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Organizing a Software QA department

By Prefbid II ·
I've got a tough one. I've been asked to look at the way the company does QA testing with the thought of trying something better. The issues are that we allow too many "simple" errors out the door, we take too long to complete a test cycle, and we don't effectively use the automated test tools that we purchased. We aren't horrible at it, but I would agree that we are not the most effective group and it should be possible to do better.

So -- I'm looking for suggestions, starting at the highest level.

What is the best organizational structure for a QA group? Should QA be it's own department that reports to the CIO or should each development department have its own QA group? If the latter, how do you suggest coordinating between groups?

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Organizing a Software QA Department

by rhoverton In reply to Organizing a Software QA ...

If you do not create a seperate dept. then it's like putting the fox in the hen house.

You have to keep the QA team independent, with their own goals & expectation or otherwise you cannot ensure compliance.

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No you don't

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Organizing a Software QA ...

If the product isn't compliant, everybody has failed.

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Picking Best out is hard

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Organizing a Software QA ...

At our place we have a qa team for each major product suite managed by the same person who manages the development team. This fosters some 'we are all in this together' and allows the build up of a fund of knowledge on both the product range and on how developments impact it.

Key for us is ownership. Analyst , tester and dev own different tasks in the same job.

There is no handover of responsibility, it starts as ours (including the analyst) and finishes as ours. No finger pointing, if a bug gets past my tester it's our fault. If a mis-specification gets past any of us it's our fault.

Sounds like you are in development create bugs qa finds them, dev fixes them scenario. I've never seen that one work well.

I call it throwing over the partition.
Every body is under pressure, the developer will not test because they've got to write something else, QA will test what they think has changed, or do full regression in which case it could have been potentially one of many changes.
Lot's of rework , toing and froing and you end up with and adversarial set up.

One place I worked at QA had a target number of bugs to find,, more than a few were not bugs at all, and when they met the target....

Product went out and we missed the fact that you could delete critical files by right clicking in the standard open/save dialogues, but we did spot.
If you put first name in last name and last name in first name the full name comes out backwards on the report!

nuff said eh.

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