Are dedicated Test Managers just more overhead? I see it in every project that I do for my clients, the grey area of responsibility between the project manager and test manager. They need the same information, attend or organise the same meetings with the same people, write similar plans and reports and so on.
We all know that test managers do a important job. At least, I feel I’m doing a important job and that I contribute to the goal of my clients. So why do we get hired? – yes – to plan, control and report on the quality side of the project. That means analysing risks and plan measurements to cover those risks. But isn’t that part of the responsibility of the project manager? They are responsible for managing the scope, time, budget and quality are they not? They just delegate some of the responsibility to the test manager. But why can’t they do that themselves?
I have found that most project managers simply haven’t tried it because it seemed complicated and tedious but also because it’s the way it has always been. I dug a little deeper some time ago to find the job descriptions of both roles, and the overlap was tremendous. So in my opinion, a Test Manager is a very narrowly specialised Project Manager. They are only needed in very large and or complex projects. In all other projects, the project manager should be able to manage the testing himself. But can the project managers find the right balance between the quality and the scope, time and budget.
I say that they should be able to do that. And you may think that they will cut corners and settle for less quality to satisfy a deadline but if that would be bad management all together. So I want to open up the discussion right here. Do you agree with me that test management is a primarily a skill, not a job?