You must put in so much effort to manage a QA team effectively. And the same thing comes over when we talk about how to motivate test teams. But it’s much easier if you know the key facts of QA team management. We described them in our article about the QA manager pitfalls to avoid.
Why is QA team motivation important?
Have you ever tried to accomplish anything in your life without proper motivation? Probably not. Because motivation is the base of every successful affair. And as QA and development departments are a foundation stone for any business, their motivation has an even bigger significance to business prosperity.
There are three components that make up development and QA teams: humans, technology, and workflows. If any one of these three is out of balance, your team’s motivation levels can suffer. If a team isn’t motivated, the quality of tests will slip, morale will drop even further, and the problem is quickly self-reinforcing.
Tips to increase testing team motivation
You will want to ensure that every single team participant is equipped with everything they need to complete their tasks and ensure that the products ultimately reach the end users.
This can be hard if you lack resources, don’t have experience in this area, or haven’t had enough time to put together an employee manual. However, by following the tips below on how to help maintain high motivation in your QA team, you can certainly motivate anyone to meet the company’s targets.
Acknowledge and praise their work
We live in a very fast-paced world today, and there is often little time to stop, reflect and appreciate what we have done. Encourage team members to feel valued by praising and acknowledging them.
You will create positive reinforcement by taking some time each day to acknowledge your QA team’s achievements.
For example, in aqua, every Thursday, we say “Thank you” to those team members who helped us during the week and say our “hoorays” to our superstars for even minor achievements.
It helps keep the team motivated in the long run. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and valued, especially when it comes from someone they respect and admire.
Favour clear communication
Communication is key to motivating your QA teams. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that you communicate effectively with your entire team at all times. Make sure that everyone understands where they’re going wrong so that they can correct their mistakes before things get out of hand:
- Communicate your vision for projects to ensure employees know performance expectations;
- Give relevant feedback and make it a two-way street;
- Don’t turn communication into micromanaging your QA team — give freedom to employees.
Keep communication channels open between managers and workers to ensure better managing QA technical teams. This will allow for better conflict resolution as well as clearer lines of communication about expectations for both sides.
Know superpowers of your team people
QA teams are generally made up of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. So when managing technical teams QA leads should try to accommodate their individual needs as much as possible.
There is a short list of some more off-top tips on how to show appreciation for the work that your QA team does:
- Check in with everyone individually;
- Talk to people about their personal goals and provide various opportunities for self-development;
- Understand that different approaches work for different people.
Make sure everyone on your QA team understands what they’re contributing to the project. It’s important that everyone working on a project understands its broader purpose. In this way, they can feel they’re making an impact with their work through tangible results instead of just being “invisible cogs” in someone else’s machine.
Boost the creative environment
Creativity can eliminate the monotonousness of testers’ groundhog days. Most of them suffer from this “ test by test, click by click, hour by hour”, you know.
Our advice here is to encourage creativity among your QA team members in order to keep things fresh and exciting for everyone involved (including yourself!). Try team building, contests or bringing some action into testing. For example, motivating teams to automated testing gives them a reason to make it more creative.
Engage them in the process by asking questions like “What do you think about this? What should we do, and how do we manage it for a better result?” Let them make decisions too.
This will help keep morale high while ensuring. As well you can try the next:
- Foster competitive spirit with rewards;
- Allow them to experiment with their work and the ways they do this.
A little segue on how the web-based test case management tool aqua ALM can also help with this:
aqua ALM helps reduce redundant actions and tests by reusing already existing test cases. Just edit them when it’s necessary, and it’s ready to go.
Given all the technicalities involved in this QA team management process, we would say that maintaining an individual’s QA motivation is dependent on several factors, such as involvement level, personal motivation, and lack of private problems; and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
The practice of QA team management will always be a balancing act, where a manager must give careful consideration to every move made to ensure the best possible results. Talk to your HR, and read a couple of books if you want to be prepared for your battle even better. However, following the basics that we described above can significantly simplify motivating your team.