8.5. Giving a Damn: Motivating Your Test Team

Maintaining morale and motivation on a test team takes some doing. In my experience, the traditional "team building" exercises don't work too well with test folks, since we tend to be a cynical lot. There are, however, some management styles you can adopt that will do what no amount of ersatz group bonding exercises can: convince your team members that you value their time and contributions, respect their opinions, and will stand up for them when they need you. The following sections offer tips about some techniques that have worked for me, and some that I try to avoid.[]

[] There are a number of excellent ideas in Rick Craig and Stefan jaskiel's book, The Systematic Software Testing Handbook, but the chapter on test management, which addresses many of the issues in this chapter and especially being a good leader, is worth the purchase price by itself. Especially if you are new to being a manager—but even if you're a seasoned veteran—I recommend that you read their book, and particularly that chapter. Tom DeMarco's allegorical novel, The Deadline, is also chock full of great management ideas, including my favorite leadership aphorism, "lead with the heart, trust your gut...build soul into the organization, [and] develop a nose for [untruth]."

8.5.1. Be On Your Team's Side

As noted earlier, some people regard testing as low-caste work. You might not be able to change this perception, and often the perception is a political reality. ...

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