Chapter 10. Involving Other Players: Distributing a Test Project

Throughout this book, I've mentioned that various people and organizations in a company in addition to the test group have test-related responsibilities. Similarly, occasions arise when it makes sense to involve people and teams outside the company to help with particular test challenges. Assembling a distributed testing effort involves creating a hybrid project-matrix/skills-matrix test organization, consisting of the test team, other contributors within the company, and people who work in other companies. Distributed testing comes in four basic flavors:

  • Your vendors (those companies that provide components that will be integrated into your systems)

  • Independent test organizations (especially for capital-intensive endeavors such as hardware and compatibility testing, or for test design, execution, tool, or management expertise)[]

    [] In the interests of full disclosure, note that my consultancy, Rex Black Consulting Services, Inc., is a third-party test organization. See www.rexblackconsulting.com for more details on our services.

  • Your sales or marketing offices (especially foreign offices for localization testing)

  • Your business analysts, help desk or technical support, target customers or users (for alpha, beta, pilot, and acceptance testing)

Distributed test endeavors are also referred to as "virtual test teams."[]

[] For example, see Eric Patel's paper, "Getting the Most from Outsourcing," first published in Software ...

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