Mode 1 of “Traditional IT” is based on Waterfall model while the delivery in Mode 2 of “Fluid IT” is based on Agile and DevOps, where the product progresses in a series of Sprints with requirements being captured as items in a list of “Product Backlog” and no specific engineering practices prescribed.

The QA and Testing for Mode 1 delivery, therefore, is more aligned to CMMi processes and can be structured into separate blocks like functional testing, performance testing, volume testing, stress testing, “Black Box” testing etc.

In contrast, the QA and Testing for Mode 2 delivery need to focus on continuous testing and feedback and virtualization between the onsite development team and the offshore testing team. The key considerations while outsourcing QA and Testing Functions in today’ Bimodal IT environment, therefore, are:

  • Choosing the right vendor(s): In the Bimodal IT architecture proposed by Gartner, the systems in Mode 1 are the systems that manage business critical information and data and, therefore, require significant business and Industry knowledge from the offshore vendor. The systems in Mode 2, however, are online systems through which the users and the customers access the system functionality. The delivery of systems in Mode 2, require the offshore vendor to have more knowledge of latest technology innovations, highly intuitive user interface etc. Vendor selection, therefore, becomes a critical consideration while outsourcing QA and Testing. In most cases, it may be desirable to choose different vendors for QA and Testing of applications in Mode1 and Mode2.
  • Choosing the right QA and Testing tools and processes: As indicated earlier the Mode 1 Application delivery is done using waterfall model, while the delivery of applications in mode 2 use Agile and DevOps methodology. The choice of a right set of tools and processes and also the level of involvement of the business users to certify the testing done by the offshore vendors need to be carefully considered while outsourcing QA and Testing functions to offshore vendors.
  • Interactions between the development team on site and the testing team offshore: While the level and process of interaction between the development team and the testing team for applications in Mode 1 have been well proven over time, these are very different for applications in Mode 2 and the Scrum team will, in reality, consist of members both onsite and offshore with cross-functional skills and self-organizing

D2E Consulting’ Aggregator platform for Offshore Outsourcing Services, with its carefully selected network of specialty partners, is well positioned to deliver QA and Testing services for both Mode 1 and Mode 2 of application delivery. Affinity, D2E Consulting’ onsite partner, can provide the strong Program Management skills required to support the Bimodal model.