What are the benefits for outsourcing quality assurance?
The first benefit that most people will highlight is hourly cost. If you have to pay an employee, then at the very least you will be paying that employee’s hourly cost, the cost of their benefits package, and their payroll taxes. Your company might also foot the bill for training this QA Tester.
This is often cited as the key to why you would outsource your quality assurance. Hourly cost to a company for every “tester hour” billed is seen as far less expensive and thus can make a project budget appear in-line.
Although this falls in the same category as Cost, instead of adding large headcount, this time you are adding expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise have on your team. This may be an expert that you hire along with your additional testers, or it may be a stand-alone contractor.
Adding a QA Expert (or a team of them) to your project team should be viewed as a method of ensuring the most effective techniques are used and that your outsourced QA Team is utilized most efficiently. An expert can make sure that any other QA you employ is held accountable.
If you don’t have the expertise to know if you are getting the best return on your testing dollar, or don’t have the time to monitor all of the results, define and implement effective procedures, etc., then you need a Quality Assurance Expert. Hiring this expertise on a short-term basis is another preventative measure you can take to ensure your project has the best chance of success. Once your project is safely released to the wild, you are free of this expense.
Beyond the direct hourly cost that in-house Quality Assurance tallies, there is all of the overhead of managing it. Knowing who to hire, creating a training program, updating best practices, maintaining up-to-date testing software, paying for all of the hardware upkeep needed to maintain a respectable testing lab (even on a small scale), etc.
None of that even considers justifying maintaining an in-house QA Team when there is not an active project to employ them. Although valuable Quality Assurance Professionals know how to continuously add value to their department, division, and company – if they are not actively testing, their value is often not apparent to non-QA personnel.