Menu
In Best Practices
Who you gonna call? (Outsourcers)
It is quite clear what issues a business owner may face when deciding whether to give part of the work to outsource workers. How can I control the whole process? Who can guarantee that the job will actually be done?
This is also true for the IT business.
by Olga S
QA engenier
by Olga S
QA engenier
Is outsourcing good or bad?
No one knows for sure.

It is quite clear what issues a business owner may face when deciding whether to give part of the work to outsource workers. How can I control the whole process? Who can guarantee that the job will actually be done?
Is outsourcing good or bad?
No one knows for sure.

It is quite clear what issues a business owner may face when deciding whether to give part of the work to outsource workers. How can I control the whole process? Who can guarantee that the job will actually be done?

This is also true for the IT business.

So what about the QA-outsourcing? What are the advantages? What can go wrong? Does your company really need outsourcing services? Finally, will outsourcing suit you personally? We'll try to answer these questions in the following article.

This is also true for the IT business.

So what about the QA-outsourcing? What are the advantages? What can go wrong? Does your company really need outsourcing services? Finally, will outsourcing suit you personally? We'll try to answer these questions in the following article.
Basic terms.

People often tend to underestimate any new phenomena due to the lack of necessary knowledge. Outsourcing is no exception. There are so many embedded public stereotypes concerning this form of cooperation. Let's take a look at them. But first, we need to decide on the terms.
Outsourcing vs outstaffing services
It is quite easy to get lost in these concepts because of their similarity. However, there are big differences between them.
Outstaffing is often referred to as subcontracting, and this term appeared earlier than outsourcing. This is hiring a third-party specialist (or even an entire department) to perform certain tasks. Usually, outstaffers are hired when the task cannot be solved by the company itself. Outstaffing employees work closely with their employers until the end of the project. This means that the employer is forced to control the outstaffer.

Unlike the outstaffer, the outsourcer is responsible for the project results and should not cooperate with the employer on a daily basis. Thus, outsourcing deals with the entire project, and outstaffing means hiring people to solve one specific task.
Outsourcing vs outstaffing services
It is quite easy to get lost in these concepts because of their similarity. However, there are big differences between them.
Outstaffing is often referred to as subcontracting, and this term appeared earlier than outsourcing. This is hiring a third-party specialist (or even an entire department) to perform certain tasks. Usually, outstaffers are hired when the task cannot be solved by the company itself. Outstaffing employees work closely with their employers until the end of the project. This means that the employer is forced to control the outstaffer.

Unlike the outstaffer, the outsourcer is responsible for the project results and should not cooperate with the employer on a daily basis. Thus, outsourcing deals with the entire project, and outstaffing means hiring people to solve one specific task.
Outsourcing is primarily responsible for the tasks that the performer faces.

The external contractor undertakes to perform the entire scope of work, attracting its own resources, rather than transferring them to the customer for rent. The team involved in your project will be assigned its own project manager and team leader, they will have their own comfortable office with the necessary equipment. The outsourcers' inner workings also remain behind the scenes. The customer receives the finished result immediately. What a customer needs to do is to set the task and provide the necessary work data only.
Outsourcing is primarily responsible for the tasks that the performer faces.

The external contractor undertakes to perform the entire scope of work, attracting its own resources, rather than transferring them to the customer for rent. The team involved in your project will be assigned its own project manager and team leader, they will have their own comfortable office with the necessary equipment. The outsourcers' inner workings also remain behind the scenes. The customer receives the finished result immediately. What a customer needs to do is to set the task and provide the necessary work data only.
The first stereotype.

Outsourcing is expensive.

This stereotype has some substance. Attracting external contractors is rarely much cheaper than hiring employees of the same experience. Nevertheless, the total cost of the task (including the final cost of the specialist) is still reduced. You don't need to pay office rent and accounting services, and there is no need to purchase equipment. That is why, in some cases (but not in all of them), outsourcing becomes more profitable than recruiting office staff. At the same time, it is necessary to realize that the services of an external contractor can cost more. We'll take a closer look at such cases later on.
Outsourcing involves unqualified staff only.

In some industries, there is a risk of running into a team of inexperienced students. Remote call centers spoil outsourcing reputation the most. Among call centers, there are often companies offering poorly trained employees.
The second stereotype.
The first stereotype.

Outsourcing is expensive.

This stereotype has some substance. Attracting external contractors is rarely much cheaper than hiring employees of the same experience. Nevertheless, the total cost of the task (including the final cost of the specialist) is still reduced. You don't need to pay office rent and accounting services, and there is no need to purchase equipment. That is why, in some cases (but not in all of them), outsourcing becomes more profitable than recruiting office staff. At the same time, it is necessary to realize that the services of an external contractor can cost more. We'll take a closer look at such cases later on.
The second stereotype.
Outsourcing involves unqualified staff only.

