What is an integrated test organization?
There are many different ways to organize testing. Traditionally we see the “project organization”, “line organization” and “staff organization”. The modern approach to solving information technology challenges is to have small self-contained and empowered teams. The ultimate form, known as the “whole-team approach” or “DevOps”, integrates all design, development, maintenance and operations tasks. So the distinction between project organization and line organization no longer exists. They have been blended together. The benefits of this integrated organization are enhanced communication and collaboration within the team, an elevation of the various skill sets within the team to the benefit of the project, making quality a shared responsibility. However, if your organisation has a large number of integrated teams there will be a challenge to exchange information about large assignments that span multiple teams. Most organizations will still need some form of staff organization to support the self-contained teams.
Line managers and test managers are involved in applying the appropriate organizational model. Everybody in the organization will be influenced by the organizational model that is implemented. In an integrated model, sometimes everyone involved in the organization is asked to choose actively for this specific model.
The organization of testing, as part of IT as a whole, will be described or at least made known, to all people involved. This is closely related to the Test Policy that could be available within the organization. Other forms could be:
- Organizational charts
- RACI matrices
- Career possibilities
- Role descriptions
The way the organization is shaped depends on many circumstances and choices. The dominant IT-lifecycle model is one of the important influences. Critical for the success is the involvement of the proper management layers.