We all know the main reason for lengthening the product release cycle. Testing process. Your customers want a perfect product that will work on any device and under any software and ensuring this takes a ton of time and nerves from your QA and developers team. Crowdsourced testing helps a lot if used wisely.
What is it all about? You pass the task of finding bugs to a huge crowd of testers instead of giving this burden to your stuff. 10000 people will undoubtedly find much more issues because to the great variety of devices used and it will take 100 times less hours than your 10 QA testers would spend.
However, to make this process efficient several simple but needed actions should be undertaken.
- Testers should be a part of target audience. If your software is developed for Android and helps monitoring the gasoline prices in the US, testing it by people with MacOS devices in Australia is useless. Aiming at the right audience and selecting the right testing group should be done simultaneously before even starting the development of your application.
- Uncovering your QA problem areas. Crowdsourced testing allows for a great variety of variables to be involved. It will surely uncover the issues your QA staff will least expect. This is a great opportunity to revise QA procedures and re-organize the work of your team to enable adequate response to similar issues in future. We do not mean firing someone, we mean a chance to learn something new and improve the skills, which is invaluable.
- Have a project coordinator. Uncontrolled crowd is nearly useless. They will simply flood your developers with doubling messages and disrupt their work. There should be one responsible person, who will take care of the data income, address the developers to the real issues, and manage the deadlines along with project completion process.
- Place some concrete goals. Or vice versa. People should know what to look for and then potential bugs will be uncovered much faster. On the other hand, allowing people to explore the software on their own may result in a fresh portion of suggestions and ideas. This allows even further refinement and improvement of your product before release, which was previously possible only in the oncoming patches. Therefore, you will be able to meet the needs and expectations of your potential customers better.
Think of the Crowdsourced testing as a great tool to improve your QA speed and efficacy, as it really is!
Anyway, outsourcing services and dedicated team particularly is always a great alternative for lots of businesses.