Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roles and Responsibilities of a Software Test Lead

This post is the second one in continuation to the earlier one, What are the responsibilities of a Software Test Engineer?

Common responsibilities of a Software Test Lead include the ones given below. I have explained the role of a Test Lead in my video, Test Lead Interview Questions and Answers systematically and with more details and examples.

1. Be updated on the latest testing techniques, strategies, testing tools/ test frameworks and so on
2. Be aware of the current and upcoming projects in the organization
4. Plan and organize the knowledge transfer to the Software Test Engineers and self
5. Collect the queries related to the requirements and get them resolved by the business person (e.g. the client, business analyst, product manager or project manager) assigned to the project
6. Plan, organize and lead the testing kick-off meeting
7. Scope the required tests
8. Design the required test strategy in line with the scope and organization standards
9. Create the software test plan, get it reviewed and approved/ signed-off by the relevant stakeholders
10. Evaluate and identify the required test automation and test management tools
11. Estimate the test effort and team (size, skills, attitude and schedule)
12. Create the test schedule (tasks, dependencies and assigned team members)
13. Identify the training requirements of the Software Test Engineers
14. Identify any test metrics to be gathered
15. Communicate with the client or on site/ offshore team members, as required
16. Review the test cases and test data generated by the Software Test Engineers and get them to address the review comments
17. Track the new/ updated requirements in the project and modify testing artifacts accordingly
18. Determine, procure, control, maintain and optimize the test environment (hardware, software and network)
19. Get information on the latest releases/ builds from the development team/ the client
20. Create and maintain the required test automation framework(s)
21. Administer the project in the test management system
22. Administer the Application under test (e.g. add users for the tests), as required
23. Assign tasks to the Software Test Engineers based on the software test plan
24. Check the status of each assigned task daily and resolve any issues faced by the team members with their tasks
25. Ensure that each team member is optimally occupied with work (i.e. each Software Test Engineer should not be too overloaded or too idle)
26. Re-assign the testing tasks, as required
27. Track the assigned tasks with respect to the software test plan and the project schedule
28. Review the test automation created by the Software Test Engineers and get them to address the review comments
29. Own and maintain the test automation suite of the project
30. Schedule and execute the test automation on the project
31. Review defect reports  and assign valid defects to the relevant developer/ development manager
32. Assign returned defect reports and assist the concerned Software Test Engineer, as required
33. Ensure the resolved defects are re-tested
34. Consolidate and report test results to the concerned stakeholders
35. Be approachable and available to the Software Test Engineers, as required by them
36. Update the software test plan, as required
37. Ensure that the test cases are updated by the Software Test Engineers, as required
38. Ensure that the test automation is updated based on the updated test cases
39. Gather the decided test metrics
40. Escalate and obtain resolution of the issues related to the test environment and team
41. Plan, organize and lead team meetings and ensure action is taken based on the team discussions
42. Plan and organize training for the Software Test Engineers
43. Review the status reports of the Software Test Engineers
44. Review the time logged by the Software Test Engineers for various activities
45. Report the status to the stakeholders (e.g. the client, project manager/ test manager and the management)
46. Keep the Software Test Engineers motivated
47. Improve the test process based on the suggestions by others and own judgment
48. Manage own energy level and time

As mentioned in the earlier post, these responsibilities may be tailored depending on the specific organization for which you are working. However, you should be aware of the responsibilities above so that you may perform well as a Test Lead.

Want to learn more? View the video Test Lead Interview Questions And Answers.