Centralized Software Testing

A common question that arises amongst testing professionals is around the ideal way to organize test teams - should organizations have centralized test groups or de-centralized test groups ? In this and the next set of posts, let us look briefly at each of these types of test group organization as well as some of their benefits and drawbacks.

Today's post will look at "Centralized test groups" and their benefits.

Centralized test groups comprise a pool of resources that are shared across applications and projects. Each tester may work on one or more projects at a time. While developing a centralized testing group, it is important to assemble testers with a diverse set of technical and other skills. Testers may get assigned to projects on a part-time or full-time basis depending on the project requirements. As the need for testers increase, more specialized testers may get assigned to support the project. Centralized test groups have a defined test leadership hierarchy in place.

Advantages
  • Process consistency - deployment of standard testing methodology & processes helps improve quality and efficiency of testing
  • Benefits from economies of scale and centralized spending
  • Hardware and software licensing consolidation helps reduce costs
  • Centralized groups can more easily & consistently implement practices such as CMM, continuous improvement and common metrics
  • Allows better focus and specialization in test processes and tools
  • Affords flexibility in utilization of resources. On-demand allocation of resources to projects ensuring better resource utilization
  • Better sharing & leveraging of best practices
  • Better career paths for testers to build a “career” in testing. More opportunities for testers to gain expertise and skills on a wide range of applications, tools and techniques
  • Testers have more opportunities for specialization
  • Testers have better mentoring opportunities from more senior testers in the centralized organization
  • Better objectivity in testing. Since testers do not report into a development organization or project managers, they remain insulated from any outside pressures or influence. Testing can better position itself as a peer to development in the organization's reporting hierarchy