At a recent testing conference in October we were told that the ‘traditional’ offshore model was dead – and that the approach to offshoring is changing. This was based on the fact that the offshore companies are now recognising that they need an onshore presence in order to make the offshore model work effectively and are now creating UK (or other local country) based organisations that are becoming their ‘face’ to the local market throughout the duration of their projects.
It’s certainly the case that the shape of our testing organisations is changing fast – both in the industry and in the group as well. As we implement more solutions that are built around packages then our test team becomes a mix of test experts and functional experts in the package, as more of the testing activity is performed offshore then there is a reduced need for test analysts to form part of the local test team. Our challenge now is to make these extended teams work effectively in assuring the quality of the solutions that we (as project teams) deliver.
So, how do we make this work for us as testers? My recent approach has been to use offshore coordinators from Mumbai based in the local UK office with the coordinator being our interface to the offshore testing team. Is this approach with the local coordinator facing off to the offshore team the best model for testing or are have others tried other ways? Another recent approach has been to use functional experts and a small number of local testers to help define the test cases and scripts – and then to build the team for a short period using local and offshore test resources to execute the tests.
Things are certainly changing – the challenge for us all is to find ways of adapting to those changes.