Sreeram Gopalakrishnan, Cognizant Technology Solutions
When Agile grew in prominence in the last decade and half, one of the big questions it posed was about the relevance of the role of a test manager in Agile. And today, the question stands extended beyond Agile. With organizations looking to drive down Quality Assurance (QA) costs, complemented by advancements in technology and organizations’ QA maturity, the role of the traditional test manager is surely at crossroads.
What does it mean for the test manager? It means that the test manager’s role will evolve and spawn newer dimensions that hitherto had been outside the traditional scope or had remained secondary. The test manager will not just manage the test phase deliverables and the associated costs, quality, schedules and risks, but will play an expansive role in the project’s or program’s overall scheme of things.
There are at least three distinct newer dimensions of a test manager’s role that are becoming apparent. The first is that of a technology evangelist, wherein the test manager drives adoption of tools, technologies and innovations. Instead of just managing the adoption process, the test manager will have hands-on involvement in all phases from conceptualization, through to design, pilot and institutionalization.
The second is where the test manager plays an integration specialist, integrating and influencing the multiple disparate Information Technology (IT) functions that matter for total quality. The areas, to name a few, include infrastructure production readiness, code release management, application production performance, software development life cycle (SDLC) governance, quality management office (QMO), and even merger and acquisition (M&A) synergism.
The third is that of a value manager, that ensures that all quality initiatives, operational or strategic, deliver the value for their investment. This will require the test manager to adopt proven value frameworks such as the balanced scorecard (BSC) or earned value management (EVM) and institutionalize them within the project or program.
The paper will elaborate the role dimensions described above, and the best practices and frameworks test managers can leverage to successfully transition into their redefined role expectations.
Target Audience: Expert