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The role of QA teams

I was wondering what your opinion is concerning the proper place within an organization for a company's quality organization. There appears to be a difference in opinion as to whether the QA organization should report to the development manager or directly to the CIO.

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There is rarely an absolute answer about organization because it does vary for every business and every situation -- but there are some principles one can apply. It is important to have effective QA in every part of IT -- not just the areas the business sees!

I am a great believer in peer review; that key functions are reviewed and challenged effectively within the IT organization to ensure they meet the value, quality and cost-effectiveness goals of the organization.

If the QA team is purely focused on software development and is empowered (and targeted) to perform that function, that could be fine. If there is a business case for quality reviews elsewhere in IT, that would merit a bigger role with a different reporting line.

This was first published in December 2004

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