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How an Independent Testing Partner can help accelerate your brand loyalty

The degree of independence at the time of testing and quality assessment helps eliminate author bias, thereby enhancing the effectiveness at identifying failures.
Testing is the bedrock in any software development organization as it prevents delivery of a sub optimal product to the market which can not only lead to extensive business losses but also cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the firm and impact customer goodwill. Today, organizations are turning towards partnering with a comprehensive testing and QA solutions partner to ensure delivery of products that are outcome oriented bearing in mind the overall business vision and goals.
The degree of independence plays a crucial role in assessing the probability of failure. An integrated testing team is part of the original software development team and is bound by the project management plan. There are several levels of independence listed below: from the lowest to the highest level of independence -

  • Tests by the person who worked on the job
  • Tests by another member of the same team, like a fellow programmer
  • Tests by a person from a different company or organization, such as outsourced certification or testing done by an external body
  • Tests conducted by the member from a different group ie. an independent test team

When we think about how independent the test team is, it is crucial to comprehend that independence is a range, and not an either/or condition:

  • Moving towards independence, we find a group of testers or an integrated tester who works in tandem with the programmers, but is still within, and reports to the development manager
  • At one end of the range lies the nonexistence of independence, whereby the programmer performs testing within the framework of the programming team
  • At the other end of the continuum we will find an absolute independence. In this case, we have a separate test team which reports into the organization at a point that is equivalent to the development or project team. We might find specialists in technology (such as experts in database), specialists in testing (such as certification testers, test automation experts or security testers) and specialists in the business space (such as users of the system) in a separate test team and as part of a bigger independent test team, or as part of a contract, outsourced test team.
  • As we proceed towards independence end of the spectrum we could also find a team of testers who are outside the development team and independent, but report to the project management

Benefits of Independent Testing
  • As an independent tester one can constantly identify different defects better than someone who works within the boundaries of a programming team, or a tester who is a programmer by profession
  • Whilst marketing staff, business analysts, programmers and designers bring their own set of assumptions to the implementation and specification of the item which is being tested, an independent tester will bring in an altogether different set of assumptions to reviews and testing, which would often reveal hidden problems and defects
  • An independent testing team usually works on a separate budget, which ensures that optimum level of capital is spent on test equipment, testing tools, and tester training among others
  • The independent tester who reports to the senior management would do his/her work with utmost integrity and without an iota of concern for retaliation which might arise from pointing out issues in the work of coworkers, or the work done by the manager
  • In addition to this, certain companies help testers in an independent test team to have an easier career path which could lead up to more senior positions in testing

When an independent third-party conducts the testing and evaluation processes, the objectivity of your product and credibility stand out among the clutter of assurances. Independent testing conducted by a neutral partner not only helps ensure the validity of performance claims, but also enables organizations with visibility of any vulnerability issues and deficiencies before deployment, thereby meeting expectations of the user. This reinforces the confidence of the customer and ultimately yields brand loyalty.

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