Last week I provided a list of 25 mantras to help us all deal with some of the day to day frustrations we experience in our software testing worlds. It seems that this struck a chord with many more of you than I anticipated, so this week I’m going to focus on doing something about some of these frustrations. This week I’m providing 25 tips for Test Managers who want a more harmonious testing environment. As with my list last week, this was built from my own personal experiences and you may want to add to it either privately or via my Comments Section at the bottom of this Blog.
This is my list of 25 tips to help a Test Manager manage a happier Test team.
Learn the art of listening, your Testers are usually closer to the heartbeat of the project
Build smaller teams (or groups within teams), big teams lose focus more easily
Spend more time thinking, it makes the doing more effective
Anticipate issues – feel the mood of your team
Approve as many training and development requests as possible, encourage learning and diversification
Don’t reduce the severity of a bug just because you can, negotiation is always best
Speak face to face with your team every day – I call it “Management by Walking around”
Ask your Testers what is their greatest challenge each day – and then do something about it!!
Ensure everyone in the team is working for the team – heroes are dangerous
Trust (and empower) your team members – you hired them to do a job, so let them do it
Categorise meetings so that everyone knows why they are being held – there are always too many meetings
Always approve Annual Leave requests – people need holidays and project schedules always slip
Always keep ownership of the schedule, don’t allow others to dictate it
Have an open door policy – make sure you are always available to talk to any member of your team
Celebrate team achievements and don’t single out individuals – the annual review process will recognise individuals
Take responsibility for failure and share recognition of success
Build a positive culture, but don’t be in denial – shit happens…
Delegate responsibility – everyone needs to learn how to deal with it
Get each team member to score each day out of 10, it’ll help them with perspective and context (share your own score with them too)
Develop a buddy system – sharing a problem is always helpful
Make sure you can do every task your team is expected to do – empathy is always under-estimated
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you don’t have to know how to do everything
Accept that not everyone wants to speak in front of the team, embrace introverts
Do something together as a team at least once a week (even if it’s only a coffee or tea break)
Laugh as much as possible – don’t worry, be happy 🙂
Finally, a message to all you Testers who have read my tips. Please don’t be too harsh on your Test Manager, if they don’t do all of these things (or any of them), believe that they are doing their best and remember that they are only human. We should all look to improve ourselves each and every day.