How to Build the Best Software Testing Team: A QA Project Manager’s Guide

Nowadays, the business world is expanding at a rapid pace. Software teams have to cater to different clients and concurrently balance business requirements in several projects. This is why project managers, especially QA project managers have to take care of various complexities, timelines, and capacity requirements and deliver projects while fulfilling all essential demands.

Most project teams are overloaded with work and QA managers have to work in a hectic environment to complete things on time. Although simultaneous software development and testing can benefit companies, reduce risk, and ensure cost-effective production, the sheer amount of coordination needed puts additional challenges for project managers.

Managing a single project and managing multiple QA projects are two vastly different things. Multiple projects are extremely difficult to manage and demand tremendous temperament and experience from QA teams and managers.

Unless you develop plans for implementation, ensure seamless communication, manage risk, and be tenacious and extensive in your approach, the chances of falling short are very real. This is why QA project managers need reliable testing teams to take some stress off them.

However, if you want to create a capable testing team, you must outline software testing team structure, assign software testing team responsibilities, and define software testing team goals. In this article, we will explain how to build the best software testing team and multiple QA projects easily.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a ‘Testing Project Team’?
  2. Effective Test Team is the Key Point of the Success
  3. How to Start Organization in the Right Way
  4. Performance Lab’s Experience

What is a ‘Testing Project Team’?

‘Testing Project Team’ is a team of experts dedicated to ensuring the best quality of software products. In terms of software development, the testing project team is responsible for maintaining high levels of quality in software applications and making sure that it meets all user and business requirements.

It closely relates to various project roles, which are: QA project manager, Test Analyst/ Designer, Tester, Testing Developers, SQA Members. Project QA managers are the ones who initiate tests and works together with testing leads and the client to define acceptance tests. Here the job of the development team is to addresses and removes defects within the software and cooperate with project testing team after analyzing them.

software testing team and management

Effective Test Team is the Key Point of the Success

High-quality software can give businesses a significant competitive advantage and play a key role in the success of companies. However, in markets with tough competition high-quality software is not just an advantage but also a basic requirement for staying relevant.

The project testing team helps companies detect hidden errors and defects applications. Identifying and detecting these problems before the product goes live is essential for its success. Without the project testing team, these defects can seep into the final product and affect its performance in the live environment.

If a company does stop bugs before the production phases, the cost of resolving these errors later is much higher. Furthermore, since these defects and errors directly impact the end-user, it leads to bad user experience, which is a prime reason for software failure.

The project testing team not only detects these issues before they affect the user but also helps software teams prevent bugs proactively. Needless to say, investing in a project testing team is not only beneficial to your product but indispensable given the fierce competition in IT.

The project testing team needs to work together to achieve the overall objective of projects. QA Test Managers are people responsible for building these teams. These teams must work through shared environments, high levels of interdependence, and ensure QA cooperative agility.

Project testing teams build the testing infrastructure, related to automated test design and integration. Since complex software products rely on several testing procedures, QA project managers help create large, multi-dimensional project testing teams in oprder to maintain the best quality of software.

How to Start Organization in the Right Way

Here we will give a step-by-step procedure for building the best project testing team. To build and manage an effective a project testing team, it’s important to follow the steps below:

Identify Resources Your Company Needs

To create the best project testing team, it’s important to develop a comprehensive human resource plan. This means QA project managers must identify current and future human resource needs for their company.

Human resource planning ensures that your team doesn’t have shortage of staff or redundancy of roles. Therefore, it has a key role in helping managers find the best fit for their project testing team. You can divide the process into the following three stages:

software testing team goals

Estimate Demand

First, QA project managers have to forecast which human resources they will need based on different project plans. Your team composition and size can change based on the type and requirements of the project.

If you can estimate what kind of team you need, it will be easier to shortlist software testing team roles and responsibilities. You can also vary the number of members within your team according to the project complexity and the volume of the project activities.

Usually, project testing team is composed of following members:

DesignationResponsibilities
Test ManagerCoordinates the testing teamAssigns the individual responsibilitiesIs responsible for the planning, implementation and reporting during testing 
Test Analyst, DesignerCreates testing plansDefines testing proceduresDecides on the appropriate selection of testing toolsBuilds up and ensures Test Environment and assets are managed and maintainedFacilitates members in test environment for test execution 
TesterPrepares specified automated and manual testsBuilds up the Test CasesGenerate Test SuitesPerforms various testsExecute the testsRecords the resultsClearly describes the errorsReport the defect
Developers in Test teamsCreates program to testCreates test automation scripts
SQA MembersTakes charge of Quality Assurance

This is why you may need at least 5 members in a project testing team. Everyone has a different role and you have to assign tasks according to each member’s core competencies. 

Evaluate Expertise

Evaluating the expertise of your testing resources is an essential part of human resource planning. Unless you assign your team members with the right task, they can fail to maintain the quality of software your client expects. 

For instance, you have a developer within your team, but you use him as a tester in the Testing Team. You assign him the execution of test cases and request him to report defects to the QA Test Manager within a week.

