Bringing in software testers on a temporary basis is a strategy that companies sometimes use to handle surges in project needs. This can be done on an individual basis or by contracting with a testing services company.

However, the challenge of integrating temporary testers into your team can be great. It brings downside potential for a loss of efficiency, miscommunication, and issues with quality. How can you prevent these types of issues from occurring so that your temporary testers make a solid contribution to the project?

We suggest these three ways to build effective software testing teams that include temporary testers:

  1. Use globally-accepted testing terms. Have you ever started a job and been confused for several days (or even weeks) as you tried to decipher the new acronyms and “inside” language? This is why your current employees should standardize their terminology to that used in the ISTQB glossary of software testing terms. Additionally, require that your temporary testers have ISTQB Foundation Level Certification at a minimum as proof that they know this terminology. (Here is easy-to-use sample RFP language to require ISTQB certification if you are contracting for outside testing services.)
  2. Use globally-accepted software testing principles. Even if you use the same terms, be sure that you are also on the same page when it comes to testing approaches, testing techniques, and so forth. This will avoid confusion and allow for easier collaboration. ISTQB Foundation Level Certification noted above is the gold standard starting point, and ISTQB Agile Testing Certification is a must for many companies, but higher levels such as ISTQB Test Analyst Certification are essential depending on your team. As noted above, require these certifications through your postings or RFP.
  3. Check in with the temporary testers frequently. Have you ever been scared to ask a question because it might make you look less smart? Be proactive in reaching out to your temporary testers and asking them questions, then asking them if they have questions in return.

If you utilize temporary testers or outside testing services, it is important that you ensure their communication and testing principles mesh well with your current team to ensure efficiency and quality. Requiring that the testers have passed ASTQB’s official American English ISTQB certification exam can be a helpful way to make that happen. This will also make for a smoother transition in the future if you are fortunate enough to be able to add these testers as full-time employees.