As we mentioned throughout this blog series Software Testing Centre of Excellence can mean different things to different companies, groups and organizations. Because the meaning os a Software Testing Centre of Excellence is so vast, we have defined the various types we have come across in our work. Last week we talked about a Centralized Resourcing Group in Software Testing Centre of Excellence – Part 5. This week we want to focus on:

A team that actually delivers testing. This is like a centralized testing department through which all projects have to go in order to be certified ready for production.

This is not at all new. Centralized software testing departments through which all projects in the organization are funnelled have been around for years. As a matter of fact, I started my career in that type of department. This type organization can have all the benefits listed for the other types as well as some of the problems. For example, in a dedicated department, there is probably some room for research on techniques and tools. They can probably justify the best testing tools for the organization and will be able to keep them up-to-date. They will also probably make full use of the functionality rather than just a subset. They may also be able to leverage the tool and tests across several projects. Resources can also be moved and allocated according to the highest priority and their particular skill sets and strengths.

However, there can be a couple of major concerns that need to be addressed:

  1. There can be conflicting priorities as projects arrive according to a Poisson Distribution.. This can make planning difficult.
  2. As a result of number 1, project managers may decide to try and avoid the testing department with creative excuses like my project is too small or on too short a schedule.
  3. The last concern may be to justify the value which is being provided by the testing department, particularly if they are viewed as a bottleneck or lack management support.

If we can overcome those objections we are in good shape.

Next week: Software Testing for System Integrators