As most IT organizations expand, one of the things they will decide on is whether to form a centralized QA organization. A centralized QA organization is one of the elements of creating a test center of excellence. Chances are that the developers are doing their own testing or they have 1-2 people doing testing who are a part of the development organization. However, when push comes to shove, QA will lose out to move development.
It is important that a QA organization is started because it allows an independant view of quality. There should be someone who is representing the users of the system who has the authority to demand more quality. This will only help the development of the code to be higher quality.
Starting a QA organization takes a lot of work and it is important that the person starting the organization has lots of experience with testing and if possible, experience testing at multiple companies. It also helps if the person has experience at a smaller company where people have to wear many hats and resources are at a premium. This will help the QA organization to function efficiently with the resources it has and allow it to expand as it evolves.
Starting a QA organization is a unique opportunity that does not come around everyday. I have recently moved and started working at a company where they are looking for me to stand up the QA organzation. It will be a challenge, but it is one that I am really looking forward to. The first order of business will be to establish a QA organizational structure and a create a QA roadmap. I have worked in several QA organzations in both small and big QA teams. I have seen what works well, and what doesn’t. As time evolves, I will be sharing the journey of starting a QA organization. Check back for frequent updates as I take this challenging role.