I have worked many years in a number of different companies in different testing teams and my experiences have varied widely from highly enjoyable to significantly less enjoyable. The level of my enjoyment each time is undoubtedly connected to the effectiveness of the team. Someone asked me recently how I would define an effective testing team and the following characteristics are what I came up with;
Do You Want To Get Out of Bed in the Morning?
We’re talking about a tension-free, considerate, enjoyable working atmosphere with no signs of unhealthy aggression or boredom. Let’s put it this way- if your heart sinks as you walk through the office door, you should probably be asking yourself some questions…
I am a great supporter of the work places that encourage a lively work culture- eating lunch together at an assigned time whenever possible, taking trips as a company and treating employees well. “A Happy Worker is a Productive Worker”? Never gets old.
Where are We Going?
Clear objectives are needed in order for a team to know where headed. Objective should be discussed and well-formulated (a classic example of this would be the Scrum framework used in Agile testing frameworks). Assignments are clear and understood by all. An effective team stops routinely in order to evaluate themselves and their progress.
Go Home, Ego
There is no room for ego in an effective team- there is, instead, a real desire to want to listen and learn from every team member, no matter how new or senior he is. In addition, disagreements happen comfortably and constructively. In fact, differences of opinion are viewed as helpful and aren’t suppressed. In such a team, one feels a real desire and ease in expressing oneself, knowing that they can freely express their ideas and feelings about problems and operations.
I Promise to be True to You in Good Times and in Bad
A team needs committed members- committed to the team, the team’s goal and the testing profession. Team members should be driven to help each other, to build their skills in the field and should want to advance constantly.
Follow the Trusty Leader
Obviously a testing team needs a leader, but for a team to run like clockwork, a leader who knows how challenge the team to improve, ensures timely completion of assignments and the smooth running of operations without allowing the team to feel undue stress from the powers that be and, perhaps most importantly, know how to give credit where credit it is due. It can be extremely disheartening to work night and day on a project only to have the team leader turn around and present the entire project and all the hard work it required as his own…
Although this list is far from extensive in my eyes it covers important aspects of a successful testing team- I’d be delighted to hear what you think so please comment below with your additions…