Most of us start our work day hoping it’ll fly by swiftly. Sadly, our days often become unexpectedly hectic, and it feels like smooth sailing only 30% of the time.
Each day comes with diverse challenges. We frequently find ourselves engrossed in urgent tasks from clients, particularly on Fridays when we likely have personal plans. While we yearn to alter how the service industry operates, it often remains an unattainable goal.
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In this piece, we aim to delve into the different challenges testers encounter and discuss how minor adjustments can help mitigate these issues.
We will also illustrate how an ideal workday should unravel for a tester and a test lead.
Also read => What Should I Expect on My First Day as a QA Tester?
We will kick-start by spotlighting crucial factors to bear in mind before getting the work day under way which will better position you to organize your work and foresee possible issues.
What You Will Learn:
Points to Ponder Before Jump-Starting the Work Day:
1) Task Awareness – Ensure you are cognizant of the tasks allotted for the day.
2) Prioritization and Checklist Creation – Draft a checklist for the day’s proposed tasks and rank them by importance to tackle top-priority tasks first.
3) Fixing Goals – After understanding your tasks, set feasible targets to reach before the day concludes.
4) Allocating Time – Designate time for each task making sure that they can be rounded up within the work day. Tasks with lower priority may be shifted to the subsequent day.
5) Work Schedules – Standardized work timings are evolving. Flexibility is becoming more significant than ever. You might have to engage in calls or work during unconventional office hours. Share your working schedule with the team and let them know if you won’t be available for a certain number of hours.
If you are compelled to work late into the night, you can commence your day accordingly. Honesty is vital.
Below is a model daily task planner layout that can be employed for task organization and planning:
- Daily task planner intended for testers
- Daily task organizer created for test leads
Advantages of Employing a Daily Task Planner
- Maintains data order – Several companies require details of activities conducted hourly. The planner assists with timesheet completion.
- Offers data suitable for statistical or report-oriented objectives. You can refer to the planner for exact reports on earlier completed work.
- Easy upkeep – The planner can be updated in just around 10 minutes daily.
- Appropriate for team leads with slight modifications to the template.
- Can be personalized as a localized copy for individual editing.
Here’s what a typical day for a tester and a test lead should encompass:
Peek Into a Test Lead’s Day-to-Day Work
Along with assuming a tester’s role, a test lead also manages a team, interacts with different teams, and submits timely reports to higher authorities. Guidance from the lead comes into play when testers face issues.
Regular checks on the team should be part of a test lead’s duty without having to stay back after everyone has left or come in before the arrival of the team. Flexibility of the test lead is crucial, be it for in-person meetings or calls.
Assigning work and ensuring the team is informed about their tasks lies on the shoulder of a test lead. It’s good practice to check emails first thing in the morning considering changes might occur overnight for teams that operate by utilizing an onshore-offshore model. The test lead must ensure any changes are communicated to the team.
Supporting the team with technical obstacles throughout the day is another role of the test lead, who should have a sound understanding of the functional requirements. Regular status reports need to be submitted before ending the day.
Also read => What is Expected of a QA Team Lead?
A Day in the Life of a Tester
At times, junior testers wait on their leads for task assignments. It’s crucial to have a conversation with the test lead regarding the allotted tasks and any expected hurdles.
Any obstacles that need immediate attention must be promptly escalated and resolved. Testers must show adaptability. For instance, they might need to stay back for test reviews or test case evaluations. It’s important they finish the tasks assigned for the day before heading off. Reporting on time and with accuracy is of utmost importance. Testers should relay full status reports on tasks assigned, including any challenges faced or work pending.
Up next, let’s delve into some resource management difficulties faced by test leads and testers, and their possible solutions:
Resource Management Hurdles Confronted By Test Leads:
Challenge #1 – A tester calls in the morning to report an unexpected leave. How should the test lead respond?
Solution: The test lead should assign the work to other team members to ensure deliverables remain on schedule. When a resource is not available, it’s the test lead who has to prioritize tasks. It’s advised to have a contingency plan for such unexpected circumstances. If the tasks can’t be handled by the other testers, the test lead must undertake and complete it.
Challenge #2 – A tester cannot commute to work but can remotely work. Should the tester be approved for working from home or take a leave?
Solution: This decision hinges on the specific scenario. If the task doesn’t necessitate secure connections, the test lead might permit work from home. Conversely, if test execution needs to transpire in a secure setting, the test lead could allocate different non-secure tasks or documentation work to the tester unless they absolutely need to take leave.
Challenge #3 – A remote-working tester logs off without providing status updates to the test lead.
Solution: Remote work must be thoroughly supervised and it should only be allowed for committed and dependable resources. The challenges of working remotely and its impact on the overall project and personal progress should be communicated to the resources.
Challenge #4 – A tester exits the office without completing assigned tasks.
Solution: In such scenarios, the tester should discuss incomplete tasks with the test lead before leaving. If the task is pressing, the test lead must identify alternative ways to finish it. If the task is not urgent, it can be reassigned to the tester for the following day.
Challenge #5 – A tester concludes his assigned tasks for the day but exits the office before transmitting status updates.
Solution: The test lead should devise a system where each team member realizes the significance of reporting their status at day’s end. A clear deadline must be set for sending status updates.
Challenge #6 – A tester reaches the office but doesn’t check emails and continues performing tasks from the previous day.
Solution: The test lead should advocate the team members to check emails at the start of the day to keep abreast with any changes or updates. This ensures that vital tasks are prioritized.
Issues Encountered By Testers
Challenge #1 – Tester arrives before test lead at the office but has no assigned tasks and has to wait.
Solution: If the test lead isn’t available when the testers arrive, it falls onto their shoulders to notify them about their task either by calling them or through an email sent the previous night. If the test lead has planned leave, the replacement must manage task allocation. Testers must not be left clueless about their tasks.
Challenge #2 – A tester seeks technical assistance from a test lead, but the test lead fails to help.
Solution: A proficient test lead should possess functional knowledge of the application to guide team members. Immediate solutions might not always strike at once, but the test lead must address the tester’s issues within a few hours. If testers are unhappy with the response from the test lead, they ought to discuss the issue or escalate it to their managers.
Challenge #3 – One tester is loaded with work while others have few tasks.
Solution: It’s a frequent issue where only a few critical resources are allocated high visibility tasks while others have lesser opportunities. Team members should escalate this issue to the test lead and if necessary to the next-level manager if they feel opportunities are not distributed fairly. Equal opportunity is vital for a team to function.
Also read => How to Steer a Happier and Successful Test Team
This piece has shed light on day-to-day resource management challenges. Irrespective of our designation, challenges are inevitable. Nonetheless, by logically tackling challenges, we can discover solutions. Prioritizing and catering to the pressing needs is fundamental.
Author: This article was penned by Priya R., who is part of the STH team.
Take a brief pause to contemplate the obstacles that you come across. By acknowledging and comprehending your issues, you can come up with the solutions.