Test Management under Crisis
We are in a situation where the market is closing on us fast with a lot of demands on product quality, reducing costs, improving business value. Test managers will have to cope in various ways, and develop new strategies and tactics.
The main challenges we are faced with in my opinion are: managing our processes better, taking calculated risks (based on facts and trends), and managing the human factor better - we are dependant on good people in times like we have more than in regular times.
That can be achieved only via innovative and initiative effort by test managers, gaining knowledge in how to leverage their testing and also to add more value to the business.
Learning new ways to improve our test processes, is a good start. On that we may focus on TPI or TMM or TMMi, CTP or other methods that exist in the market, and are proactive proven.
On risk based testing, and managing our risks better, we should look for risk management knowledge - it is very much related and similar in guidelines and concepts.
The last topic, is maybe the most challenging one - people focus. How to drive good people to have high moral in times like we have, improve their technical abilities, their dedication, so they will be able to push our products quality froward.
There is no magic we can do, but to learn more about the motivation factors, and know more about the future technical challenges of our organization (product wise). Make sure we have been in at least 1 soft skills course, maybe take a consultant/coach to take us through some of the high bumps, and get on our way. It is a lot of trial and error, but errors are difficult since we are dealing with people.
High executives have a better position in making strong demands now, and test managers must come behind those demands, support them, and show what they can do.