MOT Brighton, UK - What does the 'Coach' in 'Quality Coach' mean? - Vernon Richards - May 2021

Club post for the meet up from May 2021:

“Quality Coach” seems to be a role that is becoming more prominent in orgs and teams across the globe. It’s something that many testers have naturally evolved into or aspire to become.

These days, many Testers seem to have a decent enough grasp on the “Quality” part of the job title. These days, most Testers understand that testing is more than test cases, that automation does not solve all problems, that having some technical skills & appreciation augments their work, that testing can occur before a product is built and after it has been released in production and so on & so on.

Being able to ship products of high enough quality is not just a matter of following instructions. It takes people, working together, in uncertain conditions to achieve the goal. Let’s break that down:

People - Which means relationships, emotions, value systems, personal goals, skills thoughts, ideas and probably a whole lot more!
Uncertain conditions - What do we know? What do we know we don’t know? What do we need to know? Do we perceive the situation in the same way? Is there a common cause? How is disagreement handled? What about conflict?

That’s where the “Coach” part of the title comes in.

Coaching can help overcome these challenges by supporting individuals, groups, teams and organisations to understand themselves and their work from new perspectives. It’s not “just soft skills” either! Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires
people to maximize their personal and professional potential.

In this talk I will talk about what the work of a professional coach looks like and how it might manifest itself in the Quality Coach role.

Add any resources or discussion points below.


Hi Vernon,

Maria Kedemo had a challenge in being a Quality Coach, and she blogged about it here:

My thoughts would be to focus on what thing you are coaching: the person, the test or the team. What’s your experience and thoughts on this?

Sorry that we ran out of time.
Some resources:

Below the other questions that were asked during the session. Please reply in your own time @testerfromleic :slight_smile: Thanks again for your time and talk!

How is success measured for you in your role?

What if you find yourself offering your observations on the altar of futility?

can you please provide some examples of focus/communication with different levels and roles?

How would you follow up with teams after coaching/listening? Can we take an example here of one of the people’s problem to help understand?

Is it necessary to acquire coaching certificates / classes to transition to a quality coach role?

How do you take this on if your only tester in the team , how does all of the testing still get done ? Dev lead testers ? Whilst still maintaining quality?

What measures do you use to show coaching working ? Cycle time ? Rework ping pong ? Smaller stories ?

How do you build tools / techniques ? Or where do you go to build up that bank ?

Have you any practical scenario examples of issue identified and how and techniques used to address etc?

1 Like