QA Outsourcing: a Full Guide on Software Testing Outsourcing

Explore the top benefits, core risks, and best practices of outsourcing software testing, discover how it can streamline development processes.

It’s no news that the practice of outsourcing engineering tasks has long ago become a normal thing for companies of all sizes aiming to speed up their development process with no losses on quality.

But in testing, it’s still a novelty, while by outsourcing their QA needs, companies can ensure their products meet the highest standards of quality without the need to maintain an in-house testing team.

Today, we’re happy to present our full guide on software testing outsourcing, with lots of insights into how it can transform your engineering and QA process, reduce costs, and improve product quality. Sounds great, isn’t it? But let’s move step by step.

Table of contents:

What is Outsourced Software Testing?

First, let’s define clearly what we’re talking about.

Said simple, outsourced software testing is hiring third-party firms to manage the testing phase of software development. With this approach, companies can concentrate on their core tasks like development and innovation, while trusted experts handle testing tasks and adherence to software quality standards.

This model is superb for businesses aiming to grow quickly without increasing their internal resource commitments. Outsourcing testing can be more cost-efficient, providing access to high-quality testing services without the added expense of expanding in-house teams. Additionally, it offers an objective, unbiased assessment of software quality, helping ensure the final product is not only free of defects but also aligned with user expectations.

QA Outsourcing Models

Now, let’s now look at different outsourcing models used nowadays in quality assurance:

Traditional testing services (TTS)

Traditional Testing Services (TTS) refer to the conventional approach of software testing typically conducted by in-house QA teams, sometimes supplemented by outsourced engineers. This method involves thorough testing of the entire product prior to each software release, with the aim of identifying and documenting any defects for the development team to address.

While TTS has been the backbone of quality assurance in many organizations for decades, it comes with inherent challenges. One significant drawback is their limited flexibility and scalability, making them less suited for projects that are likely to expand or undergo frequent changes. Managing these services can also be complex, especially as the scope of the software and the team sizes increase.

However, a notable innovation within traditional testing is the establishment of a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE). A TCoE is designed to take holistic responsibility for product quality, transcending beyond mere task completion to ensure superior quality outcomes. By centralizing expertise and resources, a TCoE enhances the ability to produce high-quality products efficiently, fostering greater scalability and growth opportunities within the realm of traditional testing frameworks.

Specialist testing services (STS)

Developed as a refined alternative to Traditional Testing Services, Specialist Testing Services (STS) cater to the testing of specific software elements by outsourcing these tasks to third-party providers who possess deep expertise in relevant areas. This approach is particularly favored for projects requiring specialized knowledge or technologies, often handled by testing organizations that routinely offer such services to a variety of clients.

The appeal of STS lies in its ability to tap into the expertise of specialists, especially beneficial for software products developed within niche industries or using uncommon tech stacks. It also proves advantageous when the testing process requires unique types such as IoT testing, hardware testing, or the integration of artificial intelligence in quality assurance measures. For small-scale or short-term projects, companies may also consider hiring independent testing specialists or collaborating with crowd-testing vendors, which are particularly effective in assessing the usability and functional excellence of products.

By outsourcing QA to firms that provide specialized testing services, companies can ensure that their products are not only tested for functionality but are also examined under the stringent standards required by their specific operational demands. This method enhances product quality, ensures compliance with industry standards, and aligns with the technological requisites of the product, providing a comprehensive testing approach that supports advanced and specialized requirements.

Top 4 Benefits of QA Outsourcing

As we have already said, outsourcing software testing services can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of development cycles, but how exactly? Here are the top 4 ways:


Outsourcing eliminates the need for companies to invest in the full-time resources required for a comprehensive in-house testing team. This reduction in overhead costs comes from not having to sustain permanent staff, infrastructure, and training expenses. Companies only pay for the testing services when needed, which can lead to substantial savings, especially on complex projects that require specialized skills temporarily.

Shorter Time-to-Market

By leveraging the expertise of dedicated testing firms, companies can accelerate their testing processes. These firms often operate in multiple time zones and can continue working outside of the client company’s regular business hours, thus speeding up the feedback and iteration cycle. This rapid turnaround is crucial for businesses looking to improve their competitiveness by bringing products to market faster.

Hire Experts on QA

Specialist testing firms are staffed by experts who are up-to-date with the latest testing tools, technologies, and trends. Outsourcing allows access to top-tier talent and advanced technologies without the long-term commitment of hiring them full-time. These experts bring a level of proficiency that ensures high-quality results, often bringing fresh perspectives that internal teams may overlook.

Stay Focused on Your Core Tasks

Thanks to outsourcing, companies can focus on their core activities like product development and strategic planning. This is very useful for organizations that lack in-house QA expertise, enabling them to dedicate more resources to innovation and product enhancement while outsourcing partners manage the complexities of testing.

By delegating QA and testing to external services, companies can streamline their development process and improve product quality, ensuring that software operates flawlessly at launch. This strategic move helps businesses stay competitive by concentrating on innovation and growth, with the assurance that the quality of their products is being expertly managed by specialists.

Top Risks of Quality Assurance Outsourcing

Any method has two sides, and QA outsourcing is no exception. While it can offer numerous benefits, it also comes with its set of risks that businesses need to manage effectively:

Loss of Control

Outsourcing can sometimes result in reduced control over the testing processes and outputs. Companies might find it challenging to oversee the day-to-day activities of an external team, which can lead to discrepancies in expectations and deliverables.


Working with an external QA team, especially one that operates in a different time zone or cultural context, can lead to communication barriers. Misunderstandings can arise around project specifications, changes in scope, or feedback, which might delay project timelines and affect the quality of the final product.

