Test capability elements

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An effective test capability is actually an internal business unit. It is not just people doing tests. It needs the myriad of supporting activities and disciplines that underpin any business unit.

Bases to cover

To establish an effective sustainable test delivery capability you need to address many diverse things, these include:

  • Test model - The whats and whens and whos of testing and its interplay with delivery.
  • Test capability operating model - How the test organisation is configured and its primary and supporting business processes.
  • Finance - How finances will operate, budgeting, recovery and financial reporting.
  • Staffing - Defining the skill and experience mix, getting great people for key roles, sourcing the wider team.
  • Training - Aligning the way people work to consistently apply the operating model and underlying practices.
  • Knowledge Development - Establishing the collective and individual bodies of knowledge around the things being delivered and the ways they are to be tested.
  • Support Services Engagements - Negotiating and implementing service agreements with other parts of the organisation and outside suppliers.
  • Environments - Provisioning the environments and their content. Creating the management and support wrap needed to make them effective test environments.
  • Support Tooling - Putting in place the tools that will support the creation and use of test assets and the management of test activities.
  • Status Reporting - Setting up a framework for progress and status reporting of test work.
  • Outcome Analysis - Analysis and reporting of outcomes, ultimately did work achieve what was intended.
  • Tracking Reports - Reports to track delivery internally.
  • Performance Analysis - Reporting to track the cost and effectiveness of activities.
  • Delivery Tools - Selection and deployment of tooling to support the execution of tests.
  • Test Asset Management - High quality tests assets are valuable assets, effective management is required to preserve them and realise their value.
  • Test Analysis - Practices to select the right things to test and to specify the right tests.
  • Governance - How the overall operation will be governed to hold it together.
  • Sustain & Improvement - Mechanisms and activities that ensure performance and effectiveness are sustained and improved.