A QA leader is like a co-captain of the ship. He shares the same equal responsibilities to get software out to the end-users with high quality, on-time and matching the expectations.
A Qa lead has multiple roles and responsibilities. All these roles and responsibilities need to be taken care of by Qa lead. To lead the quality assurance department of any industry is the functional role of QA lead. In the current world, quality is the backbone of any commercially successful product. It directly implies that the quality assurance team in any industry play a very remarkable role. Professional QA Lead Set Goals for his/her Team.
A QA leader must have several feathers in his cap and perform different roles in today’s challenging times.
How Professional QA Lead Set Goals For A QA Team?
- Set goal and distribute project tasks among the team.
- Resolving conflicts across the team.
- Review the schedules and plans.
- Mitigation of the risks.
- Checking quality in phases.
- Update management.
- Build a challenging and motivating environment.
QA Lead Duties and Responsibilities:
QA leads have different duties and responsibilities. It depends on the specific project or industry in which they work. They have some key tasks to perform on a regular basis:
Lead the QA Team:
First and foremost, QA leads are responsible to lead their team. It may involve resolving conflicts between individual team members or even between several teams. Qa leads often counsel the team and motivates them.
Define Testing Standards and Strategies:
- Define processes for test plan and individual testing phases of the testing cycle.
- Plan and schedule several milestones and tasks.
- To assure all development tasks meet quality criteria. It should be completed through test planning, test execution, quality assurance, and issue tracking.
- QA leads to work closely on the deadlines of the project.
- Ensure the team is concerned about automation along with manual testing.
- Create processes for test plan reviews. Ensure that test plans get reviewed by all stakeholders.
- Push the team continues to make them innovative.
- Test strategies should be reviewed by QA lead. Different kinds of testing like unit, functional, performance, stress, acceptance, etc. should be covered.
There is always a certain level of risk in releasing a new product or service. The QA lead identifies risk and creates plans to lessen it. Qa leads do regular meetings to find out new risks as testing phases are accomplished and make new mitigation plans on the fly.
Qa leads are often involved in every side of product development. They are always looking for new ways to improve the company’s current processes to make them more serviceable. QA leads communicate their new ideas to the team members involved in the project.
Report to Upper Management:
Qa leaders communicate with upper management about all phases of product development. This may include reporting about progress, plans, and problems. From the upper management, Qa leads ask for suggestions to implement them in as efficient a way as possible.
QA Lead Tools of the Trade:
QA leads have to use the bellow tools:
- Project management software (JIRA )
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Test management tools (JIRA, Redmine, Bugzilla)
Skills and Experiences of a Head of QA:
A prototypical Head of QA person should have the bellow skills –
- Be a strong leader with experience in implementing, organizing and shaping the company’s QA processes and strategies.
- Being able to manage and supervise every step of multiple projects in a timely.
- Technical and non-technical skills are necessary.
- Strong communication skills with all the key partnership members to ensure QA vision is cognized and executed correctly.
- Should take initiatives to engage consumers to experience first-hand and understand consumer needs which will be insightful in establishing quality standards within the business.
- Coordinating with engineering department leadership on release timelines of software/products and establishing minimum release qualifications.
- Should have good knowledge of different testing tools.
- Play an analytical role in the identification and reporting of bugs, issues, and defects in the products/services.
- Maintaining testing departments or testing functions, managing large and complex activities.
- Being able to work under pressure.
- Ability to motivate a team, appreciate the good works and find out good talents.
- Self-motivations is an important skill for the head and for every member of an organization.
Some special responsibilities a QA should have –
- Should have strong communication skill and deliberation skills for buying in ideas and notions.
- Implement, maintain the processes of quality assurance and ensure consent with the initiated standards.
- Being able to communicate with every level of management.
- Keep alignment with all projects that are running on the company.
- Supervising work and tasks.
- Proactive, strong-willed, quick thinker and emphatic.
- Should take responsibility and providing leadership.
- Forming and maintaining relationships.
- Must have the ability to organize the tasks according to its priority.
- Ability to handle different conflict situations effectively.
- Should have the capability to create, accomplish and quality assurance principles and sustain the quality of any product.
- Ensure that the highly motivated environment is present within the team.
- Assure that Rewards are given for each achievement in the team.
Why do we need a QA Lead / Test Manager :
Here is the position of Testing in the Development process –
From the above waterfall model, software testing is one of the phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The Testing phase takes an important place. It plays an important role and a key factor in SDLC. That helps to improve the quality, reliability & performance of the software system.
Let’s have a look at the advantages of software testing in the SDLC :
- Enhance the quality, reliability & performance of the system.
- Provides good quality product in the competitive market.
We cannot contradict that, Test Management is a key role to ensure project quality. To develop an effective testing process, we need a very good QA Lead.
How to create a highly effective team?
To build an effective team, the bellow criteria should be followed–
- Strong cooperation- Co-operation is the act of working with others and supporting each other to accomplish a job.
- Effective communication – A key point to the successful performance of a team is communication. Every member of an organization should have strong communication skills. Members should speak up and should discuss their ideas clearly.
- Commitment – In a team, all members make commitments to common project objectives. They take responsibility for their work and the team’s work. Each member works with great effort and enthusiasm.
- Sharing thoughts among the team, each member has his own strong and weak points. In a good team, members are willing to share information, knowledge, and experience to improve each other.
What are the challenges Qa leads face in Test Management?
Qa Leads have to face difficulties leading a project. Here are some typical issues:
- Sometimes, they don’t have enough time to test
- Don’t have enough resources to test
- Budget for the project is very low and the schedule is too tight
- Testing teams are not always in the same place
- The requirements are very complex for checking and validating.
Some important tips For QA Team Leads:
- Listening and accepting the team’s opinion on timelines, schedules, effort estimations, and planning.
- They need to establish strong processes. Through the processes, the team can work independently with minimum or no supervision.
- Communication channels need to be open and approachable,
- Must be a team player and need to share responsibilities,
Important Tips For QA Team Members:
- Team members should not create test cases, defect reports, etc. with any confusion that if there are any problems with it. The team lead will identify and make them fix for the members. Each member is accountable for their work product and its quality. A lead’s review is customary. This is an additional checkpoint and always high level in nature.
- Team members should expect little hand-holding on a daily basis. They need to feel that, the team leader is not going to tell them what to do, every single day.
- Need to increase communication among teams about any concerns, red-flags or issues.
- If you have any confusion or questions regarding the functionality or technicalities or requirements, get in touch with the developers/BAs/other technical teams by yourself. You have to rely on the information.
A QA Lead has innumerable responsibilities. He has to make sure that there is no lack between quality release and quality discern by the end-user. In the current world, quality is the sole of competitive products. QA lead has a key role to play. Qa Lead needs to improve himself continuously. he helps the team to improve their skills and testing techniques.