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Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Bret Pettichord, James Bach, Cem Kaner

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Chapter 9. Managing the Testing Group

This chapter focuses on the challenges of managing the testing group. The difference between this chapter and Chapter 8, "Managing the Testing Project" is that Chapter 8 focuses on one project's issues. How do you work with the other members of the development team and the other stakeholders, to help get the right product out on time and within budget? In this chapter, we consider the group of people who work together on project after project, year after year.

Choosing among our personal favorite lessons was difficult because the three of us have plenty of management experience. We have run our own businesses, and we were tempted to write a very long, general-purpose discussion of the management of technical staff. Rather than do that, we suggest some references: Weinberg (1992, 1997a, 1997b, 1997c, 1998, and 2001), Humphrey (1997), Deming (1986), DeMarco (1997), DeMarco and Lister (1999), Brooks (1995), Constantine (1995), Black (1999), Drucker (1985), and Wiegers (1996). You can find some generic lessons here, especially involving recruiting. We included these because we get so many questions about hiring and job-seeking that we decided that no discussion of test group management would be complete without considering them.

Lesson 210: Mediocrity is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • If you eliminate creativity by dehumanizing your processes;

  • If your goal is to make your staff interchangeable cogs;

  • If you standardize your staff's work, so that anyone can ...

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