Wondering Why Your Crowd Testing Isn’t Working? These Could Be the Reasons
Often companies get caught up with the challenges of crowd sourced testing and face limitations when implementing it. Here's how you can overcome them.
Leading companies are now choosing to crowdsource their QA to gain access to skilled resources. Though crowd testing is an excellent approach for companies looking to expand their knowledge base and conduct extensive software testing in real environments, it requires a great deal of effort to plan, execute and monitor a defined QA strategy.
Often companies get caught up with the challenges of crowd sourced testing and face limitations when implementing it. However, when performed correctly, it is a helpful and valuable testing strategy, that helps cut down costs and have manual in-depth reviews of the software rather than just automated checks.
What crowd testing means in the real world
Let’s understand this with the help of an example:
An e-commerce store is quickly spreading its reach throughout different African countries. Considering the cultural diversity, tech efficiency, logistics and other parameters pertaining to this geographical area, the e-commerce store wants to test its latest application in 10 different countries for language and network support.
Testing an app of this scale will not be possible with just simulations. Instead, it needs to be tested under real-world scenarios, with different operating systems, network carriers and several devices.
In this case, crowd testing is a definitive practice that can help developers find the greatest number of defects in the shortest time possible. In addition, it serves as a means to get meaningful feedback that can improve the product quality and add or enhance existing functionalities.
Companies often go back and forth when considering the benefits of having an Internal QA team vs. opting for an outsourced crowd testing team. However, crowd testing provides a great deal of flexibility and cuts down expenses related to recruitment and training to build an in-house QA team.
Some organizations embark on the path of full-fledged crowd testing without understanding its underlying implications and challenges.
Crowd testing’s most prevalent challenges (and their solutions)
Mismanagement of globally distributed teams
It is a challenge to keep a track of who’s doing what when it comes to crowd testing. With software testers dispersed in various countries, there can be issues with language and communication, knowledge gaps, understanding the project at hand, and the pressure of tight deadlines with different time zones, all coming in the way of unbiased results.
A managed crowd testing service provider can help precisely handpick the right mix of users from a global pool of millions. A dedicated test lead will oversee the results brought in by these crowd testers—the result: A synergized and timely output with reduced overhead.
Lack of clarity on what to test and how to test
Crowd testing can seem confusing to many organizations initially. We hear that a lot. Setting up test environments across diverse locations, local cultures and languages can be a daunting prospect. Add to it the element of uncertainty, i.e., not knowing what exactly to test.
By choosing experienced crowd testing service providers, you get a bespoke test approach and a solution-based software testing strategy. In addition, a defined test scope allows you to specify what needs to be tested, providing a roadmap for the entire quality assurance process.
The subsequent test approach and solutions are created after careful consideration of your requirements. Thus, eliminating any loopholes or redundancies that may slow down the quality assurance process.
Absence of adequate resources to track and monitor progress
If you are an organization that just started with crowd testing, you may run into issues when onboarding new testers, testing tools and setting up the testing environments. Without proper planning, soon these issues can surmount and add to overhead costs.
Dedicated crowd testing experts can help you achieve increased confidence in the results, covering a wide range of devices and browsers that are not available on-site. Managed crowd testing service providers often have access to state-of-the-art tools and software testing applications to execute these tests.
Shared resources lead to a challenge in knowledge management
Distributed access to testing resources can hamper knowledge retainment. To put it simply, crowdsourced teams often find themselves misguided in the absence of SMEs and proper training sessions prior to the actual software testing procedure. They also find it difficult to record and save their test results without a knowledge repository in place.
Managed crowd testers store information onto a single source monitored by the test lead. The monetary incentives attached to crowd testing lures crowd testers to share knowledge and come up with better quality defects, those whose presence is detrimental to the application.
An experienced crowd testing provider educates its testers about the requirements of the project at hand and in understanding the test outcomes when testing in the real world.
Security and confidentiality risks
Crowdsourced testing is a vast project involving multiple testers who would need access to various testing resources. Sometimes the distributed access can lead to a security breach. With business-critical data at stake, this is a catastrophe that organizations simply cannot afford.
The representative test lead who oversees the selection of these crowd testers and day-to-day activities also helps maintain security and confidentiality by taking stringent authorization and data protection measures, by sharing only what is needed and to whom it is required.
Also, signing non-disclosure agreements is a prerequisite for testers working with a reputed quality assurance organization.
Communication gaps hindering project completion speed
A hiccup mostly found with a crowd-tested project is the lack of timely communication between key stakeholders, which ultimately delays the project timeline. These communication gaps can sometimes deter the resulting test quality.
Time differences, hierarchies and a general lack of understanding of project roles can hinder crowd testing efforts. An effective test lead can, however, move past these issues to deliver within timelines. Clarity established from the beginning of the project with well-set timelines can facilitate faster deployment.
Lack of standardization in testing processes
Crowd testing isn’t a gimmick. What most organizations fail to understand when embarking on a crowd testing journey is that there is a strict need to follow processes and standardization when it comes to getting accurate results.
A managed software testing service provider will lay out their own standards when it comes to software testing. With experienced Quality Engineers overseeing the crowd testing efforts and synchronizing those efforts into neatly monitored reports, there is practically no room for errors.
Hiring inexperienced testers
The biggest brick wall that most companies run into (especially with hiring remotely) is the recruitment of skilled testers. Experienced software testers are essential to make your crowd testing efforts successful, so you simply cannot afford to go wrong there.
Managed testing providers recruit crowd testers from multiple countries so that the tests could be executed across various devices. This can help strengthen the testing capability of the different versions of the application under test.
Testers are selected keeping in mind the client’s demographic requirements and testing needs including, accessibility to specific mobile device types and the ability to test and support all the required browsers.
In a Nutshell
The many benefits of crowd testing, such as extensive test coverage, unbiased reviews and cost control, can lure many organizations into adopting it for their quality assurance process.
However, with the challenges it poses in the long run, they find it hard to keep up with it, and as a result, the overall productivity and efficiency decrease.
The smart solution, of course, is to outsource your crowd testing to a reputed quality assurance organization known for its experience and expertise.
At Qualitest, we test with a private crowd of real-world users covering every device, browser, OS version or carrier in any region and language. Get in touch with our experts for your managed crowd testing needs.