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  1. #1

    Help needed - QA team structure & KPIs

    Hello Everyone!

    I am reading this forum and am excited about experience some of authors have! Awesome!

    I am officially at QA position, although I fulfill QA lead's work during the last year or so. We had serious changes recently (our QA Manager and IT Manager left, then new IT Manager was hired a moth ago) and as a result I am being offered to try QA manager's role, and so if I cope whith it, I would be oficially promoted to QA Manager, skipping QA Lead's role.

    My responsibilites are:
    -Planning (work, team)
    -Motivation and improvement (People - learning, tech - innovations, documents and tools)
    -Trouble Management
    -Communication (reporting, meetings etc)
    -Control (& feedback)
    -Future vision (mission? What is a difference with Planning?)
    -KPI's (nothing in mind atm)

    Our team was self-organizing so far, so there is a huge challenge for me (I do not have managing experience other than lead's role).

    So, my nearest challenges are:
    1) to propose and invent new team structure (scalable!)
    2) to invent [some] assessment system (assess staff improvements/achievements)

    We have 11 QAs atm, including myself:
    -1 Security QA
    -1 Performance QA
    -1 Internal system QA
    -1 Automation QA
    -1 Technical QA
    -5 Functional QAs
    -me (Lead/Manager's role -->> Need to be more manager than lead, i.e. "STOP TESTING YOURSELF! DELEGATE!")
    -1 QA starting next week

    Functionally, we have completely separate roles for 5 single QAs in a list with separate responsibilities (which almost do not cross) and all the functional testing is separated in 2 functions:
    -new products / bugs
    -integrations & rollout / related bugs

    which actually are divided (it is not being concidered to divide 5 QAs to 2 groups by functionality due to some reasons, can provide if necessary) between all functional testers

    So, my boss says I will not be able to provide support for each QA personally, so he insists on QA Lead roles between me and a team, whereas I only see 1 potential Lead here (In fact, leading integrations & rollouts already). I do not see any other lead in my team yet. I was kind of hoping to be one, but things turned out to be different. I do not want to hire ready lead because of budget and necessity to teach him/her. We are VERY busy - cannot spend extra time to teaching. Our solution we are pushing - automation, we are going to hire 1 more automation QA and developers are also helping us by writing JUnit Tests etc.

    So, the question is: how would you structurize such a team if you were me?

    Regarding KPIs and people assessments: I am googling, but found nothing that could help me yet. Number of reported bugs/severity/percentage... I do not see the point of such assessment. I am QA myself, I know this would demotivate me and it does not MEAN anything. I would like to assess realy meaningfully. Are there any really useful methodics I can google for? Another issue here - I can assess QAs as a QA myself by comparing what/how I do to what/how they do. But talking about Security (for example) - I am zero there, how can I assess?

    Sorry for such a messy post, I am very new to all this stuff. It's extremely interesting, but I need to improve and learn a lot. Will you help me a bit? [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Give me a route [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: Help needed - QA team structure & KPIs


    It's always difficult for someone to move from a non-management role to their first management role.

    It's hard to make specific recommendations without knowing a lot more about your situation than can be communicated in a forum like this. But I can talk a bit in general.

    Regarding the team structure: You had a QA Manager before, right? So presumably the team already has a structure? You might wish to leave that structure in place - at least until you've had the time to assess whether a different structure is actually needed or not.

    Regarding people assessments - how were you assessed in the past? Can that be your guide?

    Here's a checklist I wrote for myself as I was about to start up my last QA Team. Perhaps it will help as you assume your new role:

    Good luck!
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  3. #3

    Re: Help needed - QA team structure & KPIs

    Thank you Joe, this is really useful! I loved a list you sent me, will definitely use it! Thanx a lot!

    Regarding our former QA Manager - yes, we had him, but team is growing rapidly and this role is going to change. Our former QA Manager was not Manager (as it normally means), it was more formal position, where he was mainly doing the same tasks as QA Lead. So structure was not changed for a long time. Now, our new IT Manager wants Manager to be more Manager and less Tester, he wants me to organize, motivate, plan etc rather than perform testing myself (where our old Manager was also covering simle tasks). Our company is rapidly growing and we are at the point when we need to invent more documents, regulations, assessments etc. There is a huge chaos atm [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] So I understand everything is on me now.

    Assessment - yes, I have been assessed before, but I do not know this process from the other side. I will try to base my future assessment system on my experience as well though.

  4. #4

    Re: Help needed - QA team structure & KPIs

    As I have suggested to new managers before - to help stop you doing the worker tasks get your it admin to remove your access rights.

    The best way to get buy in on any KPIs is to ask your team how they want to be measured. It's mostly about quantifying how you show you've done a good job and under what circumstances they consider their projects successful and then working out a constructive way to measure this.
    The story so far:
    In the beginning the Universe was created.
    This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.



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