Quality Assurance testing (also called QA testing) is an essential part of software development. If you are unsure whether it is worth having an independent testing team or whether you can test within your own organisation, we recommend you read this article:
Levels of independence in software testing
First of all, let’s define what the options are in terms of independence levels regarding software testing. Starting from the lowest level of independence, it would be the same person doing the software development also doing the testing.
At the next level, the testing is done by a different person, but a person who belongs to the same team, so that both the software developer and the tester report to the same manager.
One step further, testing could be the responsibility of a person outside the team, but part of the same organisation. This person could be considered independent, but ultimately they still have a superior in common with the development team. This is therefore only a relatively independent testing process and could lead to compromised situations when it comes to decision making..
To a greater or lesser extent, all of the above scenarios have a certain inter-dependency between testing and development. To ensure true independence, testing should be carried out by a team from a different organisation or company.
But why should you hire an independent team to perform Quality Assurance tasks when you have professionals in your organisation who can do it? There are very good reasons for this, as outlined below:
Reasons why independent testing is recommended.
An independent QA testing team can bring a lot of value to your software and by extension to your company. Here are some of the benefits of independent testing versus in-house testing:
You will reduce go-to-market and costs
Having an expert QA testing team will help you to foresee and solve possible problems that may appear in later phases of development. As a result, you will be able to cut development times and hence the costs associated with the duration of the project. At the same time, you will achieve an acceptable level of quality, whereby you avoid your client being the one to detect problems. You will also be able to eliminate the costs associated with the hardware and software that are required for testing and its maintenance.
Relying on the services of an external testing team also gives you the flexibility of having experts there ready to work only when you need them. This allows you to eliminate the tedious process of hiring and training people to the point where they can perform QA, not to mention the fixed costs involved.
You will have the experience and the technology that your project needs.
Software testing is a crucial phase in the development process. Doing it well and in less time can be a great competitive advantage, but it does require a certain level of experience, resources and skills.
Companies that offer independent testing services have access to the latest testing practices and technologies and are staffed with highly trained personnel.
So, even if your organisation has a QA testing team, it is a good idea to consider an external team to undertake the task. And, as we mentioned earlier when discussing levels of independence, an external team will never be compromised by internal issues when they are testing the functionality of your software.
You will get independent and unbiased results
The testing team must be free from any pressure that might affect their work performance, such as being accountable to the development manager. This is almost an ethical issue.
This is even more important in businesses where the stakes are high and where achieving results depends on obtaining certification (e.g. in aerospace, defence, etc.). The fact that the same organisation can both develop and certify its own products is suspicious. This is why many certification agencies require testing to be carried out by a completely independent team.
Having an independent testing team, free from any influences or conditioning factors, will allow testing to be carried out in greater depth, with the freedom to investigate and look for more defects in the software. The result will be a higher quality end product, as well as transparent and objective reports.
You will free up resources for other areas of your business
Software testing is an important part of your organisation but it is not the only part. A sufficiently experienced team can take care of software testing, QA testing and even automated testing efficiently and on demand, freeing you up to dedicate time and resources to other equally important processes in your company, such as planning, marketing your product launch, etc.
It will improve the quality of your end product
An external organisation specialised in testing will ensure that your software reaches higher levels of quality. That is their job and they can do it openly, without any internal influences from within the software development company itself. This makes them better placed to meet the requirements of your target audience.
Another indirect way in which the quality of your product will improve is through the ‘pressure’ that can come from having an external team overseeing your development work. As professionals, none of us like to have outsiders uncover mistakes we have made; this is a natural reaction. Being aware that a whole team of independent professionals will be testing your software development will make the work you do much more disciplined.
In addition, programmers and members of your own organisation have certain assumptions about software specification and implementation, possibly influenced by their own corporate culture. An independent team starts from a different point of view when testing, which usually allows them to find defects that would perhaps not be evident to an internal team.
Centum, experts in independent QA testing.
As we have seen, there are many reasons why it is preferable to have an external partner specialised in software testing, Quality Assurance (QA) testing and automated testing. The benefits for your company are huge..
At Centum, we have been providing this type of services since 2005. We are a trusted and independent partner and we can help you achieve the highest level of quality in your products. If you need more information, or you are interested in our independent testing services,, please do not hesitate to contact us.