Let’s work as a team…and do it my way

I hear far too often about test managers commanding their staff to work X way or Y way. This would be fine if it was balanced and mixed with ideas from the whole team but far too often test managers/seniors don’t engage with their team to fine tune an idea or a process, they simply command. And far too many managers can’t accept that those on the shop floor doing the testing might actually have a good idea anyway or know more than they do.

And so we lose ideas. We lose insights and creative solutions. We oppress peoples thoughts and stand on our soap box shouting “come on people, let’s work as a team…and do it my way”.

I’ve seen this first hand where experienced senior testers are determined to “tell them what to do”. Well, sure…advice, mentoring, suggestions, ideas, a guiding path, a trail to follow. These would be great but “telling” them what to do..really?

Are we not ignoring the fact that people are different and that multiple people discussing an idea might end up with a better solution than just one person? Aren’t we ignoring different cultures, outlooks, mindsets, experiences and skills? Can’t these help to define a better process, or idea, or testing technique?

Well I personally think they can. I believe in the power of people and the ability they have to combine to create brilliant solutions. I’ve seen it so many times where a group of diverse people with different mindsets troubleshoot a problem and come up with a winning answer. I’ve also seen the reverse, but tellingly, not so often (Group think is I believe what they call it).

The people in your team will make your team successful so engaging with them to find out what they think and what ideas they can bring to the table is invaluable….right?

Images courtesy of : http://www.flickr.com/photos/monsieurlui/

6 Replies to “Let’s work as a team…and do it my way”

  1. Giving people a voice and allowing them to use it is so important to me. Thanks for the post!

  2. Good post, Rob.I have been a test lead for many years and I’d like to think that during that time I was open minded enough to invite and encourage input from my team rather than simply laying down my own dictatorial agenda.As a test manager making his first foray into the world of exploratory testing with the fledgling team (and fully enthused after attending a Rapid Software Testing course in London), I find myself looking for their input more than ever, because this kind of stuff cannot simply be dealt out to testers like a hand of cards.Sometimes the team look a little surprised that they’re being given a voice (can’t say what my predecessors did) but I have to say (without quoting any books or guides) taking this sort of management approach just feels right.

  3. Hi Anne-Marie,A voice for people is absolutely important. Thanks for commentingRob..

  4. Hi Del Dewar,Thanks for the comment. I’m glad that management approach feels right for you. It’s by far the best way to manage in my books. Far too many managers are stifling the voices of the people who know the most.CheersRob..

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