4 Characteristics of a Winning Software Testing Team

Winning Software Testing Team

Growing a company is hard work.  Technology has increased the speed of change in businesses.  What used to be effective, even just 5-10 years ago, no longer works. Most development teams have been pushed for more software at greater speeds and in order to meet these new demands have turned to technology to help them become more efficient.

Development teams that can create quality software without wasting time are winning the respect of their customers executives. If your software team is winning, life is good. If not, you’re rushing to adapt, realizing the strategic, and technical gaps on on your team are a huge limiting factor to company growth. For software testers, we’re often still playing catch up with development teams. We realize that today creating quality software at great speeds is about building the right foundation and relationships, and we have to do this with developers.

Even the best agile software testing tools and processes will only do so much– there’s no overestimating the human factor. You need to hire, or be on, a winning team!

In order to help you create this team we have put together four of the most important characteristics to keep in mind when putting together your own software testing team:

4 Characteristics of a Winning Software Testing Team

#1 A Manager Who Empowers Testing, Not Documentation

Naturally, the manager represents one of the most critical members of any software testing team. An effective manager can motivate every software tester on his or her team, while less successful managers may just get in the way.

So how do you make sure your software testing team manager is going to help you win? By looking for managers who care about testing over documentation.

“No software tester wants to spend most of their time creating reports.”

This can be a tricky issue, since documentation is going to be an invaluable and critical element of software testing. However, sometimes managers get so focused on documentation that it becomes the team’s main focus. Or, at least, that’s how it feels for the testers. And no software tester wants to spend the bulk of his or her time creating reports – he or she wants to actually test. The best managers will recognize this and aim to strike the right balance, using documentation to support the team’s efforts, not dominate them.

Here is another great blog post “Where do Test Managers Belong in Agile testing Teams“, where Ryan Yackel dives into how testing roles fit into an agile framework, and how to best approach a transitional period.

#2 Testers that Want to Add Business Value

In the past, it was enough for software testers to essentially go by the book, running their tests and reporting on the results. Today, if your company aims to get the maximum value from your agile software testing teams, that’s not good enough.

Instead, you need to look for software testers who are able and eager to contribute to the business as a whole. Someone who keeps their head down and isn’t interested in how the app fits into the broader business picture isn’t going to be the best option for your organization. Only those testers who want to add business value will be capable of not just executing your tests, but also help determine what to test for. You should therefore make sure to incorporate business issues when developing software testing interview questions for new candidates.

#3 Members Who Embrace Different Testing Methods

As we covered in a recent blog post, today’s best software testers need to embrace new software testing tools and strategies as they become available. This is especially important in the fast-evolving world of agile software testing. The key thing to keep in mind here is that not every method will work. But by testing creatively, testers can add a great deal of value to the team, ensuring that efforts are always moving forward.

When evaluating software tester candidates, you should look for applicants who are creative, open-minded and willing to admit failure. After all, failed software testing experiments are unavoidable for ambitious teams.

Successful software testing teams aren’t afraid of failure.

#4 Teammates Who are Excited to Share Knowledge

Finally, you should look for software testers who are great at communicating and eager to share their knowledge with teammates. With the arrival of agile, testing can’t be an isolated act anymore – teams need to be smoothly functioning units that trust and rely on each other. That can only happen when knowledge travels freely among every team member.

If you can put together a software testing team that shares these traits, you’ll be well on your way to ongoing testing success.

Once you have that great team in place a great you might want to think about setting up a Testing Center of Practice, which Kevin Dunne breaks down in this blog post earlier this month.

Listen to this on-demand webinar featuring Keith Klain to learn what trends are in store for software testing in 2016

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