S12-905: Crowdsourcing Testing – Fostering Innovation through Collective Intelligence

Track: Mobile Testing

For years enterprises have been outsourcing their projects to third-parties in the wake of reducing their costs, focusing on their core business, speed time to market, and gaining access to a large talented pool from outside the entity. And now organizations are taking it to another level through fostering innovation by tapping in to the collective intelligence of the crowd – referred to as crowdsourcing.

Forrester defines crowdsourcing for innovation as the management practice of sourcing new ideas — publicly, over the web, and from well-defined stakeholders such as customers and partners — to drive business value for the enterprise. In crowdsourcing, a task that is traditionally done by a set of people in an organization is being outsourced to a community through an open call. Community-based support is gaining huge traction as a means for organizations to garner insights on their products and technologies.

Crowdsourcing has spread across various industries, including design, development, testing, and R&D. Crowdsourcing testing (CT) is the powerful combination of web and cloud economics with the effectiveness and efficiency of crowdsourcing. CT is gaining a strong foothold as it offers enterprises various benefits such as, access to diverse platforms, languages, and people; insights from the real world; and instant feedback from the community. Apart from being less expensive, testing here is done by many at the same time from diversified locations.

Now the question that comes to mind is what crowdsourcing has to give to the crowd. What keeps the crowd always motivated? Two things that motivate the crowd are reputation and money. The transparency of this concept will help the participants to gain reputation through their work among the community as well as among their peers. When it comes to money, participants can expect to be paid for each bug they find in crowdsourced testing; the more bugs they find, the more they will earn and in order to earn more, participants will have to be more focused, which in turn increases the quality of the product as well.

But, many enterprises doubt the value proposition crowdsourcing brings to an organization and the ability of the crowd to bring in enough fresh ideas that solve their purpose. For crowdsourcing testing to be successful, organizations need to establish strict crowd management and direction, and aggregate the bits and pieces of information generated from the crowd to turn it out into a high-value knowledge bundle.

In addition, enterprises should also inform the crowd about the problems they would like to address; encourage collaboration between the participants; and involve an active participant from the company who will comment on the crowd’s submissions and will encourage new ideas. Thus, a well managed crowdsourcing testing strategy will help organizations to leverage the diverse power of the crowd and overcome the challenges of expensive hardware while at the same time realize huge innovation returns.

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Session Speaker:

Ralph DeckerRalph Decker – AVP, AppLabs
Ralph Decker is head of the global performance services technology practice at AppLabs, a CSC company. Ralph is an experienced IT development, testing, and deployment professional. Ralph has in-depth knowledge of test process review and building test process improvement strategies for large organizations in the public and private sectors. Ralph has expertise advising business and IT directors to define, plan, and deliver quality assurance testing across a wide range of industry sectors. Ralph is regarded by his peers as a teacher and mentor. He is a technical thought leader and an accomplished speaker. Prior to working at AppLabs, Ralph worked for KeyLabs and Corel, Novell and WordPerfect in various roles. Ralph Graduated from Brigham Young University in 1989.