What is the role of QA Manager in the agile environment, and do we really need QA manager in Agile projects? The role and responsibility of QA Manager have changed a lot over the past few years, mainly because many companies are turning to agile development methods, where Agile teams work together to accomplish goals.

Many QA managers often feel confused about their roles and feel unsuitable when placed in an agile environment, especially when they are in charge of managing the test group and determining the testing process and quality control for an organization.

  1. No need to manage test groups

To begin with, in an Agile project, there will no longer be a test group where a group of testers stays together, often away from developers and managed by Test Lead or Test Manager.

Also in the Agile environment, there is less focus on important documents such as the test plan, which is often the job of QA Manager when they often write these documents by traditional methods.

In Scrum, a common development method in Agile projects, there are three main roles: product owners, Scrum Master and Scrum Team. The Scrum Team will be responsible for self-management and development, which includes developers, designers and testers. It is the group’s primary responsibility to ensure the delivery of high-quality software products.

Therefore, QA Manager in Agile does not need to manage testers, because the testers in the Agile project have become a part of the Scrum Team.

  1. No accountability

It was a time when QA Manager was responsible for defects discovered during production. In the Agile project, everyone is accountable, and quality assurance is the responsibility of everyone.

When problems occur in the production process, people gather together to see what the problem is and how to avoid it in the future.

There is no place for QA Manager in the Agile project, because Scrum Team has indirectly taking over the QA responsibility for the team, and that is why the Scrum Team offers much higher quality. It is important to note that it is time to recognize that both quality assurance and testing are an inherent part of Agile development methods.

  1. No daily management

In the Agile project, functional priorities change frequently and the Scrum Team needs to respond to change priorities. It is almost impractical to keep up with all the changes, especially when there are many Scrum Teams in a large organization.

  1. Spend more time with Developer’s Test.

In Agile projects, developers are encouraged to self-test their code by writing complete and effective unit tests to ensure that the new code does not experience obvious errors as well as quick notification right after the breakdown.

When we have a solid foundation of unit tests that we can rely on, it minimizes the responsibility of the testers to check for mistakes or bugs that are easy to see, instead they can focus more on exploration and support with UAT without planning and documenting.

  1. Conclusion

Although traditional roles and responsibilities of the QA manager may not be seen as necessary in agile projects, there are some areas where QA manager can contribute in the project process.

For QA manager in the Agile project, it needs to be an experienced tester to be able to provide advice on difficult situations, and QA manager needs to know how the test method fits in an Agile project.

Here is a summary of the new QA role in the Agile project:

  • Facilitate communication between teams in a variety of Agile projects
  • Brief overview of senior management’s test
  • Personal support, advice and professional development for testers
  • Become the fulcrum for testers
  • Make a budget or forecast so that testing becomes a service that is dependent on the organization process

Become a QA advocate throughout the organization

  • Recruiting QAs and Automation Engineers
  • Providing technical expertise, ex using appropriate testing techniques in appropriate cases
  • Make sure the teams (Scrum Teams) implement and take the best measures to prevent errors

To summarize, the role of Quality Assurance Manager in Agile is to support, train, facilitate and advise other QA as well as other team members to ensure the best performance of quality assurance from the beginning.

Tong Minh Duc – FPT Telecom

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