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Top 8 questions about starting cooperation with a1qa

We’ve compiled the list of most common questions about the peculiarities of cooperation with a1qa. Have a look!
14 April 2019
QA consulting
Quality assurance
The article by a1qa
a1qa

We’ve rounded up 8 most common questions regarding the cooperation with a1qa and the specifics of a project performance asked by our clients at the very beginning. Let’s answer them all!

How to start cooperation?

The cost of services and our testing approach constitute the list of most wide-spread questions within the outset of each project. What testing activities will we implement? What QA solutions will we provide the clients with?

The answers to these questions are unique in each particular case.

However, it’s possible to divide all requests into two types:

  • the ones that require fulfilling specific works of a fixed volume
  • those that presuppose forming a dedicated team.

The first type of queries is connected with performing tasks for a fixed price, the second – with the assembling a dedicated team.

Let’s discuss both scenarios.

The first option: a fixed price model

In this case, the client’s issue can be solved by means of particular testing service, be it an ad hoc functional or performance testing when the test coverage is previously defined.

If the software under test is a publicly available product or we can compile the desired data without an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), then the preliminary cost estimation will be created without signing additional papers.

To get an exact estimation, NDA is required. We gather the necessary data for preparing a commercial proposal and calculate the price, that can differ from the estimated total by +/-20%. After the cost approval, we conclude a contract, an MSA (Master Service Agreement), and an SoW (Statement of Work). E-signature allows the client to sign the contract online, and the project starts in the course of two weeks after receiving the prepayment.

The second option: a dedicated team model

This variant is more preferable for long-term projects with inaccurate project requirements.

We study the demands set for a software testing engineer of a certain qualification, define the cost of one man-hour, and start forming the team. The client can join the process by examining the CV of each specialist and conducting a face-to-face interview or meeting all project members after concluding the contract.

The legal process is similar to the above-mentioned scenario. The team is put together in two weeks or even earlier after receiving the prepayment.

What if the team is required ASAP?

Providing the team will take some time due to an obligatory legal registration of each deal. However, we are always ready to accelerate the process.

For instance, we may start clarifying the requirements for a team alongside signing the contract. Swift alignment process on the client side will help speed up the project launch.

How to choose the proper model?

If the project scope and deadlines are accurately defined, it’s better to opt for the fixed price model.

Conversely, if you can’t determine the requirements or the time frame of cooperation, we recommend choosing the dedicated team, managed either on the client side or by a QA manager as a part of the team. The tasks can either be transferred to the team or formed in the scope of work. The second alternative is more common for projects based on Agile practices. Thus, progress is tracked. The a1qa specialists will keep the client informed regarding all possible improvements on the project.

The team is selected. How to integrate it into the ongoing development process?

a1qa possesses vast expertise in providing specialists for remote work. If the development stage has already started, the engineers are integrated into the current context. The first vital aspect to consider is the choice of the proper tools – task management, version control, bug tracking systems, and many more. Working with the toolkit applied by the client is a big deal, as it helps seamlessly fit in with the team on the customer side.

One more aspect to keep in mind is the integration into the client’s infrastructure, be it test benches or virtual machines for running automated tests.

Furthermore, the active participation of the a1qa team in communication with the client’s specialists matters.

In order to establish effective communication at the beginning of the partnership, we visit our clients and organize the knowledge transfer to the engineers or team managers.

Then the expertise is accumulated within a particular project so that the client can get the answers to all the questions at any given time.

Multiple communication models – e.g. a lead software testing engineer-a dev team/QA engineer – are observed. Thus, transparency of the working processes ensures seamless interaction with each specialist.

How to monitor the progress of the testing team?

The timeline for the fixed price projects is always set strictly. In the scope of work, the client has real-time access to all the defects detected and test documentation, which allows studying all parts of the code covered by tests.

The dedicated team provides weekly reporting that covers the workload fulfilled, the time spent, and the overall team performance.

During sprint planning within the Agile-based projects, the client can independently manage tasks and establish priorities. However, these activities can be carried out by the QA manager if necessary.

Can a different time zone affect the process?

No matter what the time difference is, the core solution applied by a1qa is shifting the working hours of our teams to reach the maximum overlap in time. Such situations prevail in the IT sphere, and its’ better to tackle them individually.

Meanwhile, if the client is located to the west, we are ahead of time, which is a major asset. By the beginning of the day, the client receives the scope of the fulfilled tasks and logged defects so that the workflow is accelerated.

Having efficiently functioned for more than 15 years, a1qa has never experienced any problems with the time difference. What matters most is the setting of the working schedule, which later can be optimized if needed.

End-user personal data is under GDPR. Will you ensure its safety?

GDPR compliance is legally determined in a1qa. Alongside concluding the contract, the client signs the documents that assure data protection.

Depending on the type of personal information, we apply various data protection mechanisms, from data depersonalization technology to randomized information of unreal people.

Are the processes delivered transparent and measurable?

a1qa is committed to build long-term cooperation with clients and meet all their requirements. Such an approach implies ongoing improvement and optimization of processes within the company, a modern system of qualification and training tailored for its employees, accumulation of technical knowledge and practices within R&D centers.

The majority of clients choose a1qa upon the recommendation, which signifies a high level of trust.

The company is often contacted to provide complex software testing support. Company’s rich experience allows us to deliver consulting services to optimize current testing activities and build efficient QA processes from scratch. a1qa’s broad expertise is the key to estimate the quality of the existing processes on the client side.

With more than 700 FTEs on board and 15 years in SQA business, the company continues to grow steadily. The quality management system is certified according to ISO 9001.

One more indicator of the company’s maturity is the level of industry recognition. a1qa is widely represented in various ratings, we regularly participate in software testing events, our specialists attend industry-specific and cross-disciplinary conferences the world over.

We are glad to share our expertise and go into details of the services, which are of particular interest to you. To get a free consultation, drop us a few lines.

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