Security Issues

Sharing sensitive data with an outsourced software testing partner can expose organizations to data breaches or leaks. Ensuring that the outsourced team adheres to stringent data security protocols is crucial but can be difficult to monitor and enforce effectively.

Quality Variability

There’s always a chance that outsourced testing won’t meet your quality expectations. Sometimes, differences in how tests are done or not fully understanding the important parts of the project can mean the final software doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do or doesn’t meet user needs.

To avoid these issues, it’s important for companies to carefully choose their QA outsourcing partners. It helps a lot to talk clearly and regularly with your outsourcing team, set clear goals right from the start, and monitor the project

These steps help make sure that the work matches your company’s goals, keeps your data safe, and maintains high quality.

When to Outsource QA and Software Testing?

Deciding when to outsource your software testing and quality assurance needs is crucial for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your development process. Here are some scenarios where outsourcing might be the right choice:

Your Internal Team Lacks the Skills and Resources

If your current team does not possess the necessary skills or resources to adequately test and ensure the quality of your software, QA outsourcing can fill these gaps. Access to specialized expertise and advanced testing tools through an external provider can help maintain high-quality standards without the need for extensive internal training or investment.

You Need to Hit a Tight Deadline

Outsourcing can provide additional manpower and specialized skills to accelerate the testing process when facing tight deadlines. External QA teams can work in parallel with your development team or in different time zones to keep the project moving forward around the clock, ensuring that you meet your release schedules without compromising on quality.

It’s a Short-Term Project

For projects with a limited lifespan or for one-off projects, maintaining a full-time, in-house QA team may not be cost-effective. Software testing outsourcing in such cases allows you to scale your testing needs according to project demands without long-term commitments. This flexibility helps manage costs while still achieving the desired level of quality assurance for the project.

Outsourcing QA and testing services can be a strategic decision that brings considerable benefits, especially when internal capabilities are stretched or when the project scope calls for specific expertise that is not readily available in-house. By carefully selecting a reliable QA outsourcing provider, companies can enhance product quality, meet critical timelines, and align more closely with their strategic business goals.

Best Practices to Follow for Outsourced Software Testing

When outsourcing software testing and QA, it’s crucial to follow best practices to ensure effective collaboration and high-quality results. Here are some key practices to consider:

Check the Credibility of Your Outsourced Team

Before engaging with an outsourced software testing partner, thoroughly vet their credentials. Review their past projects, client testimonials, and any industry awards or recognitions they have received. This helps ensure that you are working with a reputable and capable provider.

Establish a Point of Contact on Both Sides

Designate a primary point of contact (POC) in both your organization and the outsourcing vendor. This facilitates smoother communication, quick resolution of issues, and more effective management of the project. Ensuring there is a clear line of communication will help in aligning goals and expectations from the start.

Involve the Testing Team at the Beginning of Development

Integrating your outsourced testing team early in the development process can significantly enhance the efficiency of the testing phase. This involvement allows for a better understanding of the project objectives and enables the testing team to prepare adequate test plans and strategies that align with the development timeline.

Set Strong KPIs Before Outsourcing

Define clear and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before the project begins. These should cover aspects such as test coverage, defect densities, time to market, and quality of the testing documentation. Having solid KPIs in place helps both parties understand the success criteria and assess the performance of the testing services throughout the project lifecycle.

By following these best practices, you can maximize the benefits of outsourcing software testing, ensuring that it contributes positively to the overall quality and success of your software projects.

Enhancing Software Quality with Outsourced Testing

Thus, QA outsourcing offers a strategic advantage by bringing in specialized expertise and resources that can improve the quality of software products. By following best practices, such as verifying the credibility of the outsourced team and integrating them early in the development process, businesses can enhance collaboration and efficiency, ensuring that the final product meets the highest standards of quality.

Incorporating tools like DogQ’s no-code testing platform can further streamline the testing process. DogQ provides an intuitive, accessible no-code platform that simplifies the creation and management of test cases without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This capability allows teams to quickly adapt to project changes and maintain a high level of test coverage, which is especially beneficial in dynamic development environments where quick pivots and updates are common.

Plus, we also offer outsourcing QA services for projects of all sizes. Although we’re new to outsourcing QA and testing, yet we already offer a diverse array of services to our clients:

  • Managed testing: Ideal for large, long-term projects, including coordination across multiple related projects as needed;
  • Test automation: Comprehensive support for projects of all sizes, particularly those in active development phases;
  • Ad-hoc testing: Tailored for small to medium-sized projects that are in their mature phases;
  • Professional guidance: Expertise in a variety of testing types including end-to-end, smoke, integration, exploratory, acceptance, UI, and regression testing, all facilitated through our DogQ no-code platform;
  • Strategic testing framework: We develop a clear and precise testing strategy that includes needs analysis, goal setting, execution of tests, regular reporting, and necessary optimizations.

We go beyond mere testing – our specialists engage deeply with our clients’ products, discussing ideas and solutions continuously. Our approach is built on years of QA experience, a customer-first mindset, and the use of DogQ, a tool designed specifically for efficient web testing automation. Our goal is to foster seamless collaboration within teams to boost productivity and enhance testing results.

By leveraging the strengths of both outsourced testing services and innovative tools, companies can achieve faster time-to-market, better resource management, and a superior product that stands out in the competitive tech landscape.
Don’t hesitate to try DogQ right now and boost your development speed and efficiency. Also, if you have any testing-related questions, our experts are here to help you out with them, so that you can focus on core development tasks. Let’s make testing available for everyone!

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