However, since the developer isn’t skilled in testing, he or she will fail to provide similar results as an experienced software tester. Being a skilled programmer, he may resolve defects within the software more easily, but asking him to speed through testing will delay the project.

This is why it’s essential to identify the key competencies of your team members before you assign them any task. Not only that, but it’s also important to see what kind of skills a certain task demands.

You should measure the team member skills and abilities based on the project goal and mission. When you have to assign project members tasks that they lack necessary skills for, it’s important to fill in skill gaps.

Planning Skill Upgrade

Identify Skill Gaps

Sometimes, your team members have gaps in their skills and the type of expertise the project demands. As a QA project manager, you have to identify what skills your testing resources lack, so you can create an appropriate training plan for them. For instance, if some of your team members have to improve their testing skills, you should help them close that skill gap.

Training and Assessment

In human resource planning, you should consider how existing members are trained and developed to gain the required skills and develop expertise. QA project managers need to create a training plan and apply it promptly to fill in the talent gap. 

Evaluation

Putting your testing resources is not sufficient on its own. Instead, it’s important for QA project managers to monitor and evaluate these programs frequently, so they can ensure they are effective. 

For instance, you can work on your developer’s training expertise by assessing his progress and assigning him different tasks to see if he has learned from the training initiatives. If the developer is finds testing difficult, the manager should either replace him or consider an alternative training method.

software testing team management

Build the Project Testing Team

After you are finished with the human resource plan, you should start building your project team. 

Team Mission

Creating a team mission helps you set your testing team in the right direction. The team mission allows all testing resources to focus on key objectives and goals, collaborate and come to an agreement

Team Responsibility

Ensuring your team members are aware of their responsibility is something you should sort out in the very beginning. Unless testing resources have clear roles and responsibilities defined, they can’t do what’s expected of them. 

Team Rules

Team rules set guidelines regarding how testing resources should behave, helping them work more collaboratively. Although it isn’t mandatory to impose rules on your testing team, doing so can help your team reach a consensus regarding responsibilities and share responsibilities.

Team Motivation

Motivation is a critical factor in the workplace and a key driver behind the performance. It enables the management to meet the organizational goals, enhances productivity, and improves overall output.

Unmotivated employees don’t focus on work and are not as much engaged. Such unproductive behavior not only causes unnecessary delays for the company but also wastes considerable resources, especially if the majority of the workforce is affected by this. This is why companies need to pay attention to the level of motivation in employees.

Keeping teams motivated has always been a long-standing challenge for most project managers. To be a good project manager, you should have the expertise to manage both the functional and emotional factors of your team.

Negligence in this matter can also cause high performing and strongly skilled employees to exhibit negative attitudes due to their emotional burden. If you don’t manage both factors simultaneously, you’ll end up delaying important projects that cost way higher than what you expected. 

software testing team structure

Manage Project Team

Making a successful project testing team goes beyond handpicking the best talent you can find. Instead, the challenge comes when you start managing testing team members. There are three ways to ensure that your team gives the best performance:

Setting Team Target

Similar to a team mission, a team target gives direction to your software testing team. However, where a team mission gives the team strategic direction, the team target provides them with a milestone to work towards. As a QA project manager, it is up to you to break down problems into specific tasks and present them to your testing team.

Observation

QA project managers also need to constantly monitor and understand what’s going around their software testing team. Not only is it important to monitor the performance of each team member, but it’s also important to assess what these people are doing and how is it impacting their work.

Team Collaboration and Engagement

In many project teams, silos become an obstacle in a team’s performance as a unit. Every team member has a unique personality and uses different ways of engaging and collaborating with people. 

If engagement is minimal between different departments, collaboration suffers. Although project teams may still work together, the internalized nature of these group’s team affects impact collaboration. 

Engaging team members help diminish internal silos within project teams. This is why project managers are responsible for balancing internal teams effectively. 

Project managers need to lay the groundwork to engage team members and stakeholders. This will help them to sustain a good relationship with all members and stakeholders in both the short and the long term.

You must monitor the level of engagement of individual team members across the project lifecycle. You should also address their emotional and personal expectations to bring about their best performance.

If you don’t address these issues yourself, it would be extremely difficult to create a good working environment among your team. Consequently, it would affect the performance of your team and make it harder for them to achieve the targets you set for them.

Performance Lab’s Experience

Creating the ideal project testing team can be challenging for any QA project manager. However, by identifying key project requirements, evaluating competencies within the team, and managing available resources effectively, QA project managers can overcome any challenge and deliver testing projects with ease.

Although all these things sound straightforward and simple, in reality, it is easier said than done. This is why it’s best for software teams to rely on software testing teams with considerable building software QA testing teams.

Performance Lab is a testing service dedicated to ensuring the best software quality for our clients. We have served over 500 companies across a wide variety of domains that range from finance and healthcare to retail and technology. 

With years of experience at our disposal, we can help you create the best testing team for your product. By providing you with experienced testing resources, we can fill in skill gaps and help you deliver the best software quality to your clients.

If you want to learn more about our company, feel free to visit our website.

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