There are a lot of companies that are working to create a test center of excellence. I have done some research and found several white papers on creating a TCOE.
There are several elements needed when creating a TCOE. Here are some of the most common
- It is extremely important that you create a QA roadmap. The QA roadmap helps to develop a high level plan on where you want to go. Once you have that figured out, you can share that information with your peers and the QA organization. The roadmap will be a living document, and will change as your Testing Center of Excellence matures. It is hard to know where you want to go, if you haven’t though about it, and your team will wander and get lost.
- Flexible QA organizational structure where resources are shared across projects. Gone are the days where testers work only on specific projects from start to end. For example, you can leverage your test automation team to work on many different applications based upon the demand to created automated scripts.
- Standard processes and communication strategy. It is certainly possible to have different software development methodologies such as waterfall and agile however, it is important that the same waterfall processes are used across all waterfall projects.
- Practice continuous process improvement. It will be necessary to change processes over time and determine what changes will help the organization move forward.
- Keep track of business goals and budgets. Make sure you are tracking your estimates to your actuals and stay within a 5-10% variance.
- Governance and reporting. Have a process established to manage how testing operates. It is critical to determine which metrics you need to track and report on those on a regular basis. It would be ideal if you had an online portal in place that would track all metrics.
One of the most important items to remember is: it needs to be tailored to your company.
I am currently working to create a TCOE at my current company. Check back for frequent updates on this post as I will be updating it as I find more information.