What is Offshore Testing Strategy & Management?
A recent trend in business has been a transition to an offshoring model for development and testing in the software development process.
The idea behind this model is utilization of viable talent at a lower rate than that which can be found locally. In some cases, this can work well (such as when both the offshore vendor and client are certified at a CMMI 4 or 5 maturity level). In other instances it doesn’t work well (such as when the offshore vendor has insufficiently developed processes and under-trained staff). When the model doesn’t work well it can have a detrimental effect on the quality of the finished product and the timing of delivery.
There are three main challenges with using offshore vendors:
- The first challenge is that the offshore team members are not treated as true contributing members of the project. This leads to the offshore team having lower morale, less investment in the quality and outcome of the work product, and higher rates of staff turnover. Ultimately, the project team suffers because there is a loss of knowledge, or a “brain drain.”
- The second challenge is that there is insufficient communication between the offshore team and the rest of the project team. Even with technology such as video conferencing, communication is only as good as the information being dispersed. If there is not a well-developed process in place that addresses geographical and cultural differences for knowledge and documentation management, as well as configuration and change management, then there will always be work that is produced based on outdated and incorrect information. This causes a repetitive cycle of rework by the offshore team and helps persist the first challenge outlined above.
- The third challenge is that offshore teams typically have insufficient skill sets. The offshore vendors—especially the larger ones—are really good at selling their internal processes and the training that they provide for their teams for development and testing. However, what they do not tell you is that many times when staffing a project for a client, they have to reach outside of their consultant bench and find resources that have never been exposed to said offshore company’s methodology.
How IQ Can Help
If your organization already has an offshoring model in place and the quality of the work products are not meeting your expectations, IQ can help you quickly assess where improvements can be made in the overall software development and project management processes.
If your organization is considering implementing an offshoring model, IQ can help you ensure that the model is strategically set-up to help you succeed from the start.
The Details – Offshore Testing Management
IQ wants to help you foster a better relationship with your existing offshore vendor.
To help assess your Offshore Testing Management strategy, we begin by reviewing your project methodology process, particularly around communication between the offshore team and the onsite project team. This includes Change Management, Configuration Management, Documentation Management, Release Management, and Environment Management. In addition, we’ll take a look at the work artifacts that the offshore team is receiving from the onsite team as well as any work product the offshore team is delivering.
Based on the findings, we’ll recommend improvements in various project areas to increase the quality of the deliverables. We’ll also suggest communication and management solutions as well as possible training and mentoring for the offshore team. We can also work with you to implement these changes effectively to help you get more ROI from the offshore model you already have in place.
The Details – Offshore Testing Strategy
If you need a dedicated testing team but lack the resources to acquire an onsite team, IQ can partner with you to create a strategy to help you get the most out of your investment.
We’ll begin by assessing your software development life cycle and then recommend some process solutions that will better facilitate the incorporation of an offshore team. We’ll also ensure that the offshore testing team candidates have the specific skill sets that you need (avoiding the offshore pitfall of using inexperienced resources or the bait-and-switch support tactics used by less reputable offshore companies).
Lastly, we’ll ensure that the offshore team adjusts their processes and templates so that they work within your development lifecycle.
Creating and managing an offshore testing strategy can be a challenging endeavor, but by partnering with IQ, you will implement the right resources and partners in order to create a process that is the next best thing to a team on site.