A question that normally every tester comes across at a certain point in their career is, ‘What kind of career can I pursue in the future?’. Some career paths lead to a stagnant point at which there are no further growth opportunities or advancements of skills. Similar is the case with QA testers. It is much easier for a tester to move from manual to automation testing or performance testing. Yet, considering vertical progression for managerial roles may pose some challenges. Although they foster continuous learning, allowing one to move up naturally, but heading in the right direction is important. While other testers may not be concerned with vertical progression. So, if you are a QA tester looking for career growth in a managerial role, then you may find this post interesting and worth reading.
The Transition from a QA to a Managerial Role: Is It Possible?
First of all, yes it is possible for a tester to attain a managerial role of a QA lead, QA manager or even a business analyst. Although it can be a challenging task for a senior QA to progress as a QA manager, at the same time this transition can be seamless if the senior QA has exceptional skills. The role of a QA manager is pretty much similar to monitoring workers and their processes running at a factory floor from the first floor. The skillsets are quite different from that of a senior tester. Not only is a QA manager responsible for the quality, but she also needs to manage her team efficiently.
Need to Steer in the Right Direction? Use A Test Management Tool
When talking about leadership qualities, are some people born with leadership talent while others remain awestruck by them?. We don’t know the answer to this question. But even if these exceptional leadership qualities do exist, let’s not focus on these for now. We believe leadership in the QA space is an acquirable skill and we’ll show you how to cross the chasm.
Of all the received management wisdom “what gets measured gets managed” seems to be one of the most widely used. After all, how can we ever manage something that cannot be measured?
Test Management Tool and Its Dashboard
Just like the captain of a ship has various maps, indicators, and gauges to make sure that the ship is steering in the right direction, a QA manager needs live progress and project status. She needs certain issue tracking tools that depict how well a QA team is performing, how well each QA is doing, which parts of a software application are ready to be sent into production, etc. All this information comes in the form of a Dashboard that shows metrics like test execution run rate, test case failure rate, test coverage per requirement/ module, etc. The best source to get hands-on to this kind of a dashboard is a test management tool.
Roles and Responsibilities of a QA Manager
Briefly, we can say that the roles and responsibilities of a QA manager may include:
- Planning and control
- Analysis and design
- Implementation and execution
- Evaluating exit criteria and reporting
- Test closure activities
When we assess the capabilities of a test management tool, it offers features for all the above-mentioned job roles, that help a QA to give a kickstart jump to his job role as a QA manager.
Effective Team Collaboration
Another important aspect of shifting to a managerial position is efficient team collaboration. As a manager or team lead, you need to organize and motivate each QA to work efficiently. With the help of test management and its built-in features – it becomes easier than ever before. You can automatically assign test cases, approve passed test cases, assign defects, and perform a plethora of functions to ensure that all team members are on the same page. An effective test management tool offers a wide range of features to make their job easier.
As organizations become agile and customers expect faster quality software products, a fearless QA leader should be able to make quick decisions with this assurance in mind that he can come back review any step during the progress of a testing project. This is not all, equipping with a test management tool also helps a QA manager to use it a central repository. In case, anything goes wrong, this tool can work similarly to a black-box (available in ships) to track issues effectively. It allows a QA manager to view and track project status, and view reports of all test cases located in the central repository.
As discussed above, it is definitely possible for a tester to grow his career and attain a managerial position. However, it is crucial that a QA should acquire some specific management skills to meet the challenges that are associated with being a QA manager. Not only does a manager need to work smartly, and be a master at delegation, understanding of tasks & responsibilities, overlooking the overall quality of work to be done but other aspects too. A test management tool can make a difference Test management tools not only allow managers to steer their path in the right way, mastering these tools can be a stepping stone for QA testers to pursue their career and aim for the moon.