Academic journal article Management Review : An International Journal

Parameterizing Decision Factors on Centralization of Software Testing Organization: A Practitioner's Perspective

Academic journal article Management Review : An International Journal

Parameterizing Decision Factors on Centralization of Software Testing Organization: A Practitioner's Perspective

Article excerpt


This paper is a practitioner's view of impact of different parameters like Centralization, Offshoring, Productivity Improvement, Quality and other process improvement on Return on Investment calculation for a CTO (Centralized testing Organization). This analysis can help IT QA(Quality Assurance) management to quantify Return on Investment from different parameters of operation and decide on where to invest for optimum benefit. Return on Investment is one the critical factors that any large / small organization chooses before investing. At all the stages of the project life cycle, Return on Investment calculation is a must - that is at business requirements to design , development, testing and implementation phase. In today's world, independent testing has become very important. The organization needs to do a proper due diligence on selecting testing model, process, time to market, cost etc. For these the organization needs to understand the criteria for selecting the right model for testing which gives the maximum return on investment. This study analyses different parameters and their impact on Return on Investment. This paper does not elaborate on how to establish a CTO. Rather this is an attempt to quantify results after due consideration of various focus areas like - lower cost of operation by offshoring and centralization and savings through Productivity Improvement thru Automated Test Case Execution, savings through Process and tools standardization etc. to implement different parameters within a CTO. The findings are based on authors' experience of implementing CTOs for reputed clients and implementing that across big size portfolios. The constraints for pure development projects, product testing projects or open system projects may vary in nature. For example scope and benefit from automation may be very high for product testing projects or open system projects but not so for legacy mainframe based maintenance projects.

Keywords: Centralized Testing Organization, Return on Investment, Productivity, Off shoring


General trend in the IT industry is moving towards setting up of dedicated Testing Center for the organization, focusing on maximizing ROI(Return on Investment). Maturity of testing centres that spans from out sourcing for Staff augmentation, Project level testing support to Enterprise or LOB Testing Center of Excellence. Only 5% of the organizations have setup "Centralized Testing Organization", that provides support at enterprise or LOB(Lines of business) level (Mohapatra et al., 2012). Very few organization have achieved full potential of CTO in terms of centralized spending on infrastructure and resources while maintaining consistent objective testing scope of testing.

There are a couple of Critical Success Factors for establishing a CTO. Clarity of objectives viz. short, medium and long term goals should be clearly set up upfront. Also Senior Leadership level commitment and alignment is absolutely essential to percolate the philosophy down.

For setting up CTO another important factor is the Amount and Type of Investment which is required. Most important of it all is People - for which hiring/sourcing right set of people to build and deploy the enterprise level QA strategy is required. For Processes- Sponsorship is required to build a common framework and the consulting effort to deploy it across the enterprise. Infrastructural Investment for labs, test environment, test management and other testing tools is essential. Also necessary is the proper Governance for a Test Management Organization to run and critical funding to be decided.

There are very important Key Business Metrics for a successful Implementation of a CTO. Reduction in IT(Information Technology) support costs (due to better quality) is the primary one. Other important outcomes to be measured are Improvement in on-time delivery of projects (cycle time) and reduction in time- to-market (due to efficiencies). …

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