Testers are part of
- a Project Team
- a dedicated Testing or QA department
- a Project Support Team/Department
Testers may be integrated into a project team or be part of a testing department, depending whether your organization is project- and team-based or a departmental one. A third option is to organize the testers as a support group: offering testing services and testing support to several project teams or departments. Each of the three options has it's pros and cons: project teams are fast and flexible and ensure effective communication between all people involved, departments allow a continuous long-term optimization of your practices and processes (for example in case there are many versions of a product). A testing support group will be best suited if sophisticated tools and complex hardware and software configurations are required by several other projects (for example it may be a group specialized on test automation). A testing support group may be outsourced, if you decide not to keep the Know-How and hard- and software environment in your company.