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Which software testing staffing model is right for you?

If you are reading this, you have likely already identified a high-level need to scale or improve your current approach to testing without the mass hiring of in-house testers, or shifting left to make devs fully responsible for QA. Partnering with a software testing company is a great start, but what if a vendor offers multiple models? How can you define which software testing staffing model is right for you?

Like any business-critical investment, it is essential to start with outlining your priorities, requirements, and budget. Then dive into the multiple models. Here, we’re going to start with two major options, crowdsourcing vs. outsourcing and outline benefits and pitfalls of both to help you determine which software testing staffing model will work best for you.

Crowdsourced Testing: quick, effective, burstable

Start to consider crowdsourced testing if:

  • You have an internal QA team who needs more help.
  • You plan to develop a QA team and in-depth testing strategy in the near future.
  • You are releasing a feature and need specific tests that your team can’t cover.
  • You need episodic testing testing sporadically at key development moments.

Crowdsourced testing is a great solution to scale quickly and efficiently, especially with the right partner. But, like everything in life, crowdsourcing can come with its own concerns. With a crowdsourced testing team, some vendors may take a “whoever’s available” model and staff with underprepared, random testers from run to run. Other vendors (like Testlio!) leverage consistent testers run-to-run to maintain consistency and familiarity with your product. 

Outsourced Testing: robust, in-depth QA teams at your service

At Testlio, outsourced roles include manual testers, automated testing developers/operators, test coordinators, and testing managers. Whether you use part-time teams working four hours a day or dedicated full-time teams aligned to your time zone, teams can work on-site, in-country, out-of-country in your time zone, or in the most economically advantageous locations – your choice.

Outsourced testing is an excellent option if: 

  • you need a consistent, knowledgeable QA team to cover many locations/devices.
  • you don’t have a big enough (or any) internal QA team. 
  • You want to prioritize continuous testing. 
  • You need testers with time to devote to mastering your product, culture, rituals, systems, and ways of working.
  • You want to develop an automated strategy with dedicated partnerships to help.

Outsourcing QA testing has its own set of pitfalls, including a lack of internal control over the process and outcome. Historically, outsourcing offered cheap testing by outsourcing jobs overseas or in countries where the cost of living is significantly lower. However, many traditional outsourcing initiatives fail due to time zone, communication, culture, and talent issues. To bypass these issues, find a software testing partner that wields a large testing pool to cultivate your QA strategy with dedicated resources, highly vetted testers, and a great test lead/manager.