There has been a lingering thought with me for sometime on how would an Independent Testing Team and Independent Testing Vendor evolve in an Agile Project. It may be a good idea to also debate whether we really need Independent Testing in an Agile Team(s) or Projects or not. We will do it some other day.

Let us come back to my original thought. I have been part of large testing engagements where the testing team is working in numbers far greater than 10-20 or even 50-200.

Pseudo scenario is shown below. I have taken the liberty to use a simple excel sheet to paint the scenario..

The enterprise structure that we are talking about has an Independent Testing Vendor, Development Vendor and we have team’s from client and other groups.

Fig 1 – Independent Testing Vendor – is shown in grid below. the numbers in the grid show that we have that many billable head count or FTE count from the Testing Vendor.


Similarly let us also color code and show the development team as in two figures below.

Fig 2 – Blue color – Development Team


Fig 3 Client and other team color coded amber.


The grid numbers and number of people is just a representation for now. I dont want us to make any assumptions whether testing team and development team are similar in size etc..

Assumption that we are making here is that it is an enterprise wide oursourcing deal for a large Financial institution. we have testing being done by a testing vendor and development being done by development vendor with infra teams and client team supporting them. this is currently a non-agile project. The teams are geographically distributed across the globe.

Few questions that we need answer on.

1. Client is thinking of making this program / project go Agile – should they go ahead and start implementing Agile ?

2. What all could be possible scenarios or organization structure such that Agile/Scrum can be followed in this setup

3. Independent Testing vendor has brought in tremendous value since the time they have come on board and the quality in terms of defect leakage to the end users and to the UAT team has dropped significantly. What would be the ideal way to structure the Independent testing vendor into the new agile space ?

I would like suggestions from you and your thoughts on these questions. Also if there are probable queries etc.. let us make this interactive and evolve a solution for the title of this discussion topic.. You will also appreciate why I used simple excel sheet with color coding as this will help us evolve different organization structure/project structure.. so keep your thoughts and suggestions flowing..