Getting ROI from your freelance software tester

Development houses have a right to expect a lot from a freelance tester. Firstly, without the endless budget of some larger companies, they can ill afford time and money caused by improper scoping and testing.

Secondly, they have recognised the advantage of having an independent review of the product and that in its own right deserves to be appreciated.

In order to get the best return on investment from their tester, communication of priorities and expectations must be passed onto the tester. With knowledge, testers can focus their effort on what developer priorities instead of what they suspect is their priorities.

I've created a short questionnaire to clarify to developers what a tester needs. It contains some of these areas:

1) What do you as a developer value most? Consistency, Quality, Breadth of testing, 2) What specifically do you want tested in web testing? 3) What technology are you using? 4) What testing has already been performed? 5) Do you have any specs of any sort? 6) Is this new software, or updated software 7) What sort of feedback do you want? Defect reports, results?

Note: These questions have been created with web testing in mind, but can be changed for any type of testing

Here's an example of what I use

Customer survey (pdf reader required)

Having this information upfront helps everyone because: 1) There is an agreed understanding of the scope of testing 2) Quotes can be validated through the questionnaire 3) More upfront information maximises your return on investment allowing focus on customer driven testing 4) It provides an insight into the software testing process

The above information is used to create tests in a spreadsheet which I use to track defects and results.

See example:Software Testing Template(pdf reader required)

With this document you have the benefit of evidence of testing which can be useful for contractual purposes. It also assists in future upgrades, streamlining the next round of testing.

Like what your read? Please feel free to use the ideas I have here. Do us a favour though, leave a comment, or digg the post. Thanks !!