Arc provides a full in-house software testing service from our London office for the applications that we develop and for other systems that clients would like our independent experts to test on their behalf. Arc offers manual testing and automated testing, and a blend of the two different types too.
There is no standard testing service offer from Arc as we tailor ourselves to every project, but two common types of model happen fairly often; firstly some clients ask Arc to restrict ourselves to unit test our deliverables before handing them over to their in-house testers (so we act purely in management and planning role), whilst other clients commission Arc to be their testers to do everything from planning test scripts through to full software testing. Sometimes there is a mix and match of both these services too.
In the first example we still design an internal test management plan for our own quality assurance, but we focus on liaising with those in-house testers to enable them to do their work. When a client asks Arc to take on the testing then we do everything from designing a management plan, writing the test scripts before running them, create audit artefacts and produce tickets for the developers. Testing is an entire website really.
Arc appoints a dedicated test manager to every development project we undertake and they design a comprehensive test plan. There is a particular emphasis on the planning and audit trail so that it becomes possible to compare different release phases, which is particularly useful when you want assurance that a new release has not changed previously signed-off functionality. Arc's tester works with the developers from the very start of a project all the way through to go-live so that the same person builds up a really deep knowledge of the system.
Arc can also provides automated testing and the software we use is fantastic because it allows non-IT people to run scripts themselves so that you can run them without us and without technical assistance, thus saving budget. Automated testing is is ideal for going back to test functionality signed off in previous releases and to throw hundreds of different permutations at a system that could not possibly be done manually in good time. It should be noted that automated testing is not a panacea for everything and Arc's test manager will design a plan that uses it wisely and effectively.