Free trial

So, what’s independent testing? (contd.)

We argued in a previous article that independent testing is about the way testers act and the quality of information that they provide, rather than about the way they are organized or governed. Organization and governence still tend to have a crucial impact on independence. That’s perhaps the reason, why some of defined standards approach testing independence from the point of view of the organization ([1], [2]). I prefer to talk about organizationally or governence-wise separate testing rather than independent testing in this context. Here is why.

For a practical implementation of an organizationally separate testing team, imagine an in-house system testing team that’s part of a cross-functional organization, where the test team has its dedicated management chain (separate from the management chains of other teams) and that eventually reports to the product/business owner. Priorities of the testing team are likely to be driven by product/business priorities and their reports have a better chance to articulate the actual status of quality with regards to business needs. For a case, where testing is organizationally embedded in another function (not separate) imagine an external vendor delivering a complete software solution (including software integration and testing) to a customer, where the vendor’s drive to meet timelines and budgets is likely to disallow or delay fixing bugs that the customer may prefer to have known and fixed early. Hence, for product quality attributes for which you prefer to have an independent view, you may prefer to have an organizationally separate testing team.

Having said that, organizational dynamics can work in a way that organizationally embedded teams become functionally independent and vice versa. There are examples of testing organizations that are able to work fairly independently even from within a larger development organization. Therefore, I don’t find it fortunate, when independent testing is described purely by means of organization and governance.

organizational-dependence2

And one more thing. Sources available on the web often use terms independent software testing and outsourcing within one context, so they sound like inseparable or even interchangeable concepts. No matter if it is for well funded marketing reasons, lack of sense or just no need for distinguishing the two, it is somewhat confusing at times. Outsourcing is a way to resource a business function (on various levels of independence), rather than its 1-1 representatation. Just like an internal testing organization can be influenced by internal interests, a team provided externally can be influenced by external business interests. See [3] for a critical view on outsourcing testing services.


References:

[1] IEEE Standard Glossary to Software Engineering Terms (see independent verification and validation)

[2] ISTQB Advanced Level Syllabus (see chapter 10.4. Fitting Testing Within and Organization)

[3] Cem Kaner: Testing Computer Software (see the chapter about Independent Testing Agencies)

independent engineering independent testing qa system testing testing

Leave a Reply

Related articles

JSON

Let’s make LLMs generate JSON!

In this article, we are going to talk about three tools that can, at least in theory, force any local LLM to produce structured output: LM Format Enforcer, Outlines, and Guidance. After a short description of each tool, we will evaluate their performance on a few test cases ranging from book recommendations to extracting information from HTML. And the best for the end, we will show you how forcing LLMs to produce a structured output can be used to solve a very common problem in many businesses: extracting structured records from free-form text.

Notiondipity: What I learned about browser extension development

Me and many of my colleagues at profiq use Notion for note-taking and work organization. Our workspaces contain a lot of knowledge about our work, plans, or the articles or books we read. At some point, a thought came to my mind: couldn’t we use all this knowledge to come up with project ideas suited to our skills and interests?

From ChatGPT to Smart Agents: The Next Frontier in App Integration

It has been over a year since OpenAI introduced ChatGPT and brought the power of AI and large language models (LLMs) to the average consumer. But we could argue that introducing APIs for seamlessly integrating large language models into apps developed by companies and independent hackers all over the world can be the true game changer in the long term. Developers are having heated discussions about how we can utilize this technology to develop truly useful apps that provide real value instead of just copying what OpenAI does. We want to contribute to this discussion by showing you how we think about developing autonomous agents at profiq. But first a bit of background.

Tags