Who Do You Report To?

An interesting poll popped up on the Ministry of Testing Slack yesterday. In the interestes of not losing the discussion to Slack history, I thought it would be an interesting poll to have here on The Club.

In your company, who does testing / QA report to? Where report is your direct line report.

  • :one: Software development
  • :two: Dedicated QA org
  • :three: CIO
  • :four: CEO
  • :five: Other CXO
  • :six: PMO
  • :seven: DevOps org
  • :eight: Business line leadership
  • :nine: Something else

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In my company we have multiple levels of line management within the QA team:

  • Our Professional Services Director (who reports to the CEO), line manages, amongst others:
  • 1 Senior QA, who manages:
  • 2 Lead QAs, who each manage:
  • 2-3 Mid-level QAs, one of whom (me) manages:
  • 2 Apprentice QAs!

This is quite good in the sense that it’s not a diktat-from-up-high power structure, but it does mean that people have relatively little input/oversight (in either direction) once you get to more than 2 links away in the chain! To compensate for this, we have a monthly QA team meeting (with a proper agenda) that is normally attended by the Professional Services Director, CEO or another member of the senior management team.

Edited to add: Also, no one in this chain has any real impact on how we do our day-to-day testing, as we work in project teams (led by a PM and a Technical Team Lead) and typically there’s only one tester per team. The line management chain is mainly for HR-related admin, career advancement, feedback collation etc., and our monthly meetings are mostly knowledge-sharing and discussion of QA team initiatives like browser matrices or documentation.

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My reporting chain is… interesting.

Mostly I report to the department manager. Since the department in question is a team of 3 product managers (one of whom is the department manager), one tech lead, 4 programmers and 1 tester it’s not a big thing. I also report to the product managers for the enhancements I’m testing.

In addition to that, I get occasional assignments that come from other departments. When that happens, I report to whoever is working with me for these assignments.

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Our IT department doesn’t have hierarchy, it is self-organised/ managed. So, there is no report line. We only get back to the CTO incase there is a decision/ solution that involves money (spending).

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We’re very project-based, so I sort of have a couple of people I ‘report to’:

We have a Testing manager here, who is generally in charge of making testing better in the organization. I do my career check-in with him.

Within my project, the project manager is the person I kind of report to at the moment, though if there are multiple testers, the test lead is who the other testers tend to report to.

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We are part of the engineering teams, so we report to the engineering leads for each project as if we were developers in those teams. We also have a guild I suppose, but there’s only two of us so in terms of the QA role we kind of just report to ourselves since there is no test manager/lead type person. xD

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