25 min read

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a QA Partner

Asking the right questions can make all the difference when you're looking for the right team to help with your QA efforts.

Quality Assurance Partner
Divider (1)


Divider (1)


Quality assurance (QA) plays a critical role in the software development lifecycle. It is essential to have an effective QA process to prevent errors and ensure the delivery of reliable, high-quality products. If you don't have in-house QA professionals on your team, partnering with an experienced QA outsourcing firm can provide the expertise you need.

But how do you choose the right software testing service provider? You've probably gotten some recommendations from colleagues or done some research online – but now what? To help you find the right fit for your business needs, here are ten important questions to ask when choosing a quality assurance partner.


What Is Your QA Methodology?

The first thing you'll want to understand is how your potential QA partner approaches their work. What methodologies do they use, and what is their strategy for ensuring successful project outcomes? Each party must clearly understand the other party's preferred methodology, so there won't be any confusion or disappointment down the line.

Of course, you'll need to be familiar with the various types of methodology, such as:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • System testing
  • Acceptance testing
  • Performance testing

You'll gain insight into how they plan, execute, and monitor testing activities. You may also see how well the partner's approach is compatible with your internal methodology (agile, waterfall, etc.) and if it meets your industry's best practices.


What Experience Do You Have in Quality Assurance and Testing?

Next, take time to explore your prospective QA partner's experience in providing quality assurance services. You know how they work, but what is their experience? Ask about any major projects they've undertaken and what kinds of customers they serve. You should also ask them to provide a portfolio of successful projects so you can gain further insight into their experience level.

This step revolves around asking specific questions about their past projects:

  • How long have they been doing this work?
  • What tools and technologies do they use for testing?
  • Are any of these standard operating procedures or frameworks universal across all service lines or simply confined within particular industries?
  • How do they see the difference between the severity and priority of a bug or issue?
  • How do they evaluate risks associated with the project?

Your goal here is two fold – first, to make sure their experience is relevant; second, to uncover potential obstacles during testing. Sometimes, a slight lack of experience may be offset by a partner's willingness to learn and adjust.


How Many Projects Like Mine Have You Worked On?

While the fundamental principles of QA methodologies apply across various industries, it's also important to choose a partner who has experience working with projects similar to yours. This is because prior knowledge of similar projects enables them to anticipate potential issues that newbies may not foresee.

Previous exposure to similar projects equips your chosen QA team with the insight needed for faster problem-solving, which means less time spent on troubleshooting and more time focusing on high-quality deliverables. This will ultimately save you time, effort, and money as your partner can seamlessly integrate with your existing infrastructure.


What Should QA Documents Include?

QA documents are an essential part of successful project management. After all, they provide formal evidence that the work undertaken meets the agreed-upon requirements. From standard operating procedures (SOPs) outlining software workflows to detailed quality audit records listing defects by severity level – these materials offer invaluable insights into how well testing activities have been performed.

To make sure your potential QA partner understands their importance, ask them about the types of documents they produce and how they use them throughout each phase of the testing process:

  • How do they plan test cases?
  • What tools do they use for tracking defects?
  • How do they communicate test results and progress updates to stakeholders?

QA documents should be comprehensive but accessible enough for all team members, including non-specialists. As such, your prospective provider must supply you with materials suited to training purposes and ongoing project tracking needs.


Are They Taking an Economic Approach to Quality Assurance?

You never want to skimp on quality, but some QA teams take it to extremes. They may include unnecessarily complex procedures or inflate the number of test scenarios, driving up project costs quickly.

A good QA partner will always be cost-conscious. They look at ways to deliver exceptional quality without breaking the bank. You want a vendor who understands that there's no need to overspend on resources or staff when better alternatives are available through innovation or continuous improvement efforts.

Find out whether your potential QA vendor employs tools and technologies like automation testing and DevOps to stay productive while keeping costs manageable. Ask about their track record of optimizing cost structures for other clients, and listen closely to how they discuss implementing "right-sizing" efforts in your project context.

Your QA partner must be flexible when adjusting resources throughout the development lifecycle. That means taking a proactive approach to identifying cost-saving opportunities without compromising integrity or effectiveness.


How Do You Handle Unexpected Challenges?

