Test Manager – A Hero Or A Villain?

Hero Or A Villain

Heroes are not always found in movies who are synonymous with the individuals that save beautiful girls from being trapped into a fire or drowning in water or preventing them from evil spirits, in fact, heroes are everywhere, you can also become one. On the other hand, villains are not always the people who steal away the heroine from heroes. This might be a case of a love story. But here, we are talking about real-world heroes and villains who save organizations from experiencing disasters or failures or become a source of the great depression for businesses. In a highly competitive business world, organizations have to come up with an “X” factor in their products and internal team coordination to better serve their users and stand out among the market. That is the reason employees of an organization are considered to be its most powerful assets.  

A test manager has the power to make or break software because he/she is responsible for leading a team of quality assurance professionals to evaluate the products before they go-live with them. When it comes to the development of highly complicated software products and applications, an effective and efficient team with a powerful and strong leader is a mandate for organizations. Testing is considered to be the most important part of the development life-cycle of a software product. So, a good test manager that must be able to put in its heroic efforts is essential as well. 

A test manager can either serve as a hero or a villain. There’s no option in between so the better one is to become a hero and to get the management, staff, and user appreciation. But how can a test manager become a hero who can save an organization from troubles as if it’s his heroine in danger? 

Let’s discuss the traits of a test manager as a hero;

Must have a shift-left mentality 

The idea behind the “shift left” mentality is to involve the role of testers from the beginning of the process, usually in the initial planning phase of new features. The very first mistake a test manager can make is to assume that they will start working on evaluating a product after it is manufactured. Instead, testers are responsible for their roles in product planning and preparation. Depending on your technical background, planning a meeting may seem scary or irrelevant to your work. When you first transitioned to the quality assurance system, it was easy to succumb to the “impersonator syndrome” and felt out of place and not qualified to contribute. But this is where you need to start being a team hero.

When planning a meeting, please speak up! ask questions! Do not leave the room until you fully understand what is being discussed. The job of a quality inspection expert is to help find flaws, weaknesses, and complexities that others may not recognize. For a successful product, you are as responsible as the developer.

Use and encourage team members to use tools – Tools are a great source of simplifying and making challenging procedures easy. Testing is a critical process as it adds up the responsibilities of testers to hunt maximum defects and issues in the system or software under development. But inspecting or hunting vulnerabilities and errors manually can be long hours of a process while consuming heavy energies of the quality assurance team members. That’s the point where test managers can show up as a hero to lighten up the burden of their subordinates via asking and empowering them to use special issue tracking tools, test management tools, and bug management tools to get rid of their time wastage while enabling them to invest their precious time in more valuable tasks or projects. Software testing tools not just assist testers and test managers instead they serve to be a great friend as internal communications between teams become better and hence improvisations in efficiency for delivering the best quality software product. 

“A leader is always the one who considers himself a part of a team instead of just being a Boss”

Sometimes the team leads behave like they are the masters of their staff members and the rest are their servants. Giving orders, having harshness and rudeness in tones is quite common. But if you want to be more inclusive, bridge the gap between your development team and other customer-facing roles. As a test manager keep in mind that your responsibility is to provide “quality assurance”, which means that your job requires you to understand the areas of the product that will cause friction with customers. Seek better and in-depth knowledge so that you can share or pass it on to your team and prepare to evaluate software products and applications from the perspective of your targeted users. 

By exposing expectations upfront, you can also be more of a part of the team. If there lies a conflict between you and your team expectations, it may be difficult to feel like you belong. Communicate to your team what quality assurance management expects of you and your other responsibilities within the company. Your work may involve tasks and meetings completed with the Scrum team. Discussing these responsibilities from the beginning will help you and your team better respect each other’s time so that you and your team can schedule time more effectively.

A leader is always concerned about the achievement of a goal while not hurting anyone in its team. That’s the reason-giving respect to staff, behaving like friends, and working like one team allows test managers to be more popular and favorite among the team members. With this attitude of leaders, subordinates are more likely to not break the trust of their leader regarding the achievement of the shared goal. 

Wrap up 

You can easily become a boss! But it takes years of hard work to be a successful leader or a true hero (who is liked by its members in the team and organization). Achieving goals with strict supervision can make you a good boss and a good villain but not a good leader. A Test leader or a  manager is one who has a shift-left mentality and who empowers his employees to use special tools to listen to their testing burden. The test manager is one who thinks of himself as a part of a team. This “X” factor must also be present in test managers if they truly want to call themselves as great leaders or heroes instead of being a villain.