A dedicated QA team: how to choose it, manage it, and make sure it delivers results

Nadya Knysh, Managing Director at a1qa

What value will a dedicated QA team bring to a project or business in general?

I’ve met three types of customers who are considering hiring a dedicated team.

They generally take one of two paths:

Path 1: they will never hire a dedicated team again. They’d rather sign SOWs, Change Requests, Amendments, and other paperwork three times a week than trust a dedicated team. That’s how they become a headache for the procurement and legal departments, as well as vendors.

When clients ask me about the difference between a good and a bad vendor, I have a simple answer/test — a good vendor wants to be your partner. A bad vendor wants all of your money right away. And that’s something you can understand from the very beginning of an engagement.

If a vendor is asking how much money you have for a dedicated team so that it can come back with the maximum team size they can fit into your budget, that’s a bad vendor. If they ask you ‘Why you need better/more QA, and what problems you are trying to solve, that’s a partner. And that’s the difference between ‘body’ shopping and “brain” or “smart” shopping.

How to choose a decent dedicated team

Step 1: Check credentials

First and foremost, check the company’s credentials — company size, references, and even website.

Step 2: Check past projects and clients

Case studies, live websites and mobile applications, references, or whatever information is available. If you can request an example of the company’s artifacts (e.g. test cases or codebase for test automation), that’d be helpful too.

Step 3: Ask for a trial period

I recommend a month or two and very limited scope — one module or one feature. This will help you understand how the team communicates, how quick the members are, and what quality you get for the money you pay.

Step 4: Marry them!

If you like your team, if you feel good about working with them, do not wait too long. Hiring a dedicated team is the same as hiring internally; if you don’t have a job offer for a good candidate, he or she will be gone soon.

How to make sure that selecting the dedicated team will bring the expected results

Well, we’ve already discussed what to pay attention to when selecting a team. Any dedicated team is a set of people who are not isolated. I’d definitely recommend three things:

What are the mechanisms of managing and controlling an offshore testing team?

The first rule of success here is not to consider an offshore testing team an offshore testing team. These team members are now a part of your team, so treat them the same way you treat your team. How do you control your internal team — daily stand-ups, worklogs, 360-degree feedback, status reports, KPI, communication quality? All of that is applicable to the offshore team! And do not hesitate to automate.

A side note: don’t forget to assess the results.

Very often, when customers switch to the dedicated team model, they only think about whether they like the team.

Summing up

A dedicated QA team can help accomplish set goals, speed up testing and time to market, and contribute to business success. To ensure this, it’s crucial to make a smart choice and find the team that will be fully dedicated to your vision and needs.

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a1qa

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