Colocated QA Staffing – Remove Sourcing Bottlenecks with Agility


In an earlier article, we saw how colocated testing teams can bring greater ROI for an organization (Colocated Testing Teams – What are they? And how do I benefit?).

On the flip side, many industry insiders argue that building a colocated team with the necessary skills and experience is difficult due to lack of availability of local talent. Personal situations might prompt key resources to relocate or take a break from work which makes it difficult to maintain a steady team in case of long-term projects. Another downside to building a colocated team is the initial expense involved in creating area and infrastructure for a large team. Agile teams provide the perfect answer to both these concerns.

What does being Agile mean?

In the agile methodology, software is released in small increments or release cycles which are called iterations, and each iteration entails all the different stages seen in a normal development cycle. It differs from the traditional waterfall model in that the various stages of software development like requirements gathering, design, coding and testing go hand in hand. One stage does not wait for the previous stage to end.

Compared to a traditional model, agile teams are typically smaller in size, the scope of work is limited and there is less documentation involved. Release cycles are also accordingly short. The time available for testing is generally less which means testing needs to be optimized and automated wherever practical. Manual testing would need to be limited to new or modified functionality. Also, the testing team needs to work closely with the development team to understand the scope of change and leverage their test cases wherever possible.

Agility and Colocation: How do they work in tandem?

Agile teams work best in a colocated scenario as they require first hand face to face communication. Due to the small iteration cycle, there is less time to seek clarifications and resolve issues. Testing starts early, as soon as the code is stable, and continues as coding progresses. In such a situation where the code is evolving even as testing progresses, it is imperative that the QA and the development team collaborate and work as a single team. Colocation facilitates this.

Since an agile project develops the software in multiple iterations, the size of the development and testing team is generally small and streamlined. This mitigates the pain of identifying and on-boarding skilled resources locally. Release cycles are small which means there is very less time to manually test each and every functionality. From unit testing and above, testing is automated as much as possible and manual testing is limited to detecting bugs in the code and missing functionalities. This too serves to limit the size of the team required to execute the project.

The agile methodology makes it possible to develop the product with a limited number of skilled and qualified resources. The only constraint is the necessity to have resources with a good working knowledge of the system in order to adapt to changes, which is a natural part of the agile methodology.

So if you are thinking AGILE, you need to think colocated QA staffing.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

7 Reasons why you need specialist QA staffing services


In today’s competitive world, consistently delivering good quality products is essential for an organization to survive and grow. Quality assurance is the process that ensures the quality and reliability of the software.  It aims to correctly and adequately test a product to ensure it meets the end-user needs. But the quality assurance process, on its own, will not succeed unless it is backed by the right resources with the right skills. This is where specialist QA staffing services come into play.

Why specialist QA staffing services and not just staffing services?

  1. Best talent pool in the market: QA staffing specialists take great care to recruit the brightest talent in the market.  Testing is a niche skill and testing needs vary from one organization to the other. Specialist QA staffing services guarantee resources who have the right skill set to perform the kind of testing you need. With a regular staffing service, you run the risk of getting hit by the “one size fits all” approach.
  1. Flexible Engagement Models:  Quality Assurance Specialist Staffers work closely with you to create an engagement plan that is tailored to your specific requirements. They make an effort to understand the testing need, the size of the project and the skills necessary to execute it. They can provide a one-stop solution to all your testing needs, right from testers on the floor to test leads, test managers, test automation specialists and test architects.
  1. Familiarity with emerging trends: Specialist QA staffing firms cater to a niche market and hence, are well aware of the emerging trends and technologies in testing like cloud testing, mobile testing, security testing etc. and possess the models and frameworks necessary to test them. They bring to the table latest testing metrics and dashboards that give a better indication of ROI.      
  1. Limited training costs: Niche QA staffing services provide you with resources who are not only technically adept but also have the necessary domain knowledge. Be it banking and financial services, healthcare, retail or insurance, having experienced resources with the right skills and the right domain knowledge ensures you do not spend time and money on conducting extensive trainings as in the case of new or poorly matched recruits.
  1. Partnering with tool vendors: There is a plethora of test automation and testing tools in the market which help to make testing easier and more effective. Specialist QA staffing services often partner with these vendors to make available to you the right tools based on your project needs.
  1. Wisdom from past experience:  Specialised QA staffing services have experience providing testing solutions for variety of clients and business scenarios. Lessons learnt from past projects come in handy while executing projects of a similar nature in the future. What sets apart a specialist QA staffing service from a regular staffing service is that they provide not just testing resources but an end-to-end testing solution.
  1. Value for money: Last but not the least, specialist QA staffing services give you more value for your money. Most of them have a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) in place that delivers optimized and efficient testing while reining in testing costs.

At Gallop, we bring you all the above advantages and more. We are committed to helping you transform your testing functions and attain a high level of QA maturity. Read more about the Testing services & Specialist QA Staffing services we offer.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.