There is always a boring part even in the craziest of jobs. Unfortunately IT world and testing especially are full of tasks that are not always as challenging as a testers mind of a perfectionist is willing to manage. And that’s when a testing team can get bored or its motivation is simply weakens.
Let’s just take the following situation as our example. I believe everybody has been in a project when system testing and all integration tests are already done yet the system is not quite ready for acceptance testing. Thus the following several days or even weeks (which is more likely) will be all about retesting old bug reports.
It may even seem impossible to keep the entire team 100% motivated during such a process for a test manager. The motivational downfall occurs here due many different factors yet all of them are somehow related to bad old boredom. Such tasks just don’t seem challenging to testers. Sure features that are just developed even smell challenging. They are way more interesting but only until the moment when all tests have already been run and retesting is all that is left to do. That’s where motivation levels are falling really low.
What may a test manager do to keep up the good work and testing team spirit?
- Make sure set goals are crystal clear. Goals are something everybody loves achieving. They are bringing competition into our daily lives. Just consider something like ‘there should be no bugs of highest priority’ by Friday as a goal. This may really get your testers engaged. And have a reward, of course. Let’s say you will be all going out for beers and pizza if the goal is met. Try asking your testers what motivates them the most or what would they like to see as a reward.
- You may try some exploratory testing for every bug report. Test around the scenario as all, thus you will be having more challenges and better results. Sounds fine for me.
- Make people engaged with different tasks. Don’t make them do the same thing over and over day after day. There are multiple tasks your team is doing right? Just consider allowing your tester who is not to fond of retesting bugs for a week in a row to review test cases one last time, etc. Or give particular testers some regression tasks if you have an area that is overfilled with bugs or, etc. be creative.
- Have a Bug Bash when routine is starting to overwhelm. Spare 1 or 2 days for this session and simply pound all the bugs from the code. Such an activity is equally as entertaining as it is useful by means of testing. Afterwards you are free to prioritize and report all the found bugs. Such an activity (if well organized) will keep your team juiced with emotions for the next couple of weeks.
- And the number one rule is to know your team. A good test manager has to be aware of personal goals, hobbies and desires of every single co-worker. A kind word about kittens to, let’s say Emma who adores those furry ones or asking peter about the recent Red Sox game you are sure he has watched are little details that will make your tester’s day way better. And team spirit will be skyrocketing! Just try it!