The Missing Link

Project Management in the Testing Organization

The testing environment of many corporations is all too often composed of young employees thrust into the technical world fresh out of college. They are eager and completely overwhelmed with their new environment. Managers are called upon to teach these employees the ways of their company testing. The result is predictable. Managers with limited skills wind up with a work group that reflects these limitations. Even skilled managers with seasoned workers are facing significant problems. It is estimated that over eighty-five percent of all IT projects are delayed or delivered without meeting the predefined specifications by those authorizing the work. In addition, managers do not typically receive training in newer management methodologies such as project management. One organization that faced just such a dilemma was Software Engineering Services, Worldwide Revenue Capture Systems, Information Technology Division within Federal Express Services. Over a period of eighteen months, this department went from not meeting project load dates to an organization that delivered software on-time with fewer software defects. It is the purpose of this paper to provide a blueprint for other organizations looking to reengineer their testing processes based on this experience.

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