Should you hire a QA agency or a QA manager?

Picture of Brian Borg
Posted by Brian Borg
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”
 – John Ruskin, Author and Art Critic.
Quality assurance (QA) testing lowers the chances of releasing a defective product. But if you want to shorten your lead times and retain quality, you can’t rely solely on your dev teams for testing. Instead, you need a dedicated QA tester.
But, who should be in charge of your QA testing process? If it’s a big project, you’ll likely require a whole team of qualified testers. That means hiring a QA manager. Outsourcing, however, is also an option. 
Whether you hire in-house or use an external QA agency for your testing, it all boils down to the aim, budget and timeline of the project.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of each solution:

Benefits of hiring a QA agency

  • Bigger staffing pool. If you outsource your QA efforts, you’re not restricted by the skills and expertise under your own roof. In short, you won’t be required to hire or train testers. 
  • Financial savings. With a QA agency, you won’t have to pay full-time salaries or offer employee benefits. You’ll save money by avoiding onboarding and training costs, too.  
  • Business assurance. When QA testing, you want to have the most advanced and up-to-date tools. This will help ensure your software is fit for release. Hiring a QA agency means they provide the tools, resources, and equipment their testers need – no extra fees or subscriptions.
  • Specialization. Agencies tend to know their stuff; you’re hiring them for their specialized knowledge. Choosing an agency with the best skillset will hone your dev/QA process.
  • Non-bias. When people that have worked on the project take part in the testing process it can lead to bias. You can achieve better quality by having an external eye on your software. The ‘it’s my baby’ outlook can do more harm than good.

'Goldilocks zone' - how to decide between cost and quality when hiring a QA agency

Benefits of hiring a QA manager

  • Easier communication. When hiring in-house, you benefit from things like working in the same office, timely replies and face-to-face discussion. Today, however, online tools make external communication a whole lot simpler.
  • Maximum control. You may feel like you have more control when the person is a direct employee. Outsourcing can be uncomfortable for some and feeling a loss of control can make you uneasy. At OnPath, we provide frequent updates and use collaboration tools to ease this discomfort. 
  • Ownership. Direct employees are often more careful. A bad job impacts their own career and job performance.
  • Security issues. Sensitive projects can feel safer if it doesn’t leave the walls of your organization and is left in the hands of your trusted employees.

Which is right for your business?

The solution you choose depends entirely on your priorities. Need immediate access to your testers? In-house might be the better choice. Not able to find the expertise required on-site? Outsourcing will resolve this. 
The key to a successful product release is to ensure that your testing process is thorough and carried out by skilled testers, no matter how you do it. With OnPath, you get a point-of-contact QA manager who takes ownership, offers clarity on the project and communicates regularly. It’s the best of both worlds - excellent leadership with the flexibility of outsourcing
Still unsure what direction to take? Let us help you on your journey. Explore our blogs and resources on QA testing, which will make your decision easier. If you want to speak to an experienced member of our team, contact OnPath today and discover how we can help.
Woman standing with different testing pathways forking out of her hand