How to keep motivation alive in software testers?

Couple of months back I wrote an article on “How to keep good testers in testing position“. There I mentioned one point as to appreciate the testers for their good work.

“Reward testers for finding good quality bugs. Keep some weekly or monthly competitions such as ‘Bug of the week’ to reward them.  This will help to build a successful QA team”.

The same concept is used by Eric Jacobson – a software tester, to keep motivation alive in his testing team. Eric found interesting idea to reward good testers. The idea of holding a bug contest. And decided to award the ‘Mercury’ cap to the tester who could log the most bugs in a given week. See the winner of his contest.

A small tweak I would rather suggest to make this technique more effective is to award the testers who will find the quality bug, may be called as “Bug of the week”. This way quality bugs will be the main focus of software testers rather than running behind the quantity. Obviously you should not ignore those small UI bugs also :-)

I am really fan of awarding testers for their good work. It may be any kind of appreciation. May be a small gift or just few kind words of appreciation from the lead or manager. This will keep the spirit alive in testers to find new and quality bugs.

If you are a team leader, manager or even a team member, what do you think is the best way to keep motivation alive in software testers?

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38 comments ↓

#1 Beena on 09.15.08 at 4:59 am

Hello,
This wil really form a good Tester’s team. This wil really help team leads.

#2 Robin on 09.15.08 at 5:09 am

One of the best ways to keep motivation alive in software testers is just appreciating them for their achiements. And also a lead or manager should support him in all ways, from motivating him for his good work or to being the solace when he is in trouble. And also we need to understand the thing that nobody is perfect in anything.. We do mistakes and it should be excused..
I am glad, I have a TL who is the real mentor in my professional life as a tester. His way of communication and the support given at various times is truly obliging..
Thanks to Vijay or this good article..

#3 Amanullah on 09.15.08 at 5:46 am

According to Bug’s Critical type we can give points to Testsers .
And for every 50 points one gift, for 100 points one gift for every 500 points bonus gift …
i think like this type of situation make testing environment more alive and active

#4 Suhas on 09.15.08 at 6:03 am

After testing different applications for 3 + years i feel testing is the same old cock and bull fight now as i feel my team is also facing the same thing. i have one more idea i would like to share, buy a trophy or sheld with bold letter written ” TESTER OF THE WEEK” keep a compitition for the team. the most critical bug or most number of quality bug found will be rewarded this prize. each week there is a compitition within the team and the performance increases. this really works.

#5 Kishore on 09.15.08 at 6:03 am

Hi,

Some how it is right.. I hope it is for the people who works on the same project. But if in a team different people are handling different projects or products it may differ. Because all the products may not have more bugs. Please reply me in this case how to consider..

Thanks

#6 Prasad on 09.15.08 at 12:10 pm

RUP (Rational Uni process) Development Cycle?

if any one know about this, please let me know guyz.

i am in need of it.

#7 Arun on 09.15.08 at 12:31 pm

The testers have been classified in different terms like..
1.Who finds more critical bugs for the given project..
2.It does not mean that only the more critical bugs it should happen in all the processes..
3.It does not mean that when the Team Awards the member only they do well ,if they have spirit they will,Actually it should be within ….

#8 Pradeep Kumar Sharma on 09.15.08 at 4:11 pm

Hi All,
According to me the tester should be appreciated in appropriate way. Or what we can do is organize a team party to get away from day today schedule. Or we can go to picnic where every one forget everything, can show there real.

Regards,
Pradeep Kumar Sharma

#9 Suhas M on 09.16.08 at 7:20 am

Great idea !!!
In fact I know couple of companies where the testers name flashes on the display board on weekly basis based on the number of bugs he/she finds.
Given a chance I would reward the tester who finds a LOGICALLY INTELLIGENT bug :) no matter how sever it is.

@ Kishore
In this case I would keep the reward for each project and not each team.

Regards,
Suhas M.

