“Agile Test Lead”. Sounds like a hell of a position to be at. Yet, if we get a little deeper we might get confused with several associated paradoxes. The ‘Test’ part in the title definitely stands for a particular and exactly precise part of the process. How fit will it be when you are gathering a team of multi-specialized programmers? And the ‘Lead’ part does involve a slight part of the hierarchy. So what will your self-organizing team have to say about that?
And yet the position is still in desperate need. It means these people are a necessity. Yes, but with several slight differences, so what would you want your Agile Team Lead to be capable of doing?
Agile team lead capabilities wanted:
A Test Lead has to test. He has to be forwarded and dedicated to the release as any other team member. This will be involving Test Leads’ into a testing process on a daily-basis. That will be a splendid example for others as well as a token of dedication to the common business.
Despite the fact that Agile is not at all new to the ‘market’ a lot is yet to remain spooky and mysterious. Even if you, as a tester, already have experience of working in an agile team and now are moving to a different company a lot may still surprise you. Various teams are using different practices. That is a well-known fact, and that is exactly where a good Team Lead has to step in.
He has to explain everything to the entire team in a proper and understandable way. A way only he can describe. Forget boring book-based lectures. Testers can read books on their own, yet the live experience flow coming from a good lead is irreplaceable.
Any Lead has to know all about his team. He should also be capable of noticing, delivering and fixing weak sides of the entire team and each separate member of it. Let’s say tester A is not too good at a certain activity, and tester B is simply the best at it. A proper team Lead has no know how to get these two together talking about that activity on a coffee break, etc. He also has to be capable of delivering the information that tester C or the entire team are in need of additional trainings to the people responsible for the budget. And to convince them that these expanses are actually necessary.
Then all the tiny improvements through the entire process. A tip here, an advice there and voila – the team is extremely productive.
Was such a Team Lead located in the original blueprint of Agile? Certainly not, yet evolution is a long process to go, and such a profession is actually needed nowadays. That is if the Lead actually satisfies the given parameters.