There has been an abundance of new applications, programs and web based resources coming onto the market over recent years. With the ever increasing reliance on the internet and working away from the office many of these programs are the lifeline for a budding entrepreneur or even a corporate chairman. This reliance on web based products is essential to many businesses to ensure they keep a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
However, there have been many technical glitches with some of these products and this can leave organizations in difficult situations and seriously damage the reputation of the software provider. User acceptance testing is the last stage of testing before a product is released to the market, in many cases this is carried out by an outsourced company. However, there are several key considerations which must be taken account of before this is done:
Prospective testers should not just test the product and report; they need to become instrumental in the release phase of the project. Their goal and financial reward needs to be tied to the successful release of a product to ensure every possible glitch is picked up on and removed or resolved.
When selecting a testing company it is essential to choose a company with a flexible approach. Not all software programs can be assessed in the same way and a good testing company will understand this. They will look for innovative ways in which to test the program and ensure all eventualities are covered.
There needs to be regular reports from any testing firm to establish the progress of the tests, any recurrent issues and any variation to expected performance. These reports need to be examined, assessed and issues addressed as early as possible to maximize the effectiveness of any testing work. A lack of information or reaction to information at this point can lead to costly delays and issues at the intended release date. This can be a particular problem if you have customers waiting for your new product.
A testing firm should be chosen on its ability to communicate with you. This is above and beyond the usual reporting procedures. If there is an issue with your product you will want to know as soon as possible! A good level of communication
will also facilitate the ability to test parts of a project while other parts are still being completed. This can actually be used to decrease the amount of time it takes to get your product to the market; providing it is handled properly.
The right testing
There is a huge array of testing and reporting methods available and this can cause issues between testers and you. It is essential to agree what reporting method will be adopted at the start. This should be based on the system that works best for you; it is, after all, your product! Ideally you will establish this information before you get to the testing stage so that it can be used to help you choose the most appropriate tester for your needs. An important part of this process is also considering how you and your team will access the information; remotely or in person.
Track and Control
Outsourcing the testing can be an excellent way to ensure all issues with the software are picked up before it is released. A good testing company will be independent and looking to give you the best possible service; their own reputation depends upon it. To ensure this is the case it is essential to put in tracking and control procedures. These should confirm which companies are eligible for the contract and the response rates of these firms. This should be followed up with a record of the time spent, personnel involved and the results; all included in the weekly reports you receive from the firm.
Done properly, outsourced testing can be a cost effective solution
to ensuring the best possible product is released to the market. Having an experienced third party help out can always be a good thing. However, don’t take unnecessary risks and only hire people you can trust. This is a sure way to protect your own enterprise and help it thrive.