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    Thanks for viewing my webinar. Feel free to ask questions or start a discussion here.

    What are your ideal traits for a test lead?

    You can view the webinar recording & slides Here


    When you want Coaching from your Test Manager do you mean on testing or general work related?
    As a test manager I’ve found my team work best when I have a personal work relationship and can help guide them outside of testing in the work environment.

    E.g. I worked with someone who was Aspergic and needed help to develop inside the company, because he wasn’t confident to tell everyone about his problem but it was obvious he was not the same as everyone else. With a personal relationship he built in confidence and we were able to plan a career path where his particular quirks were valued and helped him perform better.


    I think one of the key things is to lead – sounds simple. It shouldn’t be a dictatorship and you should look for advice from your team but you need to be the one to make the big decisions and take the responsibility. If things go wrong, you carry the can rather than letting your team take the blame.


    Thank yo for the webinar, Anna! I would like to know if you find any advantages in having testers do development work in order to become better testers?


    Interesting that you took the testers point of view. Refressing

    You said that test lead is not same as test manager on project level but someone looking at things on broader view and many projects. How do you then fit the test lead to beign a team menber? Do you mean this at a project level? So hould the test lead be in several teams at the same time?


    I think you need the blend of managing, leading by example, training, making them self sufficient and mentoring. You have to take the non work elements of people into account.


    Hi Stephen. When I talk about coaching it is highly depending on the receiver. Some need more coaching in som areas and other in other areas. No work related area should be excluded. The personal relationship that you mention is exactly what enable the coaching and support you should give your team.


    Hi Martyn. I definitely agree.


    Another question: I have worked in both collocated teams and remote virtual teams, being part of the team; as you describe it, is difficult in a remote virtual team, is there any differences you would expect in those two situations?
    As a remote tester working for a test manger in another country what would you like the test manager to do different? If anything.


    Hi Johani.

    In this case I define “development work” as coding.

    There is a simple but highly unusefull answer to that.. it depends ๐Ÿ™‚

    If your testers do usability testing, perhaps they will not benefit that much from that. If your testers write automated test cases, definitely! But there are other aspects more related to the human mind. Some testers really don’t like to do development work. they will therefore not benefit enough from that experience in comparison to the cost.

    So I am sorry, there is no good and definite ansver to that in my opinion.

    What do YOU think?


    Stephen – from experience I would say lots of open communication is key when working across split sites, and if possible to try and meet face to face.

    Anna – any tips for poor test leads?


    Hi Nina

    In my definition I tried to set the picture of an organisation with one or more projects. Each project have a project manager. The test manager work with quality assurance (Processes, ways of working etc) spanning over all projects.

    Each project consist on one or more teams that are managed by the same project manager. Each team have their own dev-lead, test-lead, developers and testers. So, both the dev-lead and testlead is a part of the team. the reason they were slightly on the side/on top in my picture was for it being easier to see them ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you need some extra test coordination between several teams, then I would introduce a test coordinator for that specific project and keep the test leads in their teams. A testlead that leads several teams are at risk to become alienated with both teams and the testers will miss out on several of the hings that I value as important.


    Stephen, the situations you describe are very tricky. As a remote tester you need your testlead to be even more a part of the team. As a testlead you nedd to make extra effort to assure a good relation between all team member. You need to create a good bond with every team member and be just as present as if you were in the room. You will probably also have to increase the information flow and find good ways of communication.

    I would not suggest remote located testers/testleads in the long run.


    Martyn, poor testleads seldom realise that the are bad testleads so just the fact that you think you are a bad testlead suggest you are a good testlead ๐Ÿ™‚ A good testlead always tries to do better ๐Ÿ™‚

    But, if you are a bad testlead I would suggest that you try to put your self in your testers shoes and ask yourself: What do I as a tester want from my testlead? Not so easy as it sounds. another option is to ask your testers. However it is hard for a bad testlead to get honest feedback from the team. It will hurt but try takling to the grumpiest and most brutaly honest person in the group. The truth hurts. And the key is to LISTEN and really taking it in.

    You will not go from bad to good in one day but work with the team and each change will change not only you but the whole team and slowly you’ll all get there together. The team is your best supporters and most honest critics.


    Anna, ok this is just a matter of different ways of using and defining test manager and test lead. But yeas the test lead in this sense should have just one project or two at the most if they are smaller projects.


    Nina, that is why I had to start by defining my view on the role “testlead” as there are just as many definitions as there are people ๐Ÿ™‚


    Hi Anna, could you please describe in hierarchical level which job positions should be in ideal Quality Assurance department? I mean Tester, Test Analyst, Test Manager, Test Lead, …


    Hi Robert, could you define your view on quality assurance?


    Quality Assurance is a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers.


    We have e.g. 3 teams and each team has about 6 projects. What do you think is the best count of Test Managers, Test Leads?


    Robert: at one level I would say 6 projects = 6 leads. But 1 Manager can cope (Depending on the size and effort involved in each project/team)

    I personally have manage a program of 4 major projects each with 4 work streams, which equates to 16 teams. With good leads and coordinators the manager can provide good leadership, coaching etc.



    I don’t think I can give you another picture than the one in my presentation if you are chasing “the ideal” setup. But what is ideal in one situation can be completely wrong in another. The role test analyst is not exactly obvious to be. What does a test analyst do?

    Given the sparse information I would theoretically stand by 3 testleads and 1 test manager. But there are a lot of conditions to this answer. In reality situations are far more complex and slightest additional information can, and will, make my answer irrelevant and a bad fit for the situation. I need to know A LOT more about your organization, projects, situation, problems, successes and so forth to give you a really good advice.

    If you really want that advice, and are free to share this information, you (and anyone else) can reach me on [email protected]


    Hi Anna,
    How you think in opposite way.
    Test lead is a spy? Or commander who force tester to work as he want?

    Now I am working in such company where there is no test lead, and all testers we work in self-responsible way with minimum supervision and report issue directly to project manager (our project is complex). I am happy to say I am team member where all we testers think โ€˜Testing/QA is our Passionโ€™

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