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In many cases, not all of the test effort is carried out by a single test team, composed of fellow organisation employees of the rest of the project team, at a single and same location as the rest of the project team. If the test effort occurs at multiple locations, that test effort may be called distributed.
If testing occurs at a single location it may be called centralised. If the test effort is carried out at one or more locations by people who are not fellow employees of the rest of the project team and who are not co-located with the project team, that test effort may be called outsourced.
If the test effort is carried out by people who are co-located with the project team but who are not fellow employees, that test effort may be called insourced.
When working in a project in which some of the test team is spread across multiple locations or even across multiple companies, members of the test team must pay special attention to effective communication and information transfer.
Some organisations work on a '24 hour testing' model in which the team in one time zone is expected to hand off the work to the team in another time zone to allow testing to continue around the clock. This requires special planning on the part of certain members of the test team who will hand off and receive the ongoing work.
Good planning is important to understand responsibilities, but it is vital to ensure that the proper information is available and in a timely manner.
When verbal communication is not available, written communication must suffice. This could mean that email, status reports and effective use of the test management and defect tracking tools must be employed. Test management tools can allow tests to be assigned to individuals, they can also work as a scheduling tool and an easy way to transfer work between people. Depending on the management tool, defects that are accurately recorded may also be routed to co-workers for follow-up as needed. Effective use of these communication systems is vital for an organisation that cannot rely on daily personal interaction.
If you are interested in finding out more about this type of service, contact us and one of our consultants will be in touch as soon as possible.