I would like to know what skills and qualities one must muster to project himself as a dynamic QA Manager or Lead. I often hear the management in my organization telling me that I don't come up with a road map for the team and this is something that they would like in the person leading the QA team. What exactly is a road map and how to prepare one? What other skills (or habits) need to be developed?
There are some qualities a QA Lead/manager should possess like
- Determining, negotiating and agreeing on in-house quality procedures
- Knowledge of standards and specifications
- Customer requirements
- Investigating and setting standards
- Ensuring processes
- Operating staff
- Writing management and technical reports
- Manage Client
- Analyzing training needs for the team
- Maximize profitability
- Analyzing and distributing statistical information
- Monitoring performance
- Supervising staff
Road map is a kind of simplified project plan. There are some qualities that I believe one should obtain to be successful manager:
- You should always know what you talk about. This makes people trust you.
- You should know what developers talk about. This will let you advocate your qa team deliverables more effectively
- You should see and understand all the factors which impact on your application quality
- You should always look for improvements in your and your team's work
- You should look ahead for several steps. This is what a road map will help you with.
- You should be ready for failures
- You should be ready to justify your failures (in lot of peoples' minds there is an opinion that QA is only responsible for uncaught bugs).
- You should be ready to tell the people unpleasant things (sometimes bad things to the good people)
- You should always be able to explain a complex thing in simple words
- You should always look for the balance between the scope, resources and time.
- You should build the process not to be dependent on an individual. That will reduce the project risks.
- You should look for the balance between your team member goals and project goals.
In my opinion a must-have is being able to see beyond the QA department. Quality manager is not a Quality-testing manager. Quality starts from the inception, up to customer support. A GOOD QA manager must let everyone understand that the quality of the product and the service is everyone's responsibility. Considering testing as the only responsibility of a QA manager is counterproductive. A bug-free product is only part of the solution, and sometimes is not the most important one.