#10 Vijay on 09.16.08 at 5:35 pm

@ Suhas – The idea to display names of testers on display board seems interesting :-)

#11 Vyas on 09.17.08 at 5:06 am

Its not about awards or rewards but a small word of appreciation will do and motivates him to come up with much better output.

#12 Deepak Kaushik on 09.17.08 at 5:30 am

A token of respect always does matter- And QA is always plays a role of Devil’s (Client :-) ) advocate. And collection of such kind of logical/intelligent bug could go in Lesson Learnt meeting after the project.

#13 K.Sapthagirivassan on 09.17.08 at 10:09 am

I want good placement in Software Testing in City

#14 Inder P Singh on 09.18.08 at 11:56 am

Different people are motivated by different factors. However, I think that software testers working in a team or independently are motivated by the following factors.
1) (As mentioned by Vijay) appreciation for good work
2) (As mentioned by others) freedom to experiment and make a few mistakes in the process
3) Clarity of work assignments
4) Availability of at least a few senior testers in the organization (to consult in case of problems and get general technical direction)
5) Smooth working environment
6) Opportunity of training and self-learning
7) Opportunity to work with at least a few automation tools
8) Challenging work (but not too challenging – that could have the reverse effect)
9) Opportunity to work in a popular domain e.g. finance, banking, healthcare
10) Supportive and approachable team lead or manager who provides regular direction and feedback
11) Good relations with other employees
12) Continuity of work
13) No large fluctuations in the amount of work
14) Being consulted on important matters e.g. estimates for testing work, high priority bugs etc.
15) Resolution of any immediate problem being faced by the team member (whether personal or official)

#15 kavitha on 09.19.08 at 10:02 am

Hi friends,
I had a very good Project Manager who lead the team in a bizarre way. For every quarter of the year, the best tester was awarded with a memento, certificates and rewards based on his/her testing performance. We really miss him.

#16 Jaishri on 09.22.08 at 8:55 am

According to me Software tester feels rewarded once his each and every bug and suggestions are considered without any compromises, which will increases his energy level to find more bugs to increase or maintain his performance.
He/She can be awarded as star of the week or any kind of appreciation will work and motivated the tester
With regards,
Jaishri K S

#17 stevie teever on 09.23.08 at 11:21 am

hi
i want to know How can we breaking down the project among team members in software testing and what is the path for test director,where the test cases are stored.
Please do reply me.

#18 Kapil on 09.29.08 at 11:35 am

@Stevie

U can break project into different modules and assign them to ur team.
U can upload the test cases using export option in XL.
In TD test cases get saved under “TEST PLAN” tab and test cases can be executed under “TEST LAB” tab.

#19 Vinoth on 11.05.08 at 10:50 am

Hi ,
Anyone give information

1). What is Protocal Testing ?
2). What is the Purpose of doing that Testing?
3). Can I do Protocal Testing in Web Application Project?
4). If do means can u give complete detail about this?
Can u Please reply for this .

Thanks
Vinoth

#20 vijay on 11.27.08 at 11:30 am

Hello vijay,

Are you ordinary vijay or Ilaya thalapathi vijay?

#21 Nirmal Kumar on 12.16.08 at 6:59 pm

A good organization have some standrad & Process by which they conduct training & give home work to their Testers. They set some goal to acheive within defined time frame. Seminar & presentation on diffrent testing technique inspire testers to learn more.

Testing has a broad scope & Testers should have to develop their skill set with their own logic

#22 Nagraj on 04.24.09 at 5:52 am

I have appreciated testers who find defects/shortcomings in the requirement itself. It makes the job of the product/project manager it self difficult.

Appreciation should be showered on those who have found the bugs by interpreting the error logs and pointed the source code line number where the error has occured.

The last but not the least, make the tester realize the developer potential he/she has and do not mourn the loss of a good tester to the development team.

Make sure the testers are smarter than your manager or team lead. One of the biggest mistake you will make is to hire someone less smarter than you in your team!

