@tfritz1325 That is an exciting scenario, in which you have the opportunity to set the team culture for the future in a positive way! I’m the QA lead in a smaller company which is technically a startup, but we are very stable and have been steadily expanding for years. We may be in your situation within the next year or two. So my advice may or may not be helpful, but just in case:
I also work in Customer Support, handling escalations and interacting with clients who are dealing with any out-of-the-ordinary issues. In that side of my role, it is important to manage expectations. I have to diplomatically explain that they may not be able to get what they need as quickly as they want it, or that what they want isn’t actually going to help them achieve their long-term goals the way they seem to think it will. It requires forethought and tact, and a sincere desire to give the client the best service possible while working with the resources at my disposal.
In the past year, I’ve applied this skill of managing expectations to the way I communicate with management about QA effectiveness. A year ago, I would often get the question, “What is our coverage?” right before a release. To the asker, it seemed like a meaningful question, but given that we weren’t automating anything at the time, and given the nature of our platform, it wasn’t the right question to ask. I couldn’t give them a number that would really mean anything useful, and it would have been a waste of time and effort to try.
So I started talking about risk areas instead. At the beginning of a sprint, I defined the highest risk areas in the platform, asking the developers to confirm what they were and what the risks were in each area. When I was in a team meeting with management, I’d start by explaining that we would be focusing our testing efforts on those risk areas, and that if areas X, Y, and Z were thoroughly tested, we would be confident the release was ready. Then during the week(s) of testing, I would report each day on what we had accomplished in each risk area.
I haven’t heard that unhelpful “coverage” question since, and management is asking me more helpful questions now, which actually help me to improve the answers that I can give them.