I am longing for a flat world. A world where managers facilitate the craftsman and the craftsman gets the credits. Testers are craftsman because they master or acquire all skills to make a contribution to successful software for the customer.
With this vision in my mind I am working in a large Dutch insurance company in Amsterdam. And during my assignment I was wondering how I could make the shift to put the test analyst more upfront as the center of testing. In the old world there was too much focus on becoming test coordinator or even test manager. This was a focus which comes from thinking in hierarchical structures as if it was the factory where Charlie Chaplin was working during ‘Modern Times”. And these structures doesn’t give enough credit to the people how are actually doing the work.
A great opportunity came by because we are making the major shift from waterfall to scrum development. This has a major impact on the tester’s role. It creates opportunities. Now is the time to take that opportunity and make a shift to the future. In our company we start to redefine roles in testing.
A central position is given to the test analysts, they are the very core of testing. Around these test analyst, new roles are created based on craftsmanship such as chain tester, test automation specialist and test infrastructure specialist. The test manager and test coordinator only facilitate or even disappear in the future. My role of test manager is also changed. I am standing in between the scrum masters and product owners in a role as a kind of acceptance manager besides coaching my testers to become better testers.
Now we have redefined these roles, the next step for testers is to become better craftsmen. For instance by following a course Rapid Software Testing. In addition we will launch a pilot with Session Based Test Management which perfectly fits in the approach of scrum teams. If we can complete this shift, we will be future proof, at least for the time being.
By Ard Kramer