Survey to your team/organization about QAs Role

Hi all,

Did you sometime presented your team, or organization, with a survey about:

  • What your expectations about QA ?
  • What would you like to see QA do?

I’m trying to reflect about QA role in my actual organization and trying to give some ramp up to the role.

This could be a great starting point.

Opinions?

Thanks!

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Hello @davgonca!

I recommend framing the questions to have some separation between quality assurance and testing. In that manner, you may be able to ask how everyone on a project team can contribute to quality.

Joe

I seem to have noticed this can vary wildly from team to team to company to company. Some teams put a lot of emphasis on testing often times more frontend facing teams. Where as backend teams could also be more self-reliant. There is a big trend around making testing something that developers own.

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Can I ask a few questions back?

  • why are you questioning the role/activity?
  • are there plans to ask similar questions about all other roles/activities within the team (development, design, product, management roles/activities)?
  • is there another way to solve the problem other than a survey?
  • what will the results of a survey mean? (What will the follow-up actions mean for you if people don’t understand the role and the consensus is that the role is not needed based on that misunderstanding?)

Personally, I’m unsure of what the problem is that your trying to solve (or at least obtain info about), so it’s difficult to offer advice.
If it’s that there is a lack of understanding about testing/QA, then asking the people with the misunderstanding what they’d like to see a tester do is the wrong way round. The testers should be talking about what value and impact they’ll bring to the team.
But if you need the data to prove that the misconceptions exist, then you should word the questions more appropriate to that: e.g. “What do you think a QA does?” rather than “what would you like to see a QA do?”

A final question: what impact are you looking to make here?

2 Likes

Hi all,

Thanks for the comments.

First of all, the reason behind this.

I note this is complex situation inside the organization.

Although some teams know what to expect from a QA, and the variants (Test Automation Eng, Test Eng), other still look at the team member as “not part of the team”

Looking to the organization, we can see this in the career progress, training available and some team leads (line managers, managers) without clear view what to expect from their QAs and help them evolve and growth inside the organization/company.

Like @danashby asked, there are other roles in the team/organization, that also leads to some questions, e.g. Product Owner is one of that role that is “struggling” in some teams. I can see some team look to PO with some disrespect for the work he/she does.

No doubts the company is more focus on the developers team.

When I asked a survey, was to try to get a clear view of what people thinks… this can be a little hard to put in a clear way the questions.

Maybe the best way is to sit a little time with each one of my team members and check their expectations. This can be see like a 1:1 meeting … well, we can do this a retrospective

But the survey could be reused inside the organization/company and try to create a workgroup with QAs to address some questions and create some initiatives.

I personally, i’m trying to create the concept of Quality Owner inside my team.

Like @alanmbarr says, in backend (in my opinion) is a little special case, were I can contribute more like a couch, bring some of my know how of the quality process and teach them. Also, defining test at time of refinements and helping implementing them. Instead of being that bottleneck in the process.

Other topics, like, metrics, risk management, i’m still looking at.

Was I clear? :slight_smile: I can be a bit confusing, english is not my mother tongue and because of all the ideias that are passing in my head :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

Thanks for clarifying.
It does sound as if the QA isn’t seen as part of the team as there is a lack of understanding on what the QA role does, which is causing a divide from that perspective of “the QA doesn’t do what I do, therefore isn’t the same, therefore we don’t work directly together”…

I’ve been in that position before with many teams. Whats helped me was to teach, rather than collect data. Perhaps present to the team what a QA does? Or run some kind of hands on workshop so they can experience the activities and value that a QA brings?
Or it could be something even simpler - do the QA’s show their work? If they don’t, that deepens the lack of understanding… (think: “they’re doing something, but we don’t know what”…). A simple idea there is to just have the QAs start to show their work - not just bug reports, but their testing notes, their ideas, their planning and strategies, their research into risks and the customer’s wants and needs, and overall their value to the project and product based on their impact that they are having on the stakeholders.

Food for thought!
I hope you manage to solve it! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Just be careful how you design your survey. It is pretty easy to bias people and to infer your interpretation into the questions. I like the idea of the 1 : 1 interviews better because you can ask more questions and see their response in person.

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Some ideas that might help with your questioning.

QA and Testing are two different professions.
Some old article that’s still relevant: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/archive/blogs/alanpa/qa-vs-testing-part-3-what-is-the-role-of-quality-assurance

Schools of Testing:
http://kaner.com/?p=15

Types of tester:
https://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/958

Asking people what they understand testers do and what they would like them to do will bring so many of the different profiles of testers, that you’d have difficulties to reconcile a particular role.
I would suggest if you have a deep understanding of the product, of risks and problems, historical tracks, hidden assumptions, etc… on all sides to come with suggestions yourself of dealing with testing gaps.
Then be more visible, to propose and express yourselves more often.
And not in writing/documents - as rarely there will be anyone to even skim through it, but through dialogs.

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Thanks you all for the inputs! :slight_smile: :pray:

I’m going to prepare those interviews and when I got some feedback I’ll try to remember to share :slight_smile: