Several years ago my company reorganized into product units, and my QA manager position became obsolete. The new reality was not comfortable at first, until, some time and practice later I recognized that my test manager/strategist skills are equally important and applicable to the new role of a tester on the Agile cross-functional team. That synthesis emerged into a new role of a “peer leader” which I later identified as a new trend — through conversations with Agile coaches and thought leaders of our industry. I called this role a “Quality Leader”.

I firmly believe that an advancement of the testing profession is calling for leaders, fully versed in testing strategies, equipped with the knowledge of psychology and team dynamics, who know how to effectively apply all available team’s assets (skills, knowledge, tools, time, etc.) to optimize the delivery of a quality product. Quality Leaders are motivators and educators who can transform every team member into the quality advocate.

Quality Leader skills are in demand now, and, as I foresee, will be in even higher demand in the future. No matter which position you hold now, if you are a member of an Agile team that delivers software products, you will need to advance yourself in order to advance the team to the next level of productivity. To be successful in this endeavor, you have to evaluate your current position and what sets you aside, make an analysis on what the team needs and in what ways you can add most value. We will discuss what’s unique about the Quality Leader role and what skills are needed to succeed.

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