Imagine this scenario: halfway through your project, an unexpected issue arises that could potentially derail the entire process. How would your QA partner handle such a challenge? You need to ensure they are well-prepared for the unexpected and can effectively address issues before they become too problematic. When discussing their approach to problem-solving, listen for key elements in their response, such as:

  • Addressing issues immediately before they snowball into bigger problems
  • Maintaining transparency at all times by sharing the problem and their proposed resolution
  • Communicating regularly during crises
  • Being available at all times to discuss challenges that may arise
  • Doing everything possible to resolve issues as quickly as possible
  • Building time for unexpected occurrences into project timelines

In addition to gauging their ability to handle challenges, inquire about how your overall project and costs would be affected by such instances. For example, does the provider charge extra beyond a certain number of hours spent on your project? Be sure to understand their policies in such situations.


How Will You Keep Our Software and Data Secure?

Cybersecurity is more important than ever, particularly in the golden age of cybercrime. Reports show that 37% of large businesses were affected by cybercrime in 2021, according to the Canadian Government.

Security breaches can lead to customer and company data leaks and require substantial investment in time and resources for damage control. Furthermore, customer dissatisfaction could result in them abandoning ship – an outcome that is difficult to recover from once a reputation has been tarnished.

Managing security risks should be a top priority throughout every stage of your QA project. Inquiring about how the QA outsourcing provider will ensure the safety of both your product and data is essential. Some questions you might want to ask include:

  • Who will have access to our data, and will they be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
  • What types of physical protection do you employ for securing information?
  • How do you adhere to regulatory guidelines regarding cybersecurity?
  • What processes do you have for auditing and assessing security threats?
  • Do you have any experience with penetration testing or vulnerability scanning tools?
  • By fully understanding your QA partner's approach to cybersecurity, both parties can remain confident that all data will be secure during the project.


How Are Validation Activities Done, and Who Verifies Them?

Once the software has been validated through rigorous testing, an equally important next step is verification. To achieve this, consider hiring third-party companies specializing in independent assessments of your project. These will give you a more objective review of the software's quality while minimizing potential biases.

For instance, these third-party companies might run tests to ascertain the accuracy of the software's functionality. They could also gauge if data is accurately displayed, as well as evaluate its usability and performance against set requirements. Thus, they can detect any errors that may be overlooked by internal QA teams.


How Will You Communicate With Our Team?

Ensuring effective communication between your team and your QA partner is critical to the success of your project. Employing a range of testing methods will undoubtedly consume time and resources but rest assured that it is a necessary step for guaranteeing the quality of your final product.

Partnering with developers and synchronizing the QA process with your company's standard operating procedures (SOPs) not only ensures alignment but also promotes collaboration towards a common goal: delivering high-quality software that meets users' expectations.


What Is the Difference Between QA and Software Testing?

Finally, make sure your partner understands the distinction between QA (Quality Assurance) and software testing. Focusing on their core job will enable them to implement better strategies tailored to each aspect of the development process. While QA focuses on monitoring the quality of processes used in creating software, software testing directly addresses ensuring that the functionality of final products aligns with user requirements.

The role of QA personnel entails laying out best practices to prevent defects from occurring in testable features. In contrast, testers are responsible for finding existing errors through practical applications and use cases.


Key Takeaway

Choosing a dependable QA partner may seem like a daunting task, but keeping these key considerations in mind can help guide you toward making an informed decision:

  1. Assess their ability to respond proactively when faced with unexpected challenges.
  2. Ensure they prioritize security measures throughout all stages of development.
  3. Explore how they handle validation activities and seek independent verification where possible.
  4. Emphasize clear communication channels between all teams involved.
  5. Recognize differences between QA management endeavors versus software testing, allowing for specialized approaches in each category.

Address these questions early on and maintain a keen understanding of your QA partner's methodologies and practices. You will safeguard the quality of your final product and pave the way for smoother collaboration between teams. Choose wisely, and unlock your project's true potential.

If you're looking to implement QA solutions and processes into your existing workflow, Scleraworx can help. Our team of experts specializes in Atlassian technology, with years of experience driving successful implementations. Contact us today to learn how your organization can benefit from our solutions and services.


Latest post seperator


Latest posts

Scleraworx blog

Interviews, tips, guides, industry best practices, and news.

Scleraworx 15 Dec 2023
How Digital Transformation can Boost Your Business Success
Arrow Icon
Leverage the power of digital transformation for your business success. ...
Scleraworx 14 Dec 2023
Implementing Jira Software And Getting Dev Buy-In
Arrow Icon
Learn the process of integrating Jira Software into your workflow with helpful ...
Scleraworx 14 Dec 2023
First to Market: Building Better Software Faster
Arrow Icon
Need help developing the best custom software for your business? Discover the ...