StarBase Blog


We wrote a short while ago about the failure of offshore performance testing – its failure to reduce costs and its failure to assure quality. It’s only fair and reasonable that we should now justify our observations and explain precisely why we believe that offshore testing has failed.

A range of factors have had an influence on the disappointing outcomes that UK organisations have experienced with offshoring. Day rate differentials between onshore and offshore have been eroded. There have been cultural issues. The offshore service providers have suffered recruitment and retention problems. There have been problems of co-ordination, communication and control that have made it next to impossible for IT managers to assure quality with confidence. Interestingly, while each of these challenges has had a part to play, none of them gets to the heart of why offshore testing has failed.

At the heart of the failure of offshore performance testing is a simple truth: it is the nature of the tasks to be undertaken that makes them inherently unsuitable for performing remotely.

Early successes in the offshoring of some simple test steps has led to the offshoring of a broad swathe of tasks, many of which are not standardised and repeatable – characteristics that were so essential to the success of early initiatives.

Successful testing involves understanding business performance needs and being able to distil them into a set of prioritised testing requirements. Testing needs to bring together the organisation’s different technical teams to coordinate the test process and resolve the range of performance-blocking issues. The results and implications need to be presented back to the business and IT stakeholders; because there are often trade-offs involved, testing needs to be able to facilitate the discussion between these stakeholders.

These processes are radically and substantially different from simple test steps that were trialled when testing was first offshored.

Our latest White Paper, “Better Onshore than Unsure” provides a detailed insight into why offshore testing has failed and what you should do about it and it is available for download <<here>>


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