This is one of the most charged discussions I’ve been in, and what makes it more annoying is the fact that it usually takes a political taste in many Organizations. In any case, I think I managed to understand the confusion and find my answer…
I was at SIGiST meeting this week in Tel Aviv, and among other things there was a presentation by a QA Manager from SAP who showed the Automation Harness they had developed in his team. Just a few words about the platform, it is pretty amazing (and this from the perspective of having managed the QA for QTP and QC in the past, and from working on PractiTest now).
In any case, in his introductory slide he said that he sees himself as a Test Manager and not a QA Manager, but that this was his formal title in SAP.
At the beginning it got me all fired up inside, since I do believe that in all the Organizations I worked so far I functioned as a QA Manager, and here was yet another person who limited our task and responsibility only to test execution.
Then as his presentation continued, I understood that he was right.
HE really is a Test Manager, and his responsibility is to create and facilitate the tests that other people use and run in order to test their software. He does not perform the extra task of running the tests as part of a strategically designed project that provides visibility into the status of the AUT and its development process.
Apparently there are Test Managers, I am simply not one of them since I am also in charge of the QA.
For me testing is only a tool. I use it in order to fulfill my objective of providing visibility. This does not mean that I am solely in charge of the Quality of the Product, this is a task & responsibility shared by all the people involved in the development process; I am the Stakeholder in charge of understanding and communicating the Quality Level achieved by the AUT to my peers.
So here is the end of a very long question for me.
I am a QA Manager.
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