Team Building in Software Testing – How to Build and Grow Your QA Team

Like in any other software development life cycle, Testing too requires some important factors to develop and maintain for continuous process improvement. One such factor is Team Building. While building a right team, focus should be on the following key elements:

Roles and Responsibilities

It is very important for the team members to understand what they are supposed to do. This was quite often not communicated or discussed with the team. Before start of a project, the team members must be explained on the typical tasks which they will be performing on a daily basis for their respective roles. Be it a tester or a test lead, setting the expectations and explaining what is expected out of them will give correct results without unnecessary delays or errors.

Team Building in Software Testing

Following points need to be clarified to the team:

  • Scope of the Project
  • Roles and Responsibilities expected from everyone
  • Key points to focus like Deliverables, Timelines etc.
  • Explain about the Strategy and Plan

And above all, the team members have the primary responsibility to keep in mind their career aspirations, growth, learning etc. which will be the key motivators to perform in their current roles to excel.

Knowledge Transfer

It is very vital for the Testers to understand the Domain as well as the functions of the application to be able to thoroughly test the application under test. KT sessions are very essential to make them understand the core functions and logics, which will be used to apply during testing. Brainstorming sessions are vital to share common understanding of application and domain.

Discussion should involve testers right from the project initial discussions which essentially consists of Business people, Architects, Developers, Database experts etc.. Involving testers during these early stages of software development will provide good knowledge and understanding about the application that is going to be developed and tested.

Domain Knowledge

Understanding the application’s Domain (e.g. Healthcare, Insurance etc) is very important and will be helpful for Testers to verify the functionality with a different perspective, wearing the hat of the end customer as well as a SME. It takes time and only over the period of working in a particular domain, the resource will be able to familiarize on the domain he is working. Sometimes, a tester will get a chance to test different applications belonging to the same domain, so testing becomes easier and meaningful if he has knowledge on the overall domain.

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Technical and Domain Certifications

Having a talented pool of testers is definitely a big asset for the project. The focus should be to train the team and get them certified in the respective areas they work by nominating for internal certifications. There are also a host of external certifications which can also be selected and get the team trained.

Certifications will definitely give the team a moral support and maturity to perform testing with confidence. Domain certified resources will also leverage the intellectual knowledge gain which can be showcased to prospective clients for new business opportunities.

Career Ladder

It’s not enough to create just a team of testers with all skill set, but to provide opportunities for them to come up their career ladder is also significantly important. Create or nominate to programs to shape them eligible for their next level of role will obviously fulfil the needs of identifying resources when required. Team meetings can be effectively utilized to emphasize their roles and responsibilities in their next level. Educating them the various skills required to perform in their next roles is a very good advantage and also a continuous process improvement. Every Manager has the responsibility to explain about the duties that are expected to be performed when the resources are getting promoted. This will make sure that not just a set of resources are promoted, but a ready-to-work responsible and skilled individuals are.

Team Dynamics and Group Outing

It’s quite obvious to ensure there is a level of team dynamics established and followed by the team for effective group work, meeting common goals, finishing panned targets and achieving on time. Making them understand that “Project” is the common objective for all in the project and completing what the customer wants is “Priority”. To accomplish this, everyone should work together as a “Team” leaving all differences behind and completing the planned tasks is the only “Target”. During weekly team meetings, the team members should receive the information on Tasks, Priorities for the next period and have common understanding on the work to be performed, clear and loud.

Team building exercises and outings are really necessary to burn out the stress and for a good recharge. This will also help for a better understanding outside the project works and in a different environment altogether. Small token of appreciation can be announced during team meetings to identify talents and to encourage and motivate others to perform.

About Author: This is a guest post by Baskar Subramanian. Author is working as a Test Manager for a MNC.

Further reading: Read the related article “How to build a successful QA team“.

If you enjoy this post please consider sharing it with your friends. Also put your thoughts and ideas in comments on how to build a successful QA team.

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34 comments ↓

#1 Amit Singh

we usually keep some monthly event and assign a QA team member with all the responsibilities to make it a success. This way he or she can learn the team leading skill. this also increase team bonding to work together.

#2 ramya

articles are very useful to me to understanding the things in a clear way. keep sending always

#3 Sudhamshu Ailineni

Hello Bhaskar,

What do you mean by “Technical and Domain Certifications”, can you please elaborate on this?

Also can you let us know how certified is different from a tester who has no certificates?

Thanks,
Sudhamshu

#4 vignesh

Hi

can you let us know how certified is different from a tester who has no certificates?

#5 chaitra chai

Thank u

#6 Satish

Thanx a lot…

#7 Rajesh

Nice Article for the peoples who wants to become a Test Lead

#8 Rakesh

Hi,

Very nice article actually building QA team is as difficult as staying in testing field. Because companies still feels that there is no need of tester developers are sufficient for performing testing.

