Software testing for Fortune 500 companies and large enterprises has many similarities to testing for mid-market companies – primarily that it’s focused on providing a quality experience to the end-user. 

Most of the world’s largest companies are broken down into small agile teams, so working with massive enterprises can often feel like working with a startup team. However, there are some key differences. 

Because of the smaller, dispersed teams, there can be discrepancies in functionality, features, and UX design across software components that ideally should match perfectly. The maturity of the company can inform their approach to complex internal processes, like releasing on a consistent schedule rather than when an update is ready.

Rudolf Elbrecht, Testing Director at Testlio, discussed what he’s learned from testing for Fortune 500s and directing testing managers who collaborate with clients, strategize testing runs, and organize the efforts of a network of testers

1. Pay attention to the end-user experience across features built by different teams

One of the biggest benefits of working with a software testing company is having a team with an outside eye. Through organized manual testing, Testlio testers act like end-users. They’re testing the entire application across multiple features, flows, and even sub-products.

“We have a holistic picture of the end user experience,” Elbrecht said. “If there are any kind of inconsistencies between features or how the product operates based on what different teams have built, we will spot those differences and bring them to attention.”

In one example, Elbrecht’s team tested a platform that had a completely different flow for a data input feature in one product area than for the same feature in a different use case/area of the product. The Testlio team was able to identify this discrepancy – whose root cause was that the features were built by different teams – and one was rebuilt to match the other. 

“From the user’s point of view, the performance expectation is the same [across the entire app]. The feature should behave the same way, but if the teams implemented it differently, then that’s something we can catch,” Elbrecht said.

It’s helpful for testing managers to act as a liaison between teams from the same company, Elbrecht says. Providing feedback on what to fix to make a more cohesive and consistent end-user experience without placing blame. As an outside point of view, testing teams can act as a neutral party with the end-user in mind.

2. Treat teams uniquely, but help them release faster

When working with Fortune 500s, you don’t simply have one account, but multiple teams that are all organized a little differently. Elbrecht says it’s important to work within the team’s individual processes. 

“If one team wants us to be more embedded into their testing processes, we are. If one team wants to handle more of the testing internally, that’s also fine. We are still there to support the exact workflow of their internal processes,” Elbrecht said.

Some teams may want regular testing cycles while others might want to only get app coverage when there’s an important release. It’s important that testing managers be flexible and not assume that all teams will have the same needs.

Did you know that Testlio’s collective testing reimagines how to organize multiple test teams with options for in-house, hybrid, or Testlio testers only models? See how Fortune 500 leverage collective testing.

While testing managers need to be adaptive, they also need to authoritatively make process suggestions, like release cadences. Many enterprises have a more stable cadence of releases, whether it’s once a week, twice a week, or biweekly. They have very consistent stages in their release process, and often release to an internal ring of users first to minimize risks, Elbrecht said.

While there are benefits to this approach, such as consistent daily and weekly activities, it can slow releases down. More up-to-date approaches push to production as quickly as possible and don’t have a set cadence. 

“While we do see the need to control risks, we also often see opportunities for enterprise companies to ship updates faster, so we help make suggestions to each team on how we can provide quality assurance that will speed up their processes,” Elbrecht said.

3. Localization and market coverage requires test managers on the ground, not just testers

Testlio has long offered a network of testers across the globe to provide localization testing, accurate device coverage, and device environment coverage. The past couple of years have seen that coverage roll out to testing managers, not just testers. 

Elbrecht manages a team of testing managers that cover every market and time zone around the world. This means that client teams can get direct support from their dedicated testing manager no matter their location. For example, a leading eCommerce client leveraged testing managers and testers in 10 global markets to manage payments testing using local currencies.

“We can help clients expand into new markets with testers on the ground, and we now have multiple testing managers in each market too. Not only the US and Europe, but also EMEA and APAC. This gives same-time support for each team working for an enterprise client,” Elbrecht said.

Ultimately, though testing for Fortune 500s can feel intimidating, it’s all about understanding and collaborating with the individual teams. Elbrecht’s best advice: support the teams, stay flexible, help them move faster, and test across all their work. 

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Testlio is an industry leader in helping Fortune 500s provide amazing end-user experiences. Learn more about how we work.

Dayana is a QA engineer turned technology writer living in Milan, Italy. She's always down for a smoothie.