- requirements can change vastly from what was originally requested (in the case of the CSA, the supplier alleged that the customer had ordered 2000 changes from the original requirements). Constant changes to the system can have repercussions on the testing programme, so all changes have to be monitored carefully and appropriate testing procedures amended in accordance.
- Testing and quality assurance in the contract: one of the key findings in the research that was conducted showed that all outsourcing professionals believe that outsourcing contracts should detail testing at each stage of the lifecycle linked to formal acceptance criteria. This will ensure that testing practices are conducted at regular intervals and adhered to throughout the course of the contract. If applied to the CSA scenario it would have verified the continued alignment between the CSA business processes and the IT system being developed.
Outsourcing is now very much a board level issue. As it is so contentious and can provide an organisation with so many benefits it has become a regular fixture on boardroom agendas from an operational and a strategic perspective. As the success of outsourcing can hang on the thread of the robustness of testing procedures, this should be reason enough to propel testing onto the same agenda. Testing failures can result in reputation damage, lost customers, organisational disruption, not to mention the huge cost. As every organisation is urged to get their houses in order before embarking on outsourcing, testing is another area, which should be urgently addressed.