The Altering Role of the Test Manager

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Ten years ago, the position of a test manager was comprised of managing the testers and reporting up to your boss. A traditional day would include a number of conferences, data analysis and and HR work like performance reviews. With all of these administration obligations, the test manager would hardly spends any time really managing the team.

The Test Manager Position Has Modified

In the present day, organizations are much flatter. The traditional function of a test manager has advanced to a coach and mentor. In many cases, the role of the dedicated test manager has been eradicated altogether. The modern test manager is not spending all day in meetings and managing up. They’re doing arms-on work to drive the the project forward.

The Modern Test Manager

One of the first things that happens throughout an agile transformation is the reshaping of teams. The massive development teams are damaged up into smaller and more manageable groups of three to 7 people. Crew members will relocate so they’re sitting together. “The Three Amigos” – testers, programmers, and product managers multi function space and reporting to one person. Within this new construction, the test manager typically is not noted because small, high performing teams don’t want specialized management.

So, what ought to the test manager do? Go back right into a testing function? Discover a new function in the firm outside of testing? Move on to a special group that also has a need for test managers? Listed below are some options to consider.

Options for the Fashionable Test Manager

A facilitator or servant-leader is a scrum master with teeth. Instead of being separated from the staff by an office door, this person is embedded with the workforce and has a clear unobstructed view of the great, bad and ugly. If a crew is struggling to develop and test a new characteristic, the facilitator will feel the pain and assist the staff discover the solution or have the team move on to the subsequent thing.

The Non-Technical Contributor

For test managers who usually are not highly technical, the concept of moving to a production programmer position wouldn’t be, very exciting. For these people, there are roles like product manager that might be a better fit. In many ways, a test manager is just like a product manager. Both roles require people who are able to ask the probing questions, think about potential problems and discover methods to solve them. The most effective test managers have sturdy essential thinking skills that translate very well to product management roles.

The Coach

The Coach stays closer to the product and development work than the facilitator or non-technical contributor. A test manager switching to a coaching function ought to have strong technical skills.

The objective with agile is to have testers embedded in a development team. As the developer is writing the code, the tester is actively testing that feature. Think of this like building an airplane while it’s flying through the air. Some testers shy away from the technical nature of this work because it requires you to touch the code. The Coach helps guide people to testing the precise degree on the the appropriate time, as well as developing the skills to make that happen.

A coach and tester collectively can help design better unit tests, start fleshing out BDD scenarios, build new checks towards an API and far more. The position of the coach helps close essential talent gaps, and over time may help an agile staff move faster.

As more and more companies are transitioning to agile, there inevitably will likely be a reduction within the number of test managers needed. Luckily, the abilities of a test manager are highly valuable and transferrable to many other parts of the company. While the titles would possibly change, test managers can nonetheless leverage the skills and expertise they’ve spent years acquiring.

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