Your role as a QA manager

QA Managers role often in an agile environment is perplexing: How do you comprehend your role as a QA Manager, in a hard core agile environment setup, it has never been defined. QA management professionals always have a distinction of working in traditional waterfall backdrops with so much ease. Comprehending what is actually expected out of them as soon as they move into agile environment is key to every QA manager's accomplishments. Blue print is as follows

In Agile environments, quality is governed by development team managers and development testers also known as (SDETs) within the same team and not by outsiders. There reason being: the team is solely responsible for and its performance measured by the quality of the code, delivering a high quality code becomes a top most priority. Quality has become an inevitable part of team’s agenda during every team's planning, development and status meetings. Code quality endowed by quantifiable results becomes a target for the entire team. The outcome is better code.

But the flip side of agile transformation is an end to end process that takes huge amount of time and effort before quality becomes an innate trait of the whole team. Development testers and developers tend to focus on the technical aspects such as test automation and tools. They disengage themselves from functional aspects, such as the business aspects behind the code, integration, and customer engagement activities.

Your role as QA manager

Unlike software development QA is a distinctly different profession. QA professionals must possess proper technical background and keep themselves updated with the cutting edge tools, trends, technologies, and best practices —something which makes them a way out of league of developers.

Set up a level playing ground

QA managers should offer agile teams a great sense of independency and responsibility to manage themselves, the organization on the whole should work as a comprehensible unit. The QA Manager sets a few basic ground rules, such as what testing tools to be used, methodologies to be adopted, defect statuses defining methodology, build categorisation, and so on. Every QA manager, should work in tandem with the R&D managers in defining QA standards to be used, and determine how methods to be introduced to the teams, how training to be imparted to them, and how to monitor progress and quality throughout the development process. These in turn will become the standard operating procedure the R&D managers use to implement QA processes within their development teams.

Building capabilities

Each team within the organisation have their own areas of expertise. One team may work on the user interface (UI) part, while the other focuses on back-end. Different fields of development require different set of knowledge, as do manual and automated testing. Test automation may be very different, depending on whether you're working on the user interface, REST API, or CSS implementation. Your role as QA manager is to build the team effectively, with the right proportion of development testers and QA architects, as well as to define their roles and responsibilities and how those roles work together in conjunction. QA manager should also ensure that development testers are properly equipped to meet their team’s development standard.

Determine quality metrics

Before a QA Manager evaluates the quality of deliveries, he/she must establish the metrics to measure it. As QA manager, you should help the development teams ascertain quality metrics. For instance, defects classification, measure efficiency, calculate the regression ratio, causes of regression, initial quality assessment. A QA manager, takes a comprehensive look at the quality by examining the trends in metrics across all teams within the organization. This not only gives a view of the quality of the organization's code as a whole but also helps identify teams that isn’t working effectively.

There are so many reasons for a team’s sub-par performance. Which includes not following testing methodologies correctly, and initial code quality may not on par with the defined benchmark, resulting in a high number of defects. In addition to this, insufficient code coverage in automated tests will lead to regression defects. Whatever the reason, it's the role of a QA manager to identify issues, delicately narrow down into the team’s work practices, and ensure that their performance remains on-par with the rest of the organization.

Holistic approach

In most of the organisations, the development teams develop, test, and deliver user stories within their own domains, it is left to the QA architects to perform cross-functional testing to make sure that everything works well together. They test interactions between different modules in a variety of environments and configurations to ensure the system works end to end, without any integration, security, performance, or other issues. Once role as QA manager is to reflect on overall system quality. In finding problems at the system level, acting as a bridge between the development testers, QA architects, and development teams. Since he receives input from all these teams and cross-system activities, he is uniquely positioned to have a holistic approach, reflect on the overall status of application quality, and identify bottlenecks.

Assessing the ROI of test automation

Test automation is necessary to meet higher demands for shorter schedules and bug-free releases. However, it’s critical that you continue to assess each of your investments in automation tools and processes.Trends like automation, continuous testing, and DevOps continue to raise the bar. With the potential for more flexibility, speed, and complexity, Maximizing speed and quality—while minimizing cost—is both a goal and a challenge.

QA managers must understand that test automation is a toolset. As with any other tool, test automation increases productivity and process efficiency. This opens up the possibility for a series of creative solutions to all the predicaments. Most importantly, keep the following in mind: the team needs an experienced QA professional to craft an automation strategy. A good strategy depends on solid leadership ability. The leader must prioritize the implementation across the entire functional spectrum

Diligence in Resource allocation

QA Manager should be in a position to balance internal testing demands of the team. If there is a sudden surge in extra test cycles, the person who handles the development may deploy additional software testers from within the team. In an agile team, all members should have some basic level understanding and capability to run tests. In reality, however, this is next to impossible.

In those instances, the QA manager moves developers or development testers between teams to address an immediate need for extra testing. This approach is known as "swarming." This often happens during the feature freeze phase of programming, during which the team conducts intensive regression testing to stabilize the product. At that point, above all, a QA manager’s role in an agile organization should be to have a shared vision and set strategy. He should stay abreast of new developments in the QA domain, assess new tools, and learn new methods. He must implement QA processes within the group and constantly improve on those by defining activities, setting priorities, and balancing resources at group level. In this way, all teams in your group can work together to consistently produce the highest-quality code


We @ Codoid follow a pragmatic approach towards QA process and ensure that our QA deliverables invariably far-outstrip the industry set benchmark. Connect with our eminent team of QA engineers for your all your QA service needs.

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