4 Important Things I Learned in My Journey as a QA Test Manager

A Personal Report – Being a Successful Test Manager – Challenges and Learning

Promotions are part of career growth and believe me, the consequent responsibilities teach us many things and help us grow further. From Junior to Senior and Senior to Manager, every level of that success ladder asks us to unlearn some things and learn new ones.

Getting to be a QA Test Manager is surely a matter of pride for anyone and I were not an exception. Today, I want to talk about how it happened, the challenges and my learning from that phase. 

QA test manager journey

Being a QA test manager is similar to monitoring the factory floor from the first-floor gallery. The skill set and expectations are quite different from that of a senior tester or a test team lead.

Also read => 6 Most Common QA Test Lead/Manager Interview Questions

Here is a gist of the important things I learned in this journey as a Quality Assurance Manager.

#1. Team and quality of team do matter

Yes, being a manager, you are supposed to manage a group of people. These very people define your success as a manager.

In my beginning days as a test QA manager, I was assigned a project and needed to hire a resource for a requirement. I asked for someone with little experience because I thought, I will be able to monitor and mentor him/her in terms of inputs for the testing phase. Also, my assumption was that fresh minds have efficient test ideas. And I have to accept that, I was completely wrong on both points.

When did I realize that? Luckily for me, I could not find a newbie tester and was working with someone with 4 years of rich experience on an application similar to ours. Soon after the project work started, I was assigned two other small projects and I got busy with them.

I realized then that the experienced tester made my task a lot easier. He used to take up responsibilities and handle them on his own. He took care of tasks such as bug tracking, development team communication, configuration issues, by himself and kept me posted on the updates. That was really great.

Had it been someone new, it would have required a lot more of my time and attention at that point, which would have been impossible given my schedule.

Therefore, quality of team members matters immensely.

Read => From Beginner to Pro: A Complete Guide to Successful Journey of a Testing Professional

#2. Sometimes it’s better to understand others view

Being a perfectionist with an end user-centric testing approach has defined my unique style of working. Undoubtedly this made the clients very happy as I used to exceed expectations.

But being a quality assurance manager, I was supposed to meet expectations while actually not working but making it work and that is very difficult.

Sometimes, when team members came up with ideas, which I found were good but could be better, I had to stop myself. I had to convince myself that the target is quality work and how you get there doesn’t matter.

Also, I had to work on a weakness of mine, keeping critical tasks for myself. I used to assign less critical tasks to the team and reserve critical ones for me. But that was the wrong attitude as it reflects a lack of trust in my team. With time, I learned that to nurture and improve the team, I will have to trust them, know their weaknesses and strengths to assign tasks and be ready to mentor and support.

#3. Multitasking is an art worth mastering

Managers handle multiple projects simultaneously; Managing teams, answering queries, and many more. You are expected to take on multiple responsibilities. To succeed, you must be a master at juggling.

Preparing a to-do list, prioritizing, organizing, dealing with interruption and trying to stick to schedule help achieve multiple tasks in parallel.

#4. People management is both the easy and hard part

This is true for any managerial role. People management teaches you many things the hard way. But when taken positively, it’s beneficial for life in general.

Know that, you can handle some conflicts/issues and for some, you will simply have to say No. There are always reactions and responses to both cases.

Sometimes you succeed in convincing people and sometimes you don’t. Just accept it.

You cannot make everyone happy and sometimes you have to control the situation. Think about the bigger picture and use authority, if needed.

Positive attitude, long-term vision and keeping things transparent help.

Recommended read => How to build a successful QA team?


The attitude of working hard and performing better alone does not help when it comes to being a successful manager.

A manager has to work smart and should be a master at delegation, understanding of tasks & expectations, explaining issues & benefits and overlook the overall quality of work to be done.

About the author: This awesome post is written by STH team member Bhumika. She is a project manager, carrying 10+ years of software testing experience. She is totally into testing and loves to test everything exists.

Are you a senior QA or test lead and walking towards the position of QA test manager? What are your feelings? What challenges do you think you have to work on? We would like to hear from you.

Happy testing!!

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25 thoughts on “4 Important Things I Learned in My Journey as a QA Test Manager”

  1. I am currently a senior QA tester, but I still have a lot to learn and I do not know where to start. Testing department is like a ‘newbie’ in our company. Also given time constraints, I do not know when and how to manage time in testing while at the same time finding the right tools/resources for software testing.

  2. Thank you for the post.
    I would like to share one of my experience. Now I am working as QA Manager for 3rd company. In my first company, management have taken 12 freshers with some deposit money before I joined. After that, management couldn’t get projects and there was financial crisis. They asked me to convince all 12 freshers to take a break for 6 months w/o salary. That was my first challenge as a QA Manager.

    • Fraud. Getting money for a Job as a deposit is not at all acceptable. Sending them out for six months without any pay is a crime. If you say this crime as a challenge, then you are not at all a test manager. Just a Cheater who cheats common people.

      I have a question, Did they rejoined after 6 months of leave ?

  3. I totally agree with having to do Multi-tasking. I currently am managing 3 project teams and 2 functional teams, for a total of 16 people. I have 3 leads on site and the rest off shore.

    You absolutely HAVE to delegate tasks and trust your people. If a mistake is made, I see it as a learning opportunity. I even allow them to make mistakes so they can better understand the product. That being said, I also have daily on-site team meetings & daily off shore chat sessions so that I can keep the entire team plugged in. We have bi-weekly teleconferences too.

    I truly believe that if we have good team work, the testing activities will be awesome!

  4. The explanation on delegation is truly important.I have been more than 5 years as a lead & looking for getting into QA Manager roles. Thanks a lot for sharing these experiences.

  5. Hi, yes your article is awesome, although my personal view is ,I believe myself that if you give priority to experience tester, as that makes you having smart team, and makes to help you to make your task easier, so if all manager will think like this, how then new tester will be experience tester too?

  6. Thanks for your nice post. Do you mind to post some easy pathway to become a project manager in near future. What steps needs be to take in consideration for this pathway. Thanks in Advance.

  7. All readers,

    Glad to know that the post was informative and well accepted.
    Thanks for your continuous readership. We appreciate it.
    And yes, stay tuned for more of this kind of posts :-)

    Happy testing :-)

  8. This is really a wonderful post by bhumika ma’am.Thank you for this wonderfull post with full of knowledge & responsibilities of a test manager.Loved to read the whole article.Please keep up the good work with such wonderful posts

  9. Hi Bhumika ,

    Was great reading this write up – the point about reserving critical tasks for yourself and delegating the less critical ones is something I always used to do – in fact till a point I never had the sense of accomplishment unless o did certain tasks all by myself . But later I realized that I was biting more than what I could chew and also was not allowing others in the team to grow. That has been my biggest learning as part of the individual contributor to manager journey – thanks for the simple but to the point write up!

  10. Hi,
    This article you post is very interesting, and help me lots to understand the manager level jobs responsibility as well as problems.
    Thank you.

  11. Hi,

    Should a QA Manager be Technically Strong? Presently freshers are coming with more Technical knowledge. What would be the impact or what a QA Manager should do to Overcome this.


  12. Great going! In order to keep testing efforts focused, efficient and consistent, test automation is becoming absolutely necessary. In a continuous delivery approach, the source code is developed, tested, and refined further. In agile project framework, several iterations of development happen in a day. With more QA feedback, these iterations only continue to increase. Therefore, highly efficient and self-sustainable automated deployment process is essential.

  13. I have been working as QA lead for past 6 years, but mostly as individual contributor and sometimes as QA lead. I want to move into QA manager role, can u suggest me some tips to make the transition?


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