How can I easily transition from a Test Engineer to a QA Manager?
What skills are needed to manage a QA team in an organisation?
Till now in y professional career, I have just worked on the actual testing part of the application.
Now, I want to move to a role of Manager of QA/Testing in a product based company.
I don't think I can provide an exhaustive list here of what skills you need though I'll list some of the things I've learned by going from tester to test lead on multiple projects.
- Communication: With your testers (keep everyone engaged, happy, involved), with the project/team (keeping everyone up to date on testing progress, needs, issues, ...) and with the project owner/manager/lead (being able to provide clear reports is an obvious thing but is always very much appreciated.)
- Structure: You should be able to set up a testing structure that is clear for your testers and actually helps them work efficiently but that is also clear for other team members or people you will be reporting to.
This also includes setting up a testing process that works for your testers but also works for you to keep an overview.
- Time/expectation management: You need to manage your testers time so as to ensure they all have things to do/test but also not to overburden them and burn anyone out.
You also need to manage the expectation of what your testing team can handle in a given timeframe (sprint for example) and be able to 'explain' this to the team lead.
- Keep an open mind and allow your testers to have some agency: Learning and improving is never a bad thing, try and avoid letting your testing project get 'stale'.
Allow your testers to try things out, check out different tools, testing methods, even ways of writing tests etc. You can then internally discuss these and possibly adopt in your testing process.
While actual knowledge in testing is still important (I usually try to jump into testing whenever possible or needed to 'connect' a bit with the testers and keep my testing skills somewhat in shape), it's more important to be available to you team and be ready to support them or chase things that they might need.
Lastly you should also be somewhat strong business-wise. You'll encounter people doubting the use of a testing team or trying to pin delays on QA since you'll often be the final step in a project. Be ready to counter these people/ideas and have evidence/arguments/reports as to what benefit you are providing to a project.