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 ...