It’s all about the people

As many may have guessed or deducted from my posts I’m all about the people. I strongly believe that people and their skills, outlook and mind set are what make or break a team. A good team can achieve great things. A bad team will rarely achieve anything above average.


But a good team isn’t just about getting a group of genius’ or 5 star employees together. It’s about diversity and creativity. And this is exactly why great development teams can churn out huge amounts of software of exceptional quality. It’s why some open source projects are so successful and social media collaborative projects are so exciting, interesting and productive.


It’s because of people. It’s because the people in the team are usually self governing, highly motivated, creative and directing their own work in line with the whole team approach. It’s partly because these teams are made up of cross disciplines whose outlooks on life, work and play can be so very different.


As a manager or team builder don’t be too hasty to build a team of just one discipline, gender or personality. Instead, search out the creative, individual, accommodating, communicative and motivated individuals and bring these people together irrelevant of experience. (Note: Obviously some teams require certain unique skills sets which cannot be ignored)


The interconnection of ideas, thoughts and opinions is where real learning and development takes place. It’s where great ideas are born and plans are made.


Sir Ken Robinson said that “creativity is the interaction of disciplinary ways of seeing things.”


Whenever I build a team I look at the team as a whole, not as individual members. I don’t dictate ideas down to the team. I get them all in a room (of all levels) and we brainstorm and generate ideas together, as a unit.


It’s this team work that generates ideas, plans, actions and a team unification that is so often missing from many test teams. If you can include programmers as well, then you are on to a winner.


Creativity is a core fundamental in software testing. How can I find more bugs? What questions can I ask the software? How can I report my findings in a way my audience will interpret them as I want them to? How can I make myself more efficient? How can I leverage Bob’s skills even though he is not on my team?


So a good team is not only about the people (their skills or experience) but the teams outlook on life as well (attitude, understanding, communication skills etc). And don’t become complacent, it’s often the juniors who have the freshest and most interesting take on testing too………..