Software Testing Governance

13 Jan. 2011 Software Testing & QA

Software Testing is advancing in a globalized environment with new innovations and technology process. More and more organizations are realizing the need of improvements in the current software testing practices and building strategies into their business to boost innovation in software development and testing through independent vendors and partnerships. Organizations that offers software testing services perceive the benefits of governance as a way of transforming business practice for the overall benefit of the company.

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According to Wikipedia definition, “Governance” relates to uniform management, cohesive policies, strategic direction, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility.

In corporate Governance, it establishes the ownership and responsibilities for the identified business goals leading to provide strategic directions, to ascertain risk management, to assure the achievement of the business objectives and to verify that resources are efficiently used. It holds team members accountable for overall results.

Software Testing Governance is a test discipline for software systems delivery which governs the test management process by the means of applying suitable test strategy, test process improvements, test optimizations and test performance from the project level to “Test Organization” level to measure and improve the quality of deliverables. It aligns business goals to ensure that information is available during decision making of the management. The aim of the Software Testing Governance is to provide the transparency of software system measurement and performance assessment to enable the further improvements. Software Testing Governance operates through a set of well defined test organization strategies, strict test management policies, principles and test tools to control and assess the quality and progress of the software system.

Testing Governance implementation needs significant management of people, process and technology with transparent communication and information.

Software Testing Governance framework consists of the following six components as per TMMi v3 framework,

  1. Test GoalIdentify Test Goals
  2. Test StrategyDeploy the right Test Strategy
  3. Test ManagementEffectively manage the entire Test Operation and Execution
  4. Test MeasurementMeasure the incidents associated with the Test Operation
  5. Test EvaluationEvaluate the risks and incidents reports for the root cause analysis
  6. Test ImprovementSuggest for the prospective Test Improvements to minimize further risks

Software Testing Governance framework when applied on the project, provides a crystallized evidence to roll out the product into market with full confidence. For the project, the Software Test Governance framework bridges the gap between requirements control, technical issues and business risks. It emphasizes that the system should comply with the regulatory compliance of the software practice areas and the governing team understands the client’s business domain to get the insight into the workflow process and the operational model.

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  • Munira

    Its a very nice artice written.
    Just came to know about this very new concept in Software testing.
    Would love to read more, regarding this topic.

  • So how do we MEASURE the value-add/success of an IT Testing Governance Process in terms of Key Performance Indicators?

    • Ajit

      Hi Cheri, thanks for pointing that out. On behalf of M. Jha, please see the response as below:

      A rule of thumb to ensure that test governance is adding value – objective testing information is available when it is needed to support management decisions. For example, risk-based techniques allow product managers to decide how long testing should take. However the KPIs for each organization would be different as governance policy would be addressing different concerns for each organization.

      Hope it helps solve your query. Do let us know if any doubt still exists.
      Thanks once again.

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