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New Post 2/24/2010 11:13 PM
User is offline hades_ibex
2 posts
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Moving from QC Lead to SA (management) position? 
Modified By hades_ibex  on 2/25/2010 2:16:21 AM)

Hello.

I just applied for the position of "Manager, Systems Analyst/UI Design" where I work. The catch is that I've never worked as an SA nor in UI Design!  But I have been in QC for about 7 years including as a team lead for several. Some of the teams of testers that I've led haven't been a whole lot smaller than the SA dept, so I thought it might not be such a leap. Keep in mind I've spent about 5 years with this company reading the requirements that the SA's produce. I'm pretty familiar with what goes on in that department. So, if you were a Director or the out-going Manager, would you consider hiring a test team lead for the position? How would SA's respond to the Manager not being one of their own? Lastly, I'm most worried that I don't know what I don't know. Is there anything unique to managing/leading an SA dept (multiple projects, 20+ people) that I might not have seen leading a test team (on one or two projects at a time, 12-13 people)? Thanks.

 
New Post 2/25/2010 4:32 PM
User is offline Laura Brandenburg
14 posts
www.bridging-the-gap.com
10th Level Poster


Re: Moving from QC Lead to SA (management) position? 

Congratulations on taking a big step and your self-confidence. I think it's great for people to throw their hat in for new roles. You never know what opportunities this will turn up for you!

I have been a manager on both sides -- BA and QA. They are different for sure. As a QA you are often in a more responsive role, needing to manage resources to get conflicting projects out the door on schedule. As a BA you are on the front end. Resource management is very different because you know much less about the project and have to stay ahead of the rest of the resources that implement the projects. It sounds like you'll have more resources over several projects, so that means more complexity to manage and likely more inter-related dependencies.

While you know the output the SA's produce, how much do you know about  how they produce it? I assume you know what's a good spec. How would you help an employee that was struggling to produce one? I'm sure those are questions your hiring director will ask.

If I was the director, I might consider it, if you had show top-notch management skills within QA. Do you have a track record of recruiting, retaining, and developing great employees? Given that your knowledge of the profession you'd be managing might not be as complete as someone from within that department, I think your leadership skills will need to set you apart.

Just my two cents.

Laura

 
New Post 3/1/2010 11:31 AM
User is offline hades_ibex
2 posts
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Re: Moving from QC Lead to SA (management) position? 
Modified By hades_ibex  on 3/1/2010 11:59:42 PM)

More like a silver dollar than 2 cents. :) Thanks.

I have some support from my manager (i.e. the equivalent position in QC). But he only has moderate influence. He would be a good reference. I don't know a lot about how SA's *should* produce their output, but I know a little about how they do it. There is usually a guru per project with lots of domain knowledge who meets with customers, and then a few SAs in the team what churn out (less than adequate, in my view) requirements. I've participated in giving interviews and have a pretty good record. I have hired adequate to good people; no duds. I've also helped move two testers into test lead positons. People skills and "strategic thinking" (according to my manager) are my strengths. Domain and department knowledge the weaknesses. Hopefully I get an interview soon. I'm reading all I can in the meantime!

 
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