The position of Test Manager in the traditional sense is redundant when working within an Agile Development team. In Scrum, the most popular Agile method there is no position or role for the Test Manager. This is not to say that test management is not necessary, but rather most of the management work is allocated to team members. Of course, here we are talking about the Agile concept of ownership and in terms of testing, we speak of testing task allocation, – where self organising team members are allocated and accept responsibility for a portion of the testing work to be done.
The new role of the Test Manager within an Agile Development project is principally one of strategy and coordination of Testing, with a focus on education with regards to best practice and in terms of supporting the team to determine what type of testing to carry out. When testing tasks arise that are difficult to place in the team (where the dividing line of ownership is a little fuzzy and out of focus), for these tasks it may well be better for the team to outsource these tasks. This includes training, budgets and career development and tooling within an enterprise typically fall outside of the team purely due to the scaling-up effect, in-effect economies of scale require that a more centralized approach to decision making be taken.
Typically, the following tasks are assignable to team members:
When speaking of testing strategy within the context of Agile Test Management, up front design of testing is critical, the Test Manager must define what is and is-not acceptable in terms of testing and should work closely with the Agile Architect on reinforcing best practice and to keep individual team members in check, (and on mission) – working to the same plan. Any documentation of testing strategy should be short and with concise points, quick to lookup and update, responsive to constant feedback. It should contain clear coherent approach to automated testing. Up front design is crucial to an Agile project to minimize changing requirements and to prevent later rework.
What Features Should a QA + Test Management Tool have?
The sharing of testing tasks within large projects requires a method to collaborate on testing. One of the most intensive applications of Test management is in a large enterprise DevOps environment in which Continuous Delivery (CD) and continuous testing are necessary. Therefore a Test Management tool within a integrated ALM Software designed to support the integration of both Development and Operations (DevOps) is the pinnicle of Test Management tools. In the case of our own codeBeamer ALM, the test management features include:
- Both manual and automated testing
- Test Management Test Plans, Test Cases, Test Sets, Test Execution
- Test case library management and reuse
- Requirements-test Coverage Analysis
- Test Parameterization
- Test Reporting
- Defect Management
Most importantly, all of the QA + Test Management features are completely integrated within the overall application lifecycle management (ALM) feature set (within a single repository), thereby providing the complete transparency and traceability necessary for mission critical applications frequently encountered within the medical, automotive and aviation industries .