In traditional organizations the test manager leads a team of test coordinators and/or testers. Since the test manager oversees the entire testing process, he ought to be able to prevent a fragmented approach. Today’s test manager also tries to shift the focus of testing at the end of a project toward other quality measures that can be implemented at the start of a project, such as reviews, inspections, proofs of concept. He or she is the linking pin in drafting the test strategy, bringing all the necessary parties and information together. The test manager is responsible for the planning, management and execution of testing, ensuring that it is on time and on budget and at the right quality, for multiple test varieties. The test manager reports in line with the overall test plan on the progress of the test process and the quality of the test object.
Examples of the test manager tasks:
- Creating the instructions for the test products delivered by the various test varieties
- Checking the adherence to the instructions (internal reviews)
- Coordinating the various test activities that apply to the test varieties, such as setting up and managing the technical infrastructure
- Creating guidelines for communication and reporting between the test varieties, and the test process and the suppliers
- Setting up overall test-method-related, technical and functional support
- Keeping the various test plans consistent
- Reporting on the overall test progress, budget and quality of the test object, preferably automated with a test management tool
- Managing expectations of different stakeholders with respect to test progress and quality
- Deployment/hiring of (extra) test personnel.
The test manager is the only person involved in this role.
The artifacts for a test manager in a traditional environment include:
- A Master test plan
- Progress reports
- A release report and/or a test report
The success factors of a traditional test manager are:
- Great stakeholder management
- Good overview of the test tasks at hand
- Being able to communicate clearly to the different stakeholders about testing progress.