As we mentioned in our first blog, a Software Testing Centre of Excellence can mean different things to different organizations. Because the Software Testing Centre of Excellence can mean so many different things, we have been defining the various types we have come across over the past few years. Last week we talked about a Testing Tool Support Group in Software Testing Centre of Excellence – Part 4. This week we want to focus on:

A group that supplies resources to projects as required. This group has a pool of software testers who are seconded to projects on an as needed basis and then returns to the Testing Centre of Excellence when the project winds down.

This group is a centralized resource provider within an organization. The members of this group are experts in testing and frequently have to be, or become, experts in the Line of Business of the groups they support. Depending on how testing is viewed in the organization (and we have seen both), the resources who are going to the group are either welcomed as valuable assets on the project helping to improve results or they are perceived as a nuisance causing project delays and missed deadlines.

This type of group requires a lot of coordination within the organization. Projects and resource requirements need to be determined well in advance since many projects may have similar schedules and require the testing resources all at the same time. There will also be competition for the ‘good’ resources (however good is defined) and people may avoid the “not-so-valuable” resources since they don’t help the project.

This group is much more focused on delivery (which some people consider critical for a Centre of Excellence) and will definitely be involved in project successes and failures. Our last discussion (next week) will be on the centralized testing group.