Quality Assurance (QA) is an important process for businesses; to ensure market readiness for any product or service. A QA company performs the key function of ensuring that any product meets and hopefully exceeds minimum thresholds of acceptability. QA assurance checks and comprehensive software testing can also help to increase profitability, reduce waste, increase efficiency and speed up a product's time to market. It then becomes obvious that the head of QA testing has some very onerous responsibilities as someone who plans, coordinates, directs and oversees testing modalities.
The Role of a QA head
A person with a naturally inquisitive bent of mind, conscientious work ethic, and a methodical way of working may be naturally inclined towards this job description. Since the QA head is a senior position in a Software Testing Company, this position would also require certain leadership skills to keep their team productive, efficient and motivated.
While a person in this responsible position would typically focus more on processes and on formulating strategy, there would be times when a QA head has to play a more hands-on role and hence has be fully conversant with the technical aspects of testing processes. A QA company is largely dependent upon the QA lead for ensuring product quality and for reducing time to market.
Role as the Leader of a Software Testing team
The QA head is required to form and supervise teams of testers at all stages of the testing process; to ensure that the team follows SOPs and carries out detailed assessments in systematic manner, following the guidelines laid down. The head would also be required to choose appropriate software testing tools and any additional software required to ensure the best outcomes for the given project. Strong technical expertise along with effective communication skills are vital qualities for a QA head to have.
The QA head not only oversees all working of tester teams, they would also be in charge of training employees of a QA company. Employees have to be made responsible for their own quality standards and this is within the purview of the QA head. To this end, the head would try and create a culture of conscientiousness and to foster a work atmosphere that cherishes excellence. Running awareness campaigns and putting award programs in place can help to sensitise employees and create a healthy sense of competition within the organization. These are yet other ways in which a QA head can discharge their role as a leader.
Responsibilities of a QA testing head
Apart from the above, the QA head also has to be fully conversant with market requirements, local and international (if a product is to be launched overseas) regulations and documentation processes.
Product specific knowledge and insight are also crucial for a QA testing head to possess; failing which there would be serious implications for the entire quality assurance process. It is also the responsibility of a person in this position to identify, assess and manage risk that may be involved in the process of testing.
They also have to create realistic deadlines for a software testing process and ensure that those deadlines are met. At the same time, a QA head has to be flexible enough to be able to course correct as and when required, think quickly and on their feet to meet and overcome any challenges or snags that the testing team may encounter.
In addition, software testing QA head is also well served by other leadership qualities such as the ability to work under pressure and being proactive about resolving issues. While a good leader has to be assertive and confident of leading their team, they also have to be receptive to different points of view and open to new ideas that team members may have.