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Why is a Test Manager not obsolete in Agile Projects?

Sogeti Labs
March 06, 2019

Why is a Test Manager not obsolete in Agile Projects?

With the transformation from waterfall to agile projects, some roles are obsolete and not necessary anymore. The role of the Test Manager isn’t one of these roles but the execution of this role has changed completely.


In Waterfall models, a development team and a test team is existing. For the test team, a test manager is available. He organizes and controls the test team. The tasks are assigned by the test manager.

In the agile model, the teams are mixed with different experts. A test team doesn´t exist anymore. The scrum teams are self-organized.

So, why it is necessary that an agile project has an agile test manager?

New test manager tasks

He guides the team, here in special the scrum members who are responsible for the testing in all tasks regarding the test process and the test methodology. He also coaches the team on how to test correctly and how to get proper test cases. Where the test cases are maintained will not be decided by the test manager but he supports the decision and transfers the necessary knowledge to the team.

If the team needs a tool decision or some input to analyze a story, the test manager is ready to support. If any licenses or new team member are needed, the test manager will help and provide a solution.

The test reports and any special tests like hotfixes etc. will be managed by the test manager. He is a specialist for business logic and testing as such.

If the test team members have roadblocks, the test manager tries to resolve these roadblocks. Yes, we can say that the agile test manager is the scrum master of the testers in the project.

No test manager tasks anymore

Due to the changes to the new model a traditional manager role isn’t needed anymore. The agile test manager isn’t responsible to lead the testers or a test team. Also, the assignment of tasks to the testers isn’t needed anymore. The result of the work is controlled by the team or the product owner, not by the test manager as before.

To sum up: His role changed from a manager to a coach and an experienced tester who can help with his expertise.

Benefits by an agile test manager – Why it is a good idea to implement the role agile test manager in an agile model?

If more than one scrum team is existing in a project the need for standardized test methodology is given so that the same understanding for creating and documenting a test case can be lived.

An agile test manager has more expertise and so he knows more about testing tools. “What´s the best for the project?” and “how could it be implemented?” are questions which can be discussed in the team and the agile test manager can support here.

The scrum teams have daily work, so the agile test manager can communicate to the product owner how and what will be tested in the next sprint/release.

His knowledge in the business logic discharged the scrum teams so that they can do the daily sprint work.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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