TestBash Spring 2023 - AMA: Skills and Strategies for New Test Managers - Laveena Ramchandani

During TestBash Spring, @laveenaramchandani01 had an Ask Me Anything on Skills and Strategies for New Test Managers.

We’ll use this Club thread to keep the conversation going, share resources and answer any questions we don’t get to during the live session.

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Questions Answered Live

Anonymous - What are the greatest difficulties when moving from a QA role to a QA manager one?

@diantris - A tech lead for programmers often ends up not having time to code. Does a test manager still have time to… test? :smile:

@lee.marshall - Did you go into management because you felt that was the only option to progress your career? Or that you wanted to go into management and a welcome step?

Anonymous - What takes someone from being an “okay” QA manager to a “great” QA manager?

@jenbauer - When you are looking for a test manager, what particular skills are you looking for? In particular, how do you balance wanting people management and QA skills?

@tressaking - As the sole tester in a team I’m not officially a manager but effectively I have to perform the role. What would you recommend I put top my development plan?

@pauladonegan - What do you feel was the main change from being a Test & QA Lead to a Test Manager?

@jenbauer - Do you have advice for advocating for your QA team with other teams and leadership who may not agree on or see the value of QA work?

Anonymous - what is the best training materials/courses you recommend for (new) managers?

Tunde Jinadu - How do you go about increasing the profile of QA within your organisation, the challenges QA go through and benefits’ they provide to the business

Anonymous - How do you manage delegation?

@testerfromleic - What advice do you have for “accidental” test managers? “Accidental” means someone managing testers alongside their official non-testing role.

Questions Not Answered Live

Anonymous - What has surprised you the most? The one thing you had no idea would happen when you became a people leader and responsible for them?

Anonymous - How do you deal with a mistake, when that mistake has an impact on a person who reports to you?

@johnsmith - How do you manage someone who needs to improve in their testing role? What strategies and skills do you employ to help them reach the needed level?

@paulmaxwellwalters - How have you dealt with the difficult staff decisions managers face I.e. recruiting new staff, doing reviews, firing or letting go staff, demanding upper mgmt?

@ivoqa - Do we have too many role names that mean almost the same (depending on the company…)? QA Manager, QA Lead, Head of QA, Lead QA, QA Team Lead…

@ajwilson - How do you ensure the right “Technical breadth” is covered across your people?

Anonymous - Any tips for test managers who are not or haven’t been testers themselves?

@pauladonegan - Do you believe it’s quite different being a Test Manager from an Engineering Manager?

@chadbellan - How to keep testers that don’t work in our timezone up to date with information and maintain efficient and necessary communication between them and teams

@jenbauer - I’m in the unique spot of being on a team with no manager that is about to hire a manager. Any tips for someone who will be in the hiring process for a manager?

@testerfromleic - Many teams seem to be doing away with test teams. What advice would you have for someone interested in pursuing a test manager career?

@pauladonegan - Do you manage QAs/Testers all in “your team” or are they dedicated and placed “permanently” inside the teams?

Anonymous - Do you miss being hands on with the testing regularly?

@jfox94 - Do you feel that a QA manager needs to have any knowledge of programming, or can you do well as a manager without being highly technical?

@david2023 - Do you ever sit with your people to go over a test plan to get familiar with the functionality of an application?

Anonymous - what is the team size you are managing? Also, do you have any experience with transitions between Manual and Automation within company, finding time to do it?

Anonymous - How do you manage your diversions to complete your ‘To Do’ list on a daily basis with all the distractions posed on manager’s role?

@natm - Why are you a QA manager? What inspires you the most doing that role? :blush:

Orlando Kalossakas - How important is video vs text communication in your role: for example, do you find that using video tools is more efficient than communicating over text or no?

@isaac.zarco - How to choose what is best for your team (mindset, strategies, tools, techniques, etc)? how to deal with rejection or member skillset level when applying it?

Anonymous - What tried and tested leadership models have helped you so far? What models would you recommend?

Anonymous - How do you handle and manage conflicting priorities?

@fireavley - Do you have tips for dealing with other managers in connected departments or with staff with roles in your department, especially where conflict arises?

Anonymous - Wishing Laveena a very happy cheti chand (Sindhi new year):bouquet:

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