F12 – 601: Building a Successful Test Center of Excellence (Part 2)

Track: Strategic Business Alignment

In 2008, Lowe’s initiated a Quality Assurance group dedicated to independent testing for IT. This was Lowe’s first time separating development and testing efforts for the 62-year-old company. Mike Lyles was privileged to be part of this inaugural effort.

The purpose of this two part session is to review a high level study of the building of a Test Center of Excellence within a mature IT organization that will be informative for companies of various sizes and growth related to Quality Assurance maturity.

This session will be a 2-part session (see session 501 for Part 1 of this session):

Session – Part 2

  • The Evolution – this session will discuss the many changes that an evolving testing team typically takes, the steps toward maturity in some areas, the processes used to build an onboarding roadmap, and socializing the benefits and value of the organization to other IT and business groups.
  • What Worked – we will review what the team learned along the way and also evaluate high level processes and procedures that were effective from the beginning but evolved as the team grew over the years

In Part 2 of this session, the following areas will be of value to startup testing groups as well as existing groups that are looking for improvement opportunities:

  • Building an effective roadmap for onboarding additional groups/areas
  • Best practices for socializing the testing group with other IT teams and obtaining buy-in
  • Establishing a Quality Board to monitor, govern, and approve changes to the processes and testing methodologies
  • Integrating other groups with testing organizations (e.g.. Environments, Test Data, Release Management)
  • Spotlighting the need for relevance – growing the testing organization with emerging technologies

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Session Speaker:

Mike LylesMike Lyles – QA Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Mike Lyles is a QA Manager for Lowe’s Companies, Inc. A 1993 graduate from Appalachian State University, he has 19 years of IT experience, working in various roles over the years – from technical support to programmer, to Program Management Office, to Solutions Development Manager, to Testing/QA. His current role includes Test Management responsibilities for a major company domain covering Store Systems, Supply Chain, Merchandising, and Marketing.