I started my new role as a Quality Coach in the last couple of weeks, and I’m happy to share my new discoveries and learnings with you in the coming blog posts.
In this first introductory blog, I will answer 2 questions that I got recently from my linkedin followers
- What is the role of a Quality Coach ?
- What are the required skills and possible initial background to succeed in this role ?
DEFINITION OF A QUALITY COACH
“A quality coach leads, supports and rallies a team to collectively own and improve quality through facilitation, education, experimentation and visualisation. They are a passionate advocate for quality” — Anne-Marie Charrett
Refering to Anne Marie definition, the Quality Coach could have a variety of skillset and traits to support teams and organisation toward their journey to quality ownership.
The Quality Coach supports and also challenges team members by asking them powerful questions and helps them find the right answer to their problems by their own. This can help them have a clear vision and guide them in regular basis.
Recommended Background of a Quality Coach (Quality Coaching Colors)
💬 I got some questions what was my initial background before I moved into that position of a Quality Coach
I have a computer science background, worked as a tester since my first job after graduation, as a test leader, as a community leader, as test automation specialist in different kind of teams Scrum, SAFe and DevOps Teams.
All of them helped me get various kind of knwoledge technical and functional knowledge, also pairing with developers, with product owners helped me get a better understanding of their roles even if I didn’t play all the below roles that I’m going to mention later as a full time role.
Also as a community leader and someone who like facilitation, I got the chance to run various testing related workshops to a different audience and I facilitated process quality and product delivery retrospectives across teams or within teams which helped me gain practical insights from people working in different roles.
I see the Quality Coach role as many colors combined together from the perspective of many roles.
Refering to Anne Marie perception about the role and to my very new experience in this role, I counted 5 colors.
Let’s discover what the Quality Coach could take from those 5 roles (colors) to describe his own role:
🟡 𝐒𝐨𝐟𝐭𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫 giving advice on testability, setting up test automation strategies, chose the right design patterns and other good practices to test automation in order to amlify code reviews within teams to improve the way automated tests are established and contribute in building and maintaining CI/CD pipelines …
🔵 𝐒𝐨𝐟𝐭𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 firstly having the human skills that we called them “21stskills4testers” including communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and good communication, also providing the necessary support to teams to properly identify and assess technical and/or business risks, creating test strategies, test reporting by providing the necessary information depending on who’s the target audience, heuristics and oracles to solve problems and make decisions under uncertainly conditions which could help improving test design and test coverage …
🟠 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝 developing a work strategy and process flow, encouraging team members to adopt new approaches and improve ways of working for better collaboration as a team, this could be through workshop facilitation, and giving regular feedbacks to ensure continuous improvement …
🟢 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐫 sharing his quality/product vision in the roadmap to enable adopting the right changes, he helps the team prioritize the quality improvement workstreams while providing ideas on how to improve and measure quality through facilitation and visualisation …
⚫ 𝐂𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐨𝐥𝐞 developing the team’s skills and abilities and a way to boost their performance. It can also help deal with issues and challenges at initial stage before they become major problems. This could be done by asking powerful question that change their way of thinking and guide them to get the right direction
In practice it’s not easy to find all those skills in one single person, for that reason in larger organisations we can find 2 sub-roles of the Quality Coach role:
➡️ A Quality Coach with a Technical focus
➡️ A Quality Coach with a Product focus
Having the combination of both roles (as 2 roles or embedded into one single person with all those skillset and traits) will contribute to a better and healthy productivity, and this will add value to organizations and mostly accelerate the delivery with a better quality which is the challenge of many people in this role and there could be other challenges that I ignore for the moment as a novice in this role.
I draw a sketchnote to visualize the own color of a Quality Coach, I did it mostly in French with english keywords but I’m sure you can get the message through this blog post.
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post about Quality Coaching, I’m having lot of fun discovering the new role and pairing with my greatest colleagues Eveline and Marianne from time to time that are my 2 references in this role for quite some years !
Stay tuned we are even preparing an event together on the 24th May to talk about the latest news of this role and the how of Quality Coaching with more practical examples from our own experiences.
Thanks for reading till the last paragraph, let me invite you to follow my hashtag #ExploreWithEmna for more adventures and new learnings related to Quality Coaching and other Software Testing adventures.