As we mentioned in our first blog, a Software Testing Centre of Excellence can mean different things to different organizations. Over the past year, NVP Software Solutions has talked to a number of Testing Centres of Excellence only to have found that one year later these Centres are now irrelevant or cease to exist. Because the Software Testing Centre of Excellence can mean so many different things, we have been defining the various types we have come across. Last week we talked about the Research Group in Software Testing Centre of Excellence – Part 2. This week we want to focus on:

A group that supplies support to testing endeavours. This type of group does not do testing; they supply expertise or a repository of information that supports other groups in their testing efforts. Sometimes they also have templates and guidelines that support the required documentation.

The endeavours of this group can range drastically depending on the mandate. Sometimes the manager of this group will seek to expand what the group does until they are taking a very active role in many projects. Other managers will simply hold back to a minimum and fulfil a limited mandate. Some possibilities for this group include the following:

  1. Create a repository of templates for use in all testing projects in the organization. This can be very well organized on a wiki or internal site. This process allows the user to identify what they need, download templates, fill them out and use the results. There is a level of effort required to set up and maintain this, but pays back for each project. After the initial set-up the group focuses on explaining and educating their stakeholders while providing updates for the project(s).
  2. Seconding personnel is assigned to the project and supports the testing effort. This person would know what templates were available and would be able to consult on best practices for each project. The TCoE would supply expertise as required on a project-by-project basis.

This group is a little more focused on delivery (which some people consider critical for a Centre of Excellence) but not directly. Discussion of that point will come in our next blog.