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Manager at the Test Center

If a project is handled in a test center, it is not always visible to the customer. Both the distribution of tasks in a team and the test capacities remain hidden for the time being. If, on the other hand, the project is handled in-house, the internal communication channels are a challenge, but also an enrichment for the Test Manager.

The advantage of internal communication is that there is a direct line between Test Manager and the stakeholders involved. If you only have to walk a few doors or floors and can explain tests in a personal meeting, you can be quite successful. The more face-to-face communication is possible, the better project marketing can identify communication problems in time and work on solutions.

A test manager in a test center, on the other hand, has several tasks to accomplish at once.

Communication Competence

Over the distance, communication is usually by email or other written channels. This requires a clear, but also understandable language. Facts must be explained in a way that laypersons can understand them, and the tone must be right. Anyone who throws around technical terms in an email can quickly be perceived as arrogant, even if the content is factually correct. Therefore, the Test Manager has to walk the fine line between technical and communicative demands.

It becomes even more interesting when the Test Center is in charge of several projects of a customer, and these projects are distributed worldwide. This is where linguistic skills are added. Today, English is taken for granted, other foreign languages are an advantage.

A large part of the control will be done via reports. This creates transparency for the customer, but also allows reliability to be demonstrated through punctual delivery. In addition, the Test Manager can always protect himself with reports. They are proof of the work done and therefore known to the customer. This allows an amicable solution to be found quickly, even if opinions differ, because there is no need to look for a culprit.

Selection of the right tools

Just as there are certain tools for testing software, tools can also be used in communication. They go beyond form and language and can help to reduce distances. It is important, however, that Test Manager does not overburden the customer. An online conference can be conducted using both Test Manager’s tools and the customer’s tools – the important thing is what the customer is most familiar with. It is therefore worth asking the customer about existing solutions and then comparing them with your own suggestions. If there are no significant and project-relevant differences, the customer should be followed. In addition, social aspects should also be taken into account when conducting online meetings.

Adaptation of processes

Most test centers have their own processes that are tried and tested. But they must also be able to be integrated into the customer’s formats. The better the Test Manager knows and understands his own processes and those of the customer, the more efficient such harmonization can be. It requires a risk analysis, a feasibility study and suggestions on how to adapt changes efficiently.

Softskills” are also needed

Teams in test centers can feel isolated and are often under great pressure. This is where the test manager has to show leadership skills. The team has to be motivated, he has to support it to the best of his ability and above all he has to show human qualities. Increasingly, listening is a soft skill that is more important than being able to give instructions. Because teams have to be very flexible, they need an environment that is characterized by trust. This allows conflicts to be identified and resolved early on.

Conclusion

The manager in an in-house test project should also have the competences mentioned. But whoever manages the project via the Test Center must have these skills!

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