From my 9 years of manual & automated (QTP) testing financial apps in the USA, my experience is that offshore manual test teams always fail when left alone, but they can succeed when they have a full-time on-site resource (lets call him a local mentor) that constantly coaches them as to the local meaning of the requirements, expectations, etc. Furthermore, to succeed, this offshore-testing-with-local-mentor effort must to be combined with an on-site tester, employed by the USA company, not the offshoring firm, to use as a benchmark for comparisons.

Now I'm with a large USA Pharmaceutical, and we're suddenly expected to cut costs by offshoring automated functional testing. We're using QTP 9.5 and the app under test (AUT-A) is a complicated scientific application that is challenging for any non-scientist to understand. There won't be scientists offshore to ask questions of, so questions will have to be answered here in the USA.

As far as I'm aware, the vendor with the IT-offshore-outsouring contract has no prior experience with placing a local mentor on our site to lead offshore test teams. Earlier, in 2007, they succeeded in developing but failed at manual testing our software (ex-AUT). Starting in 2009, they added a QTP expert who is working without a local mentor and is creating QTP eye candy (for AUT-B) that runs but doesn't test the application in the least. I have pointed this out to my colleagues, but we have to stick with this vendor.

Now they are adding a full-time on-site local mentor, probably in response to my analysis that the lack of one caused the manual testing failure in 2007 & is causing sub-par QTP work on AUT-B.

My recommendation is that I join the effort to create QTP regression for AUT-A along with the local mentor & his offshore QTP staff. Thus the offshore QTP & I will work in parallel, on the same stuff, for comparison. The local mentor will have to learn enough QTP to at least talk the talk (and he/she can help with object recognition, etc). Eventually, I hope to help them improve their work on AUT-B.

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

Do you agree that it is required to have me join this QTP effort? Or is it nice-to-have me join but not required as long as the local mentor is here to coach the offshore QTP talent?

If I participate, will it be enough if I devote 70% of my time (I won't have 100% available)?

Do you agree that the local mentor must learn enough QTP to at least talk about the QTP effort in detail?

Thanks so much in advance for any suggestions you can provide.