7 features of a great testing team

It goes without saying that software development is made of many different elements. If you’d like to create a high-quality product that is optimized for market success, one of the essential aspects of your process should be testing.

To make testing efficient, you need a well-structured process that addressed your needs, a selection of software tool necessary for test management and execution, and all the hardware required for getting that done.

However, people remain at the center of your testing process. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your process is – without the right team on board, your chance of success is much lower.

Everyone is different, and that’s what is great about people. However, for realizing specific tasks in a given environment, some features are more important than others. By promoting and developing these 7 characteristics of your testing team, you will boost its efficiency and take your testing process to the next level.

Diverse testing skills

Software testing comes in many shapes and sizes. While some techniques work for a wide variety of scenarios, using a single methodology for every single task might quickly turn out to be inefficient.

That’s why you should make sure that your testing team includes testers with different skill sets.

For example, an automatic test engineer will design smoke tests, a manual tester will execute typical testing scenarios, and an exploratory test specialist will be the one to perform edge testing. Naturally, there are many more testing techniques you can include so make sure to learn which ones will come in handy in your project and hire testers accordingly.

Domain knowledge

Apart from testing skills, a great testing team needs to have domain knowledge relevant to the project in realization. Domain knowledge allows for better understanding of the application being tested, which in turn allows to test it more efficiently.

For example, when testing an application used in finance, knowledge about financial products like basic features, calculation methods, or repayment scheduling techniques can help testers identify bugs. If you’re starting out with an existing team, acquiring that type of domain knowledge will take some time – but you can be sure that this is a good investment.

Proactive approach

Today testing is no longer based on a model where testers are focused only on executing their range of scenarios and notifying developers about bugs.

Instead, great testing teams are proactive. A proactive approach to testing improves the business value of the product. A great testing team can identify critical processes and design tests in accordance with business use cases.

That type of testing team is not only responsible for product testing, but also reviewing solutions included in the product, suggesting how bugs can be fixed, or coming up with ideas for improving the product.

Mixed experience

When building your testing team, pay attention to the experience level of each team member. Apart from their testing skills, that factor will determine the effectiveness and quality of their work, as well as team development.

For example, testers who participated in several projects will be able to mentor team members who are not as experienced. That way, junior team members will develop their skills faster.

Experienced testers offer great intuition and problem-solving skills thanks to the experience acquired during different projects. On the other hand, beginner testers bring in fresh insights to the team and might be able to spot problems that went unnoticed by experienced testers.

Communication

Building a great team is impossible without having a solid communication strategy in place. And in the case of testing, communication is even more important because testers need to collaborate with developers, analysts, support teams, and other project stakeholders.

Testers need to know how to communicate problems they identify efficiently and help others in reproducing these bugs. Sometimes testers may need to consult developers to learn how a given functionality works. All that means that your testing team needs open and communicative people.

Independence

An excellent testing team needs to know how to communicate effectively with other teams, but also how to be independent. Testing is based on facts, and testing teams need to formulate their opinions independently of any external factors. It might be the influence of other people, the pressure of an approaching deadline, or personal relationships – neither of them should affect the work of testers. That’s why a great testing team is an independent and authentic team.

Great leader

All the features mentioned above might not be enough if the testing team doesn’t include a great leader. That person supports team members, showing them potential directions for growth and helping in the realization of daily tasks. A great leader should have excellent testing skills and ample experience in the field, but also the ability to listen and understand their team members.

Key takeaway

Building a great testing team is challenging, but these 7 features should help you to hire the right people for the job.

Are you building a testing team? Have a look at my previous article where I talked about 6 strategies that boost the productivity of any testing team.

Have you got any questions about building a fantastic testing team? Leave a comment below and share your experience to help us all learn more about creating amazing testing teams.

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About Marcin Żurawiecki

Test process modeling is my area of expertise. I am strongly convinced that testing has a significant impact on the final quality of any software product. That’s why choosing the right people, tools, and methodologies is essential for developing an efficient testing process. I believe that Jira is a versatile project management software that helps to model different types of processes in a single place, including testing.

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