Quality Assurance (QA) is what separates successful projects from failed attempts and the only thing that stands between overwhelmed teams and demanding clients.
A study reveals that barely 2.5% of companies complete their projects 100% successfully, while the average IT project overruns the budget by a staggering 27%. In such circumstances, skilled QA managers can do miracles for their teams’ productivity.
A proficient QA manager develops a wide range of skills, which is exactly why the best ones earn up to $120 thousand annually. But how do you become a high-quality QA manager? What kind of skills do you need to grow?
There’s an entire list of must-have abilities to check out here, so keep reading to see the top 10 skills for QA managers in 2020.
1. Listening Skills
How do you expect to fulfill clients’ demands or build a reliable team if you don’t listen to what they are saying? Listening skills are vital for a QA manager because you need to know exactly what people expect from you and your product.
For instance, you can listen to developers’ conversations and figure out what they are struggling with even though you are not asking a single question. That’s how great the power of listening really is, but you have to be patient enough to perfect it.
2. Asking the Right Question at the Right Time
The ability to ask a good question at the right moment is another characteristic of a successful QA manager. The point is to learn as much as possible about a given project because it enables you and your team to get the job done more efficiently.
It is like running a proofreading or assignment help agency – you must figure out what your clients want in order to get the job done properly.
3. Problem-Solving Abilities
QA is all about detecting problems and finding practical solutions. It’s a cornerstone of product development, so you’ll have to figure out how to master this skill.
Most QA managers start by preparing well for each project. They divide the job into a number of smaller units, thus making it easier to pinpoint mistakes and fix minor bugs. Of course, you are free to try and use other methods as long as it delivers the right results.
4. Focus on Deliverables
Let’s say that your client gave you the list of key performance indicators. In this case, you can do two things:
- Proceed as requested
- Delve deeper into the process to identify possible improvements and/or bugs
Our advice is to walk the first path every single time because it’s the only way to complete the project without overhead costs or time trouble. QA professionals need to stay focused on deliverables and neglect all the other features.
5. Programming Skills
This one goes without saying, but we need to warn you that it’s almost impossible to become a high-quality QA manager without some serious programming skills.
First of all, it helps you to understand clients’ requirements and suggest possible adjustments. Secondly, programming skills enable you to monitor the work of your team and interfere if you notice something strange or malfunctioning.
The majority of QA professionals will master basic programming languages such as C++, Java, and R.
6. Time Management
Even the most skilled QA managers will turn out to be underperforming if they can’t handle their duties in a timely manner. Time management is a critical skill for QA professionals because they have to synchronize the work of multiple stakeholders and make sure that everything is being executed as agreed.
Fortunately, you can count on many projects- and time-management platform in 2020. Some of the most popular tools are Trello, Asana, and Slack, but you can dig deeper and test other platforms as well.
A typical QA manager cooperates with multiple stakeholders simultaneously, which can be pretty intimidating for some individuals. If you are not a flexible person, you better work on it and try to improve your ability to adjust to different people.
Keep in mind that some individuals are inert and passive, while others can turn out to be intrusive extroverts. You have to learn to communicate properly with every client, but it takes some serious mental flexibility to do so.
8. Work Well Under Pressure
Do you often succumb to pressure in intense business conversations? If the answer is yes, you have to spend time building your defense mechanisms.
No one really enjoys working under pressure all the time, but that’s just how things function in QA management. If you don’t want to feel lost and unable to complete tasks, you better start learning how to handle pressure at work.
9. Be Supportive to Your Team Members
Another thing you should not forget is that you are not alone in this project. Your fellow developers are just as important, so you have to provide them with all the support they need.
If you form and nurture a team of satisfied professionals, rest assured everyone will keep doing their jobs timely and accurately. But if you don’t show appreciation and support, the results of your team are likely to deteriorate in the long run.
10. Trust Your Intuition
Although the 2020 business is all about data-driven insights and evidence-based work, we encourage you to trust your intuition and add a little guesswork to the QA equation. It shouldn’t become your everyday habit, but there is nothing wrong with relying on your feeling and intuition when there is no other way to assess stakeholders or certain aspects of the project.
The Bottom Line
Being a QA manager is not easy because it forces you to work with all sorts of projects, clients, colleagues, and vendors. Way too many QA professionals get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks and responsibilities, but they never really learn what makes top-performing managers so successful.
In this post, we showed you 10 must-have skills for a QA manager in 2020. These are not the only skills you should try and develop, but they are definitely the most important. You know what it takes to give a brand new boost to your QA career, so get out there and perfect the skills we’ve just mentioned!
Thomas Lanigan is a blogger and assignment help expert from London, UK. He is also a professional content writer in such topics as blogging, marketing features, progressive education programs, and business. Thomas is a passionate traveler and a dedicated long-distance runner.