In some industries, there is a risk of running into a team of inexperienced students. Remote call centers spoil outsourcing reputation the most. Among call centers, there are often companies offering poorly trained employees.
Fortunately, this does not apply to the field of testing.

Most of the QA experts work as outsourcers. They are constantly faced with a variety of projects and therefore have experience of working in all conditions. In addition, the customer can always personally communicate with the team that will be engaged in testing, and make sure these employees are qualified. A reliable contractor will never interfere with that.
Fortunately, this does not apply to the field of testing.

Most of the QA experts work as outsourcers. They are constantly faced with a variety of projects and therefore have experience of working in all conditions. In addition, the customer can always personally communicate with the team that will be engaged in testing, and make sure these employees are qualified. A reliable contractor will never interfere with that.
Outsourcing pros
You always want to start with something good, right?
Outsourcing pros
You always want to start with something good, right?
1. Workload control
In IT companies, there is often cyclical nature of processes and a "volatile need" for personnel. For example, sometimes the QA-department sits around doing nothing and waits for a new build to be tested. But then it is time when a huge pile of tasks falls down on the department and they have no chance to do anything in time.

Outsourcing allows you to flexibly control the staff's workload. During peak activity, you can attract more QA employees and quickly prepare a project for release. Thus, you will not need to spend the budget on workers with no current tasks.
2. Reducing the new employees' expenses
Typically, the cost of a new employee includes the salary only.

However, some expenses are not so obvious:
  • office lease (if you need to place a whole testing department)
  • workspace arrangement
  • purchase of necessary equipment
  • creation of a test lab
  • recruiting
  • preparation of all documents

When using the outsourcing model, these costs are already included in the price of services. Since many companies turn to external contractors, the costs are divided between all customers. In the end, it costs the client less money (and time) than hiring an in-house tester.
3. No need to train the staff
Often, the urgency of work simply does not allow to spend time on training employees. In this case, the most profitable and acceptable option would be to attract an outsourcing specialist who fully meets all the necessary parameters and criteria.
4. Field experts only
This is especially true for small projects that require manual functional testing, automated testing, and auditing usability and load. In this case, the ideal option is to assign an individual tester for each position. Indeed, a load tester requires knowledge of a specific methodology, a test automation engineer must be proficient in programming languages, and a UI / UX tester must understand the layout and design. A small project always faces a difficult choice: whether to hire one person who is not well versed in all four tasks or to hire several employees who will have nothing to do most of the working day. Outsourcing is much easier. It allows you to take "a piece" from each specialist and get four highly qualified testers for part-time employment.
5. Establishing testing processes
Sometimes it is necessary to establish the testing process itself. Well, the team guys can be hella experienced. But they are so busy with the current tasks that they simply don't have time to collect KPI data, or increase the level of teams integration, or assign the priorities, or identify problems and find ways to eliminate them.

In this case, it will be convenient to connect a team of outsourcing testers to the process. It is important to understand that costs and time will surely pay off. It is important to understand that costs and time will surely pay off because when building a process and working through weak points, all negative factors are eliminated and chaotic testing becomes stable.
6. Time optimization
The company often spends a lot of time on management. By transferring secondary tasks to the outsourcing team, it will be possible to allow more efficient time optimization. This will help the company focus on more critical and important issues.
7. Motivation
By motivation, we mean not only money but also an existing team spirit. After all, the working atmosphere affects the employees and the quality of their work. Outsource testers, due to their competence and professionalism, are quite capable of helping to develop an optimal testing process.
8. Outside perspective
Yep, don't be surprised. Even an experienced and advanced team, involved in the project as much as possible, needs an independent assessment from time to time. It helps to identify the shortcomings of the product being developed.
9. Outsourcers performing several tasks
It happens that looking after important releases and functional tasks we lose control over making reports and writing technical documentation. Over time, these problems tend to accumulate and show low productivity indicators. This work can also be entrusted to the outsourcing team.
1. Workload control
In IT companies, there is often cyclical nature of processes and a "volatile need" for personnel. For example, sometimes the QA-department sits around doing nothing and waits for a new build to be tested. But then it is time when a huge pile of tasks falls down on the department and they have no chance to do anything in time.

Outsourcing allows you to flexibly control the staff's workload. During peak activity, you can attract more QA employees and quickly prepare a project for release. Thus, you will not need to spend the budget on workers with no current tasks.
2. Reducing the new employees' expenses
Typically, the cost of a new employee includes the salary only.

