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I have been recently promoted to Senior QA role on a Agile team and with it also came an opportunity to lead a big group of 15 QA team members( onshore and offshore). I do not officially have a Team Lead title since its a Scrum team but my Manager and Director clearly stated I would lead the QA team and every initiative on the project. However they will not make it as an official announcement/statement but are expecting me to take charge and lead.

My challenge is this: My peers are being uncomfortable around me leading. It is not because of Jealousy or neither was it a unfair promotion, it was purely on merit but mainly because of unofficial lead title and an announcement not coming from management officially. As soon I started taking charge they were quick to view me as being a management spoke person. They have made statements directly infront of me to that affect and this is holding me back to getting things done. How do I change this perspective? Any tips to transition to a Lead role?

I've also noticed that they might be uncomfortable because I am a women and relatively young professional. I am unable to pinpoint which is the real cause or of its due to multiple reasons. They seem ok to me be being a Senior QA but not a lead.

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Thanks for all the responses.

What JBking has mentioned is true. In my organization role of tech lead is eliminated from Scrum teams but individuals especially resources in Senior roles are expected to be looking beyond their individual tasks and help in QA process improvements, adopting new technology and tools etc.

My team has been traditionally a manual testing team. Our current testing processes have become a big bottleneck in Scrum and we are unable to achieve CI and CD. We have plenty of areas to improve on.

This is where I am being asked to help alleviate the bottlenecks and facilitate in transforming from Manual to Automated testing team; Provide automation leadership on continuous QA process improvement.

Most QA members have gotten used to testing manual way and lot of complacency crept in as well. They are reluctant to the change and have not been improving so far (We have been in scrum for more than 8 months now and management gave lot of time to let team self organize). So now when I speak of the need for initiatives to improve (which they hear the same from management ) they are thinking of me as pushing management's agenda.

However there are no agendas here. In our organization and elsewhere in the industry QA roles are & have been evolving greatly specially from Agile perspective. Objective here is to help team to get to that level.

Like others have said on this thread, I am thinking to have my manager make atleast an informal communication of me leading initiatives as well also to reiterate the importance of transformation to my team members. I am hoping this would help a bit. Please correct me if am wrong here.

I am also not authoritative around the team members, my approach so far as been to work collaboratively.

  • I see it's been a few months since this answer. I am facing a similar situation; would you edit in the results and pitfalls you've encountered with this approach? – newcoder Aug 13 '16 at 20:56

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