Test Managers – Adapting to Agile

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    I keep reading articles suggesting that Test Managers need to change their roles within Agile.  This fascinates and worries me. I coordinate and plan UAT, System and Regression Testing for 5 scrum teams, but according to agile methodology my role isn’t necessary. If I don’t exist who set QA and Test KPI’s?  Who ensures there are enough testing resources. Who does the hiring, who makes sure testers get the training they want and need? To whom should clients and stake holders escalate any testing concerns?  I’ve yet to meet a Development Manager who wants to do all of the above.  One White Paper I’ve read suggests Test Managers should be Scrum Masters. Would a scrum master do all of the above?  I think Agile is great, it keeps each of our Scrum teams focused, but there is a bigger picture, and I think a lot of so called experts have lost sight of it.  I’m interested in how other organisations plan regression and system testing when many scrum teams merge and branch, it would great to hear from you.  Thanks.


    Hi Anne-Marie,

    I try to see this as a trend. It might fit some contexts more than others. I see that many test managers in these situations moves to become something else, they shift. While more testers “Shift-left” many test managers have to shift to more coaching and facilitating activities. I try to label this “shift coach

    The ground breaker for this trend, is to me, the talk “How I Lost My Job As a Test Manager presented at  Test Bash 2015 by  Stephen Janaway Stephen explains how reorganization of the test manager role forced him to be more a facilitator than embedded in the teams. Similarly many other great test managers talk more and more about people skills and coaching, especially in agile projects. …

    The talk was repeated at EuroStar 2015 and Nordic Testing Days – you can grab the slides here: https://nordictestingdays.eu/files/files/stephen_janaway-why_i_lost_my_job_as_a_test_manager.pdf 

    How to do it? Always look towards that it’s more important that the task get’s done, than who does it. Look towards helping the team deliver value. And when not – accept the break up, when the self-organising team moves. As elaborated here: https://www.leadingagile.com/2016/12/the-break-up/

    Change is hard – but we have to face it. Better make the change, than being changed.:)



    according to agile methodology my role isn’t necessary

    You misspelled “mythology”.

    —Michael B.

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