However, some expenses are not so obvious:
  • office lease (if you need to place a whole testing department)
  • workspace arrangement
  • purchase of necessary equipment
  • creation of a test lab
  • recruiting
  • preparation of all documents

When using the outsourcing model, these costs are already included in the price of services. Since many companies turn to external contractors, the costs are divided between all customers. In the end, it costs the client less money (and time) than hiring an in-house tester.
3. No need to train the staff
Often, the urgency of work simply does not allow to spend time on training employees. In this case, the most profitable and acceptable option would be to attract an outsourcing specialist who fully meets all the necessary parameters and criteria.
4. Field experts only
This is especially true for small projects that require manual functional testing, automated testing, and auditing usability and load. In this case, the ideal option is to assign an individual tester for each position. Indeed, a load tester requires knowledge of a specific methodology, a test automation engineer must be proficient in programming languages, and a UI / UX tester must understand the layout and design. A small project always faces a difficult choice: whether to hire one person who is not well versed in all four tasks or to hire several employees who will have nothing to do most of the working day. Outsourcing is much easier. It allows you to take "a piece" from each specialist and get four highly qualified testers for part-time employment.
5. Establishing testing processes
Sometimes it is necessary to establish the testing process itself. Well, the team guys can be hella experienced. But they are so busy with the current tasks that they simply don't have time to collect KPI data, or increase the level of teams integration, or assign the priorities, or identify problems and find ways to eliminate them.

In this case, it will be convenient to connect a team of outsourcing testers to the process. It is important to understand that costs and time will surely pay off. It is important to understand that costs and time will surely pay off because when building a process and working through weak points, all negative factors are eliminated and chaotic testing becomes stable.
6. Time optimization
The company often spends a lot of time on management. By transferring secondary tasks to the outsourcing team, it will be possible to allow more efficient time optimization. This will help the company focus on more critical and important issues.
7. Motivation
By motivation, we mean not only money but also an existing team spirit. After all, the working atmosphere affects the employees and the quality of their work. Outsource testers, due to their competence and professionalism, are quite capable of helping to develop an optimal testing process.
8. Outside perspective
Yep, don't be surprised. Even an experienced and advanced team, involved in the project as much as possible, needs an independent assessment from time to time. It helps to identify the shortcomings of the product being developed.
9. Outsourcers performing several tasks
It happens that looking after important releases and functional tasks we lose control over making reports and writing technical documentation. Over time, these problems tend to accumulate and show low productivity indicators. This work can also be entrusted to the outsourcing team.
Thinking about whether to turn to outsource companies services or not, you need to clearly understand what project requirements led you to this decision; what is important to you, and what criteria must be taken into account. Do you need to reduce the cost of hiring employees or increase quality points? Or, perhaps, you would like to optimize the time for testing and improve team performance? Evaluating these factors and making a decision on attracting an outsourcing team, you will clearly determine what type of services will be useful for you, what time periods are needed to complete the task and how you can reduce the costs. It is also worth taking into account that the process may not always be as short as you would like, but all investments will pay off with quality testing indicators.
Thinking about whether to turn to outsource companies services or not, you need to clearly understand what project requirements led you to this decision; what is important to you, and what criteria must be taken into account. Do you need to reduce the cost of hiring employees or increase quality points? Or, perhaps, you would like to optimize the time for testing and improve team performance? Evaluating these factors and making a decision on attracting an outsourcing team, you will clearly determine what type of services will be useful for you, what time periods are needed to complete the task and how you can reduce the costs. It is also worth taking into account that the process may not always be as short as you would like, but all investments will pay off with quality testing indicators.
This is important:

Hiring a team of outsourcing testers, the customer is guaranteed to receive highly qualified employees (and it is not always easy to find them).
We cannot afford to be biased, noting only the positive aspects of the process. Any coin has its reverse side, so now we'll talk about the disadvantages or risks of outsourcing.
We cannot afford to be biased, noting only the positive aspects of the process. Any coin has its reverse side, so now we'll talk about the disadvantages or risks of outsourcing.
Outsourcing cons
What can possibly go wrong?

Again, many customers believe that outsource team services are pricey. Well, this statement is quite subjective. It all depends on the expected scope of work, the size of the company and the team's quality / qualification ratio.

Of course, you will not find an experienced professional who has minimal salary expectations. Nevertheless, the supply can already satisfy the growing market demand, and finding an appropriate payment option is not a big problem.

