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Managing the Test People

Book Description

Managing the Test People was written for managers, leads, and people who may soon find themselves in a technical leadership position. It provides practical advice for the novice and affirmation for the expert. The methods found in the usual books on management "should" theoretically work, that is, until you add in the politics of the environment, the technical work that must be done and, of course, those pesky people who seem intent on fouling up your plans.

Managing the Test People is about the real world where there are real problems and real people, and it provides viable solutions that can actually be implemented. It focuses on some of the unique problems in the software quality assurance profession, yet the bulk of the book is applicable to any technical management job. It contains real world stories illustrating the concepts discussed in the text.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Table of Figures
  8. 1 The Perfect Beast
  9. 2 How to Build the Perfect Beast
    1. New Responsibilities
    2. Remind Us to Remember
    3. Bob Wants a Plan
    4. Will Success Change You?
    5. Benevolent Ruler or Evil Tyrant? (How Do You See Yourself?)
    6. I Can’t Really Tell You This, But ...
    7. Making the First Impression
    8. But Why Are You Really Here?
    9. Supporters and Adversaries
    10. Evaluate Your Staff
      1. After You’ve Formed Your Impressions
      2. Who Are the Leaders?
    11. Shiny White Knights
    12. Creating Procedures and Processes
    13. Determining “Enough”
  10. 3 Finding Parts for the Perfect Beast
    1. Let’s Get to the Point
    2. Does Education Matter?
    3. What Did You Do for Your Company?
    4. And Why Did You Leave?
    5. But What Do You Really Want to Do?
    6. Overstating and Downright Lying
    7. Attitude
    8. Confidence
      1. Seeking Knowledge
      2. Mice Need Not Apply
    9. Organization
    10. Maturity
    11. Empathy
    12. Curiosity
    13. Sense of Humor
    14. But All Blue-Haired People Are Crazy!
    15. Fair or Unfair?
    16. Behavioral Problems?
    17. Forming Opinions
    18. Interviewing for the Future
    19. Make a Good Impression
    20. What to Check For
    21. Who to Check With
    22. Internal Referrals
  11. 4 Assembling the Parts to Construct Your Beast
    1. Tailoring Job Descriptions
    2. Tailoring for the Individual
    3. Putting the Right People in the Right Positions
    4. Mapping People to Projects
    5. Picking Your Leads
      1. Will Your Lead Stack Up?
    6. No Training Budget
  12. 5 Fitting Your Beast into the Herd
    1. Organizational Structures
      1. The Good:
      2. The Neutral:
      3. The Bad:
    2. Reward Systems
    3. Other Areas That Affect Us
      1. The Good
      2. The Bad
      3. Project-centric Organization – Administrative Report to Central QA Group
      4. Project-centric Organization – No Central QA Group
    4. Project Management Considerations
    5. Assigning People to Projects
    6. Proportion Allocation
      1. Number of platforms
      2. Number of environments
      3. Localization testing
      4. Design and Architecture Time
      5. Stealth Projects
      6. Support
      7. Unscheduled, Emergency Releases
      8. Sales Situations
      9. Flow of Work
    7. When Developers Test
    8. When Contractors Arrive on Your Doorstep
    9. We’ll Just Outsource Some Work
  13. 6 Keeping Your Beast Effective
    1. Inward Communication
      1. Remember Your Audience
      2. Open Doors
      3. Don’t Overreact!
    2. Outward Communication
    3. Beware of the Grapevine
    4. How Many Teams Do You Need?
      1. The Art of Delegation
      2. Creative Team Organization
    5. Let Your Leads Lead
  14. 7 Creating Synergy and Pride
    1. We Love Us, Why Doesn’t Everyone Else?
    2. Determining ROI (Return on Investment) for QA
    3. But They Still Think We’re Evil!
      1. Problem Solver or Problem Causer?
      2. Unrealistic Expectations
    4. Presenting Your Information
    5. Pride and Ownership
      1. Risk Mitigation
      2. Ship It!
      3. Synergy, Pride, and Celebration
    6. But What About Internal Problems?
      1. Remember to Remain Objective and Honest
      2. Include Your Staff Members in the Solution Process
  15. 8 Leading the Perfect Beast
    1. How to Be an Effective Manager
    2. Friends at Work
    3. But, I’m Hungry!
    4. Who Should You Meet With, and When?
      1. We’re Going to Do WHAT?
      2. Everyone Needs to Know This!
      3. One-to-One
  16. 9 Evaluating the Perfect (or Maybe Not-So-Perfect) Beast
    1. Getting Your Data Together
      1. “I Didn’t Think That Was Important”
      2. Make Time
      3. Using Evaluation Categories
      4. Be Constructive
    2. Conducting the Review
  17. 10 Feeding the Perfect Beast
    1. Effective Reward Systems and Growth Plans
    2. Training and Education
    3. Skill Sets and Knowledge
      1. Stay Competitive
    4. You Make Too Much Money!
    5. You Don’t Make Enough Money!
    6. Use a Rating System
    7. Match Merit to Performance
    8. Type of Rewards
    9. Dealing with Perceived Deservedness
    10. Compensation Bonuses
    11. Individual Performance Bonuses
    12. Project Bonuses
      1. Make the Bonus Fair for QA
      2. Evaluating Achievements
    13. Establishing Promotion Criteria
      1. Whom Should I Promote?
      2. Factors to Consider
    14. When Is My Person Ready to Promote?
      1. But You’re Just Not Promotable
    15. Rewards Are Now Long-Term
    16. Nice Work!
  18. 11 Growing Your Staff
    1. What Do They Want to Be When They Grow Up?
  19. 12 Delousing the Perfect Beast
    1. Finding the Root Cause
    2. A Puzzle of Problems
    3. Are Other Groups Affected?
    4. Eeek! Do Something!
    5. You Can’t Wait Forever
    6. It’s Not Working ...
    7. We’re Bored
    8. There’s Too Much Work!
    9. What If You’re the Problem?
    10. The Exodus Has Begun
    11. Planning the Termination or Plotting the Rehabilitation
      1. Picking Performance Criteria
      2. Put It in Writing
    12. The End
    13. Planning the Layoff
      1. Picking the Victims
    14. Doing the Dirty Deed
  20. 13 Admiring Our Perfect Beast
  21. Bibliography
  22. Index
  23. Footnotes
    1. Chapter 5