Like in any other software development life cycle, Testing too requires some important factors to develop and maintain for continuous process improvement. One such factor is Team Building. While building a right team, focus should be on the following key elements:
Roles and Responsibilities
It is very important for the team members to understand what they are supposed to do. This was quite often not communicated or discussed with the team. Before start of a project, the team members must be explained on the typical tasks which they will be performing on a daily basis for their respective roles. Be it a tester or a test lead, setting the expectations and explaining what is expected out of them will give correct results without unnecessary delays or errors.
Following points need to be clarified to the team:
- + Scope of the Project
- + Roles and Responsibilities expected from everyone
- + Key points to focus like Deliverables, Timelines etc.
- + Explain about the Strategy and Plan
And above all, the team members have the primary responsibility to keep in mind their career aspirations, growth, learning etc. which will be the key motivators to perform in their current roles to excel.
It is very vital for the Testers to understand the Domain as well as the functions of the application to be able to thoroughly test the application under test. KT sessions are very essential to make them understand the core functions and logics, which will be used to apply during testing. Brainstorming sessions are vital to share common understanding of application and domain.
Discussion should involve testers right from the project initial discussions which essentially consists of Business people, Architects, Developers, Database experts etc.. Involving testers during these early stages of software development will provide good knowledge and understanding about the application that is going to be developed and tested.
Understanding the application’s Domain (e.g. Healthcare, Insurance etc) is very important and will be helpful for Testers to verify the functionality with a different perspective, wearing the hat of the end customer as well as a SME. It takes time and only over the period of working in a particular domain, the resource will be able to familiarize on the domain he is working. Sometimes, a tester will get a chance to test different applications belonging to the same domain, so testing becomes easier and meaningful if he has knowledge on the overall domain.
Technical and Domain Certifications
Having a talented pool of testers is definitely a big asset for the project. The focus should be to train the team and get them certified in the respective areas they work by nominating for internal certifications. There are also a host of external certifications which can also be selected and get the team trained.
Certifications will definitely give the team a moral support and maturity to perform testing with confidence. Domain certified resources will also leverage the intellectual knowledge gain which can be showcased to prospective clients for new business opportunities.
It’s not enough to create just a team of testers with all skill set, but to provide opportunities for them to come up their career ladder is also significantly important. Create or nominate to programs to shape them eligible for their next level of role will obviously fulfil the needs of identifying resources when required. Team meetings can be effectively utilized to emphasize their roles and responsibilities in their next level. Educating them the various skills required to perform in their next roles is a very good advantage and also a continuous process improvement. Every Manager has the responsibility to explain about the duties that are expected to be performed when the resources are getting promoted. This will make sure that not just a set of resources are promoted, but a ready-to-work responsible and skilled individuals are.
Team Dynamics and Group Outing
It’s quite obvious to ensure there is a level of team dynamics established and followed by the team for effective group work, meeting common goals, finishing panned targets and achieving on time. Making them understand that “Project” is the common objective for all in the project and completing what the customer wants is “Priority”. To accomplish this, everyone should work together as a “Team” leaving all differences behind and completing the planned tasks is the only “Target”. During weekly team meetings, the team members should receive the information on Tasks, Priorities for the next period and have common understanding on the work to be performed, clear and loud.
Team building exercises and outings are really necessary to burn out the stress and for a good recharge. This will also help for a better understanding outside the project works and in a different environment altogether. Small token of appreciation can be announced during team meetings to identify talents and to encourage and motivate others to perform.