#23 Haggag on 07.17.09 at 5:01 pm

i think it’s a good idea to reward testers who find the ligical bugs to keep the motivation of them and break the rotien or the tester will get bored and it will be an ordinary thing not an intelligent thing to find these bugs and to search for it
and that will be the team leader resposibillity to review bugs reports and give the comment

#24 Rosibeli on 08.01.09 at 12:28 am

Hey guys, one week ago was assined as leader of the software testing team. I am not sure how to start planning and doing things related to the testing software. I would like to know if there is a methodology to plan the work of my team
Thanks so much

#25 Santosh Pampatwar on 12.09.09 at 10:10 am

We can get the following information from QA engineer on monthly basis and we can reward them depends on the information which they have shared.

1.Challenges faced.
2.What you did to overcome those challenges.
3.Any issues/risk you see in our project.
4.Suggestions to improve work or mitigate risk.
5.Anything else you think can be tested by our team

#26 gaurav on 12.14.09 at 8:42 am

Nice article!!

#27 Ravi Verma on 02.03.10 at 9:53 am

The article posted by Santosh is awesome !!!!!

#28 Soorya on 02.25.10 at 9:49 am

In our company, testers are always compared with developers at the time of appraisal and it is always difficult for a tester to come in the top among a group. Very disappointing and demotivating for an enthusiasic tester.

#29 Manohar on 03.03.10 at 12:37 pm

My problem is same like Soorya. In my company also they are comparing the testers with developers. This impacts a negative motivation on out work.

#30 H Raut on 03.24.10 at 9:18 am

Mostly testers get motivated through achievements hence manager/lead should provide opportunities to every individual to showcase their skills. Recognition for every correctly channelized effort and achievement provides a great boost to team spirit. Proper opportunities, timely recognition, positive culture, transperancy, ethical leadership inspires team to achieve new hights of success which keeps everyone in the team motivated for longer duration.

#31 sreecharan on 05.10.10 at 10:22 am

I am leading couple of teams in my company, i am coming up with rewarding concept monthly\quarterly to my team members. It will be appreciated if anyone suggest me some names for these awards and the reason for which the reward is awarded.
I am looking for only monthly or quarterly.

#32 How to deliver high value software features in a short time period using agile scrum process — Software Testing Help on 07.07.10 at 6:43 pm

[...] Team Spirit [...]

#33 Vikas on 11.14.10 at 2:50 am

Set points for each bug based on the Priority & severity.
Then on a timely basis calculate the points & reward them.
Link the same to performance.

#34 dinesh on 04.19.11 at 9:20 am

My Project manager is a dummy person

#35 Its me on 05.10.11 at 5:53 am

Fire the tester

#36 Orrin on 05.24.11 at 8:34 am

This is all nice and dandy, but my question comes as part of a statement. I work for a small software development company, We are two testers working on multiple projects. How do you boost morale in a team so small? I’m the manager so I sit in on all meetings, and do not test to often, this means that the other guy can be rewarded but it’s will always be him, killing the illusion of “Great find mate”…

#37 satya on 10.15.11 at 3:43 pm

Hi vijay,
can you help me ? Please….

I started learning software testing in 2008, i have done ISTQB Foundation level Certification, qualified in Advanced level in brainbench exams, at that time i got two projects and due to recession lost those two projects .
moved to new place and i got 1more project in 2010, even that i lost because, that company had some internal problems. then after few days i have applied for few jobs, i really don’t know what happend i was not able to answer very basic questions also.

waiting for your reply,
Thanks
Satya

#38 Kashif on 02.24.12 at 11:40 am

I used to follow similar kind of technique where I used to use a white board for bug scoring of each tester. The second techique was that I put a threshold of bugs and ask the engineers if they can reach to this limit in a week or so (of course the quality bugs gets the credit). This creates a competition between the testers and the bug count jumps up high quickly.