The following parameters play an important role in solving this task: how long has this team been working? do they have any recommendations? is it important for the staff to be well-qualified? when is the deadline? what needs to be done?

What can possibly go wrong?

Again, many customers believe that outsource team services are pricey. Well, this statement is quite subjective. It all depends on the expected scope of work, the size of the company and the team's quality / qualification ratio.

Of course, you will not find an experienced professional who has minimal salary expectations. Nevertheless, the supply can already satisfy the growing market demand, and finding an appropriate payment option is not a big problem.

The following parameters play an important role in solving this task: how long has this team been working? do they have any recommendations? is it important for the staff to be well-qualified? when is the deadline? what needs to be done?

The more requirements – the higher the price. The customer sets priorities individually.
The issue of security may be very important for some companies since not everyone is ready to give a stranger access to internal resources. This issue is solved by giving partial access, filtering incoming tasks at the security level or signing the NDA (non-disclosure agreement).

Therefore, before concluding a contract with an outsourcing team, it is necessary to make sure that they apply all necessary measures to protect information and understand the risks. Documentation, test cases and scripts developed by contractors can be considered the intellectual property (IP) of the authors, that is, not belong to the actual owners of the project. It is necessary to correctly draw up an agreement under which the exclusive rights to IP remain with the employer.
Lack of independence

Appealing to outsourcers means that you do not have in-house testing experts. If for any reason you have to stop cooperating with a contractor, then all you have left of their work is a bunch of confusing instructions and lines of incomprehensible code. Even experienced professionals will find it difficult to deal with this. Thus, it is necessary to correctly set the outsourcers' tasks. They need not only to test but also to keep writing detailed documentation, commenting on what is not obvious in their scripts. This will help other (new) employees understand what was done earlier and get to work faster.
Lack of independence

Appealing to outsourcers means that you do not have in-house testing experts. If for any reason you have to stop cooperating with a contractor, then all you have left of their work is a bunch of confusing instructions and lines of incomprehensible code. Even experienced professionals will find it difficult to deal with this. Thus, it is necessary to correctly set the outsourcers' tasks. They need not only to test but also to keep writing detailed documentation, commenting on what is not obvious in their scripts. This will help other (new) employees understand what was done earlier and get to work faster.
Let's summarize.
In spite of all the disadvantages, we believe that an outsourcer is an excellent employee who knows how to adapt to the required conditions: terms, the scope of work, etc. So…
(Voice from the audience)
Whoa, hang on! It sounds cool and works for a small project, right? And what about large projects, when a tester needs several weeks, and sometimes more, to study the product? How does outsourcing solve this problem?
Let's summarize.
In spite of all the disadvantages, we believe that an outsourcer is an excellent employee who knows how to adapt to the required conditions: terms, the scope of work, etc. So…
(Voice from the audience)
Whoa, hang on! It sounds cool and works for a small project, right? And what about large projects, when a tester needs several weeks, and sometimes more, to study the product? How does outsourcing solve this problem?
Well,
attracting testers to large projects is not something new. Recently, large companies are increasingly turning to outsource services. This is due to the fact that hiring outsourcing testers allows customer companies to save money, flexibly manage internal resources of the company and at the same time avoid the lack of in-house specialists when implementing serious IT tasks.

Often the timing and scope of the project are critical and require the most competent and qualified approach. In such situations, the main task of an outsourcing tester is proper planning, writing test documentation, and coordinating testing strategies. It helps to quickly and efficiently process a large amount of information and create a test plan in order to optimize the terms for studying and testing the project.
Well,
attracting testers to large projects is not something new. Recently, large companies are increasingly turning to outsource services. This is due to the fact that hiring outsourcing testers allows customer companies to save money, flexibly manage internal resources of the company and at the same time avoid the lack of in-house specialists when implementing serious IT tasks.

Often the timing and scope of the project are critical and require the most competent and qualified approach. In such situations, the main task of an outsourcing tester is proper planning, writing test documentation, and coordinating testing strategies. It helps to quickly and efficiently process a large amount of information and create a test plan in order to optimize the terms for studying and testing the project.
When the project is too large, the outsourcing team appoints an experienced test manager. The test manager is assigned to plan work at different levels and effectively organize the large team activities.
Well, is outsourcing good or bad?
It's up to you for sure. But the trend says that If there's something strange in your neighborhood, you're definitely gonna call outsourcers.
Well, is outsourcing good or bad?
It's up to you for sure. But the trend says that If there's something strange in your neighborhood, you're definitely gonna call outsourcers.
See ya!
QAcamp team

You may also like:
Close
Have a Question? Contact us!
I agree the Terms of Service