A Blog from QualiTest

How to Build a Winning Test Team

Building a Test Team

To retain good quality testers within our test teams, we must spend time developing the people side of test management. This can be achieved by promoting the importance of testing, emphasizing a career future for testers, and recognizing your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

At QualiTest, we have high standards for our employees, both professionally and personally. To comply with these standards, QualiTest has established a rigorous process to ensure that not only will our test engineers have sufficient skills and experience, but also the ability to manage their responsibilities and thrive in the culture. After our years of experience in creating, developing and managing test teams, here are some factors that we have found to lead you in your path to successful teams.

Incorporate the right mix of people

A major component to a successful testing team is recognizing each member and their value in completing project activities.  The right mix of people is about encouraging growth in new areas while maintaining core strengths in relation to ongoing activities. The success of a team does not depend on one superlative individual, but instead on a cluster of superlative individuals who make a great team. Each team member must align themselves towards the common goal of the team, working toward an understanding of the problems. As part of the right mix, each team must be carefully selected to accommodate for each team member’s weaknesses while highlighting their strengths.

Ensure that everyone knows their job

It’s important to be sure that every member of the team understands their role and the reason for their presence on the team. By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, individuals can understand the project in the “bigger picture” context. Honing each individual’s role towards their relevant skills and talents brings a commitment to their work, therefore contributing to the overall quality of the project.

Allow Ownership

When a team member understands their roles and responsibilities and have a desire to contribute to the project success, they can begin to assume ownership of their domains. Allowing an individual to feel ownership of their project will promote a leadership mentality, which will encourage other team members to meet the set level of enthusiasm. Furthermore, when people are permitted to feel pride and ownership in their work, it motivates them towards a future in software testing as a testing lead.

Mingle Novice and Seasoned Team Members

Seasoned team members are crucial to a test team, as they bring experience from previous projects that can help to guide or inform others about new projects. By channeling their knowledge, the entire team benefits by learning from the seasoned individual, and allowing each team member to witness their future in software testing. These team members should act as high performers who are important to a team, but still show that there is equal opportunity for others to act in this position. Assembling a team with a mixed range of experience will allow for different types of solutions to problems.

Motivational Leadership

The Test Leader must be prepared to have a positive attitude and to lead by example. The test leader must also understand each individual and their qualities and work style. For example, if your test lead complains about working long hours, this attitude will be reflected amongst everyone in the team. It is the leader’s job to instill confidence among the team while championing the team’s output.

The Perfect Recipe for a Great Test Team

Key ingredients like Unity, Trust, and Respect are attributes that should be found in each member of your testing team. At QualiTest, we have begun to develop a company culture, where we highlight such values as teamwork, agility, clear communication, and showing leadership. To retain good quality testers within our test teams, we must spend time developing the people side of test management. This can be achieved by promoting the importance of testing, emphasizing a career future for testers, and recognizing your team’s strengths and weaknesses.  Even more importantly, you must have a grasp on the feelings of the group. A team that feels supported and appreciated is more likely to perform outstandingly than a group that feels isolated.