Achieving the highest possible quality in software products is nothing more and nothing less than the mission of QA (quality assurance) teams, who are in charge of all testing-related tasks. Positive leadership is essential to achieve or exceed the expected results, add the maximum possible value to the project, and optimize customer satisfaction.

According to the team approach, all members of the QA area, regardless of their specific roles or seniority, work towards the same goal. By listening actively, leaders enable interaction among members and invite them to contribute their ideas and work collaboratively.

In addition, the team leader must set the targets by highlighting the importance of QA within the project and enabling communication channels so that all parties know their roles and relevance in achieving those targets.

Participation and motivation

Collaboration is key. Everyone can do everything (always within the responsibilities and tasks inherent to each role) or even offer help outside QA if that optimizes delivery and improves results. A positive leader will ask team members for their opinions so that decisions are not perceived as imposed. Motivation must be the order of the day: it is essential to value daily work, effort, creativity, and honesty and provide continuous feedback.

Discussions should not strain relationships, and changes should be understood as the gateway to new challenges.

While it is true that testing teams have always been scattered, with team members working from different physical locations, the mobility restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic widened the distance gap. Leaders must enable interaction to generate daily and continuous social contact, reinforce the idea of commitment to the objectives, provide the necessary motivation, and always share information to keep the teams united, enthusiastic, and committed. Emotional warmth and empathy have emerged as two special skills to support the emotional health of team members.

The road to the masterpiece

Leaders can guarantee the project’s success if they count on the trust and recognition of their team. Working under “imposed” leaders is less motivating. And those who “choose” their leader as their natural guide, somebody they can rely on and consider their go-to person, tend to be more committed.

As to practices, the leader’s goal is to find the perfect blend. They need the team members not to perceive themselves individually based on their unique skills for the specific task (manual, automation, load & performance) but to recognize themselves as a unified block working towards the quality of the product.

To do so, leaders must identify the interdependence of practices and enable a seamless interaction between them, including collaborative activities, so that each can be carried out satisfactorily. For example, the manual coverage of cases to later automate as needed.

Testing is often perceived as a technical task. However, the right leader can turn it into art: this practice is based on “thinking outside the box,” requiring 100% creativity at all times. When you take this stance, you can not only achieve the best possible quality: but you can also build true masterpieces.