Thanks & Regards
Rakesh Nijhawan

#9 barath

very useful……

#10 Anubhav

Thanks for sharing your experience

#11 Jharna Solanki

Its very good those who recently started their career in testing…..!

#12 Baskar Subramanian

Hi..Thanks for posting your comments and feedback.

Sorry that I didnt visit this page for quite some time. Definitely will keep responding to your queries ASAP.

@Amith Singh.
Your process and approach is correct and will yield results!!

@Sudhamshu Ailineni, Vignesh
Technical Certifications – CSTE, ISTQB, ISEB etc..you can Google these to find more info.

Domain Certifications – For example, If you work in Banking/Insurance testing projects, the company may provide trainings and help to obtain certifications like Basics of Banking, INS(insurance) etc., which will make you a Domain certified Tester.

Definitely Certification adds good visibility, recognition in interviews and help in career growth.

#13 Vasanthi

Hi Baskar,

Good one..

Can you please elaborate on what you mean by “Internal Certification”. Also if you can throw some more light on Certifications that should be helpful.

Regards,
Vasanthi

#14 Vasim

it is very usefull for us

#15 Nishant

Superb article sir…very nice effort.

#16 Anuradha

Thanks for explaining the key elements of testing. A very nice article.

#17 Anubhav

Dear Baskar,

I have three quries

1. How much experience required for domain certification
2. If company does not provide domain certification , can i do from outside or from any other company
3. For E-commerce domain, is there any certification

#18 Baskar Subramanian

@Anubhav – For company’s internal certification, there’s no limit on experience.If you had acquired domain knowledge and ready to take up exam, then u can proceed.
Yes, There are some external institutions like http://www.iibf.org.in. Check it out.

#19 Baskar Subramanian

@Vasanthi – Internal Certifications are provided by the Company based on the Domain in which the Project fits into. E.g-One day training and certification on Testing Fundamentals or Automation Testing. Experienced staff will be the Faculty for these Training programs.

#20 Srid

Hi,

Nice to see your article and i’m sure that this will help and attract the beginners. request to post more such a info.

Thanx.

#21 Kannan Manoharan

Its very informative. Thanks.

#22 Chaitra

It’s very informative… We always understand “What to do”… but million bucks Question is “How to do in Smart Way”…

#23 Raveendra

Thanks for the information posted over here ,can we expect basics sqls testing here?

#24 Baskar Subramanian

Hi Srid, Kannan,Chaitra,Raveendra,ofs: Thanks for your valuable time and feedback. Sure, will try to post more information.Thanks for the encouragement.

#25 Ravindra Kumbar

Hi Baskar,

It’s a unique article on Team Building and to grow as a QA professional.
Normally Testing professionals concentrate on testing processes to be followed and rarely plan for Team building activities and personal growth. I have seen people procastinating the certification processes.

Thanks for throughing some light on professional growth through domain knowledge and certifications.

Keep posting!

Ravindra Kumbar

#26 Veeraraghavan K

Thalaivare,

Your Article on Team Building in Software Testing is Superb Thalaivare.
It is an excellent explanation on how the Team work helps in sucessful Deliver using the Team Coordination and Team Building.
Super Sir……..

#27 Ravi Kumar Verma

Hi,

Very nice article.

Being a Tester, we always concentrate on STLC and core testing stuff, but it’s good to see you updating this Valuable article. It is goanna help everyone belongs to Testing.

Thanks for sharing your experience
Eyes on your next article…

Thanks,
Ravi Kumar Verma

#28 Andrews Baburaj

Hi Baskar,

Great article for testers to read. It contains details very short and with easy understading. Anticipating another great article very soon :)

What kind of certifications you suggest on Domain area?

#29 Ramesh

Bhaskar, thanks for sharing such a wonderful information.

Looking for more updates!!!

#30 Baskar Subramanian

Hi Ravindra,Veera,Ravi Verma – Thanks for your feedback. Will definitely write another useful article for the Testing community.

#31 Baskar Subramanian

Hi Ramesh, Thanks for the feedback.
@Andrews – Testers can obtain certification in the Domain in which they work (i.e perform Testing) Eg. For those who work in Retail/Supply, any relevant certification in these Domains will provide them knowledge and recognition from Clients as well.

#32 Shehan

Hi

Good article.
I m working as a Test Manager(Actually Im new to it)
Our team is planing to start game testing newly, So if someone know let me know how can I increase the knowledge and skills in my team for Game QA.

Thank You.
Shehan

#33 ambika pratap

thank you

#34 Ambika Pratap

Technical Certifications – CSTE, ISTQB, ISEB etc..you can Google these to find more info.

Domain Certifications – For example, If you work in Banking/Insurance testing projects, the company may provide trainings and help to obtain certifications like Basics of Banking, INS(insurance) etc., which will make you a Domain certified Tester.

thank you

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