Q

Should the quality assurance team report to the CIO?

Principles to follow for your QA team

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.
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 last published in December 2004

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An interesting question! Our QA report to the manager of the team that they work on (these managers are typically dev managers). 

We are so management heavy, even if we had our own QA department, the group wouldn't report directly to the CIO, as we have so many layers of management. 

Above the team manager is a service line manager. Above that, is the VP of IT. Above that is the SVP of IT. Above that, you finally reach the CIO. It's a little ridiculous.

I would prefer to have QA be an individual group with a QA manager. We have a difficult time having our voices heard, and it would be wonderful to have someone in QA management who could advocate for QA interests across the organization.
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