Role: Test Manager
This role leads the overall test effort. This includes quality and test advocacy, resource planning and management, and resolution of issues that impede the test effort.
Role Sets: ManagersTesters
Main Description

Roles organize the responsibility for performing tasks and developing work products into logical groups. Each role can be assigned to one or more people, and each person can fill one or more roles. When staffing the Test Manager role, you need to consider both the skills required for the role and the different approaches you can take to assigning staff to the role.


Supported by the following basic skills and expedience:

  • general knowledge of all aspects of the software engineering process
  • experience in a wide variety of testing efforts, techniques and tools
  • people skills, especially diplomacy and advocacy skills
  • planning and management skills
  • knowledge of the domain, system or application-under-test (desirable)
  • experience programming or managing programming teams (desirable)

This role is primarily responsible for:

  • Negotiating the ongoing purpose and deliverables of the test effort
  • Ensuring the appropriate planning and management of the test resources
  • Assessing the progress and effectiveness of the test effort
  • Advocating the appropriate level of quality by the resolution of important Defects
  • Advocating an appropriate level of testability focus in the software development process
Assignment Approaches

The Test Manager role can be assigned in the following ways:

  • Assign one staff member to perform the Test Manager role only. This is a commonly adopted approach and is particularly suitable for large teams or smaller teams where the Project Manager has minimal test experience.
  • Assign one staff member to perform both the Project Manager and Test Manager roles. This strategy is a good option for smaller test teams.
  • Assign one staff member to perform both the Test Manager and Test Designer roles. This strategy is also a good option for smaller test teams. A person filling both these roles needs to have strong management and leadership skills as well as strong technical skills and experience.
  • Assign one staff member to perform both the Test Manager and Test Analyst roles. This strategy is another option for small to mid-sized test teams. You need to be careful that the minutia of the Test Analyst role does not adversely effect the responsibilities of the Test Manager role. Mitigate that risk by assigning less critical Test Analyst tasks to a person filling both these roles, leaving the most important tasks to team members without any direct management responsibility.
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