Why Should I Engage a Third Party QA Team?
FEB 11, 2015

Why Should I Engage a Third Party QA Team?

If you have an internal QA team, this is probably the question you pose to the many sales reps who likely are courting you to earn your testing business. Maybe it's a rhetorical question, but it's a good one to ask.

There are many benefits to involving a third party QA team, even if you have an internal team on staff. From increased speed to market to reduced cost to gained efficiencies, when you take a close look at the value a third party test house can bring, the question almost becomes, "Why shouldn't I engage a third party QA team?" For now, we'll address the reasons why you should.

1. It can decrease your development and testing costs

You may wonder how this is possible, especially if you have your own QA staff on hand whom you're already paying to do that work. However, a team dedicated solely to software testing can typically perform the testing faster, using less people, at a lower hourly rate. When compared to the total cost of ownership of a full time testing team, using third party testers can often translate into a lower cost for you. In addition, when you choose to engage a third party testing team, it is more likely that you will fix the bugs that they find prior to release, which costs considerably less than discovering bugs after release and having to fix them later.

2. You'll get to market faster

Two heads are better than one, as they say. Obviously adding QA testing resources to your testing team will speed up the process, allowing you to work together to identify issues and develop the fastest process to getting them fixed. In addition, there is the added benefit of having outside folks work on one project so that your team can work on another – or even on another portion of that same project, whether it's bug fixes or new development. Outside QA assistance can help speed up your current project, and can also accelerate speed to market on new projects.

3. You'll gain efficiencies and productivity

There are a couple of reasons for this: if you have an internal QA team and you add resources from the outside, part of the learning curve of working together will be analyzing and streamlining processes. So inherently you'll be working more efficiently. If you don't have an internal QA team and testing is being done by your development or IT teams, offloading that testing to a third party lets them focus on their core competencies, so that they can be more productive and more efficient.

4. You get the benefit of insight based on expertise

Of course there are plenty of expert QA testers out there who don't work for third party testing companies. However, there is something to be said for the level of expertise that comes from doing nothing but software testing, day in and day out, for a multitude of different clients with different applications and different needs, year after year. The insight and knowledge gained from that level of experience can bring tremendous value to your organization and to your own QA team. Odds are these experts can provide recommendations to your team on necessary tests, process improvements or new tools they can use to add value to the organization long after the project is over.

5. You'll have access to resources and tools you'd otherwise never have at your disposal

Chances are you don't have access to every phone Samsung has ever made. Or have the top 10 most popular smartphones by country (or even know what they are). A good third party test lab will know this information and have immediate access to all of them. For example, Intertek has an inventory of over 3,000 devices available to its staff to test on. It is unlikely that your team has that large an inventory. In addition, there are likely automated testing tools that a third party test lab has that your team doesn't have knowledge of, doesn't have access to and/or doesn't know how to use. Access to these resources can open the door to higher quality software and more efficient processes for your team.

6. Lastly, you gain objective third party perspective (aka, you can blame it on the test lab)

Let's face it. If we're too close to a project, we tend to miss or overlook the flaws in it. A third party that hasn't been part of the project from the beginning is unbiased and not invested in one particular result over another. Therefore, third party testers can identify issues that may be overlooked by those too close to the project and too invested in a particular outcome. What's more, if there are major issues that will thwart timelines or that have to be explained up the chain, there can be a bit of comfort in knowing you can tell the c-suite that "the test lab found it." We're happy to take the heat if necessary.

Hopefully by now your question has shifted from "Why should I engage a third party QA team?" to, "Why shouldn't I engage in a third party QA team?" If you have an internal team already, a lab like Intertek can augment their work and can allow you to scale quickly when workloads fluctuate. If you don't have an internal team and are utilizing development or IT staff to test, the rewards you get from using a third party test lab far outweigh the risks you're taking by not doing so.

Call us at +1 800 967 5352 or email us to learn more about how Intertek can help you gain time, money and efficiencies with our software and apps testing services.

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