We have isolated the full-time software testing function from development and from support. This is an unusual move in a software company our size. The software testing function is usually undertaken by the developers or by help desk people in between calls. While our developers do thoroughly test what they develop, this independent and quite powerful role is new for us.
Now that we have a dedicated full-time testing resource with authority outside of development and support, we are able to use the role as an enforcer – ensuring that standards are followed. While our testing ‘enforcer’ role leads to some tension from time to time, the result is better outcomes for the many small businesses which rely on our software.