Friday, November 18, 2011

Acceptance Test Manager

Ever wonder what skills are required for an user acceptance test manager? Amongst the mountain of text on a recent job advert for a UAT manager were these skill requirements:

  • Analytical skills: Ability to analyse and synthesize information to understand issues and identify options.
  • Influencing and negotiation skills: Ability to promote ideas and persuasively; shape stakeholder opinions and negotiate skilfully to create the best outcome possible. Negotiate win-win solutions.
  • Business understanding: Ability to know the business and the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of business propositions and understands how businesses operate in general; learns new methods and technologies easily. Understands the organization’s business model and competitive position in the marketplace. Understands potential for growth and profitability.
  • Managing work processes: Ability to effectively design work flow, and systems; is good at figuring out what to measure to track progress; sets up systems that can almost manage themselves; is a master at the effectiveness and efficiency of work systems; can quickly diagnose and fix a work flow problem; always looking for incremental process improvement.
  • Organising & Planning: Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work, balancing resources, skills, priorities and time-scales to achieve objectives.
  • Project Management: Ability to bring projects to completion eliciting the collaborations of interdepartmental team members.
  • Plan for contingencies: Ability to pro actively identify potential problems and create contingency plans or work-rounds to implement if problems occur.
  • Industry Knowledge: Ability to know what it takes to be successful in this industry; have thorough knowledge of this industry’s history, customers, and competitive environment.
  • Active Listening: Ability to give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • High Impact Delivery: Ability to deliver clear, convincing, and well-organized presentations; project credibility and poise even in highly visible, adversarial situations.
  • Communicating Effectively: Ability to write and present effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.
  • Detailed Oriented: Ability to be well organized and resourceful, has the ability to reduce a complex concept or task into something that is manageable and clearly interpreted. is able to get things done with less and in less time; can work on multiple tasks at once without losing track; foresees and plans around obstacles.
  • Focusing on Action and Outcomes: Ability to attack everything with drive and energy with an eye on the bottom line; not afraid to initiate action before all the facts are known; drives to finish everything he/she starts.
  • Keeping on Point: Ability to quickly separate the mission-critical from the nice to dos and the trivial; quickly senses what's the next most useful thing to work on; focuses on the critical few tasks that really add value and puts aside or delays the rest.
  • Operates with Integrity – Ability to demonstrate honesty and behaves according to ethical principles; ensures that words and actions are consistent, behaves dependably across situations.
  • Time Management: Ability to manage one's own time and the time of others.
  • Motivating & Delegating: – Ability to manage people well; gets the most and best out of the people he/she has; sets and communicates guiding goals; measures accomplishments, holds people accountable, and gives useful feedback; delegates and develops; keeps people informed; provides coaching for today and for the future.
  • Inspiring Others: Ability to get individuals, teams and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skilfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.
  • Leads by Example: Ability to serve as a role model for the organization’s values; takes responsibility for delivering on commitment; gives proper credit to others; acknowledges own mistakes rather than blaming others.
  • Leadership: Ability to use personal skills to guide and inspire individuals/groups towards achieving goals.
  • Treats people fairly: Ability to treat all stakeholders with dignity, respect and fairness; listens to others without prejudging, objectively considers other people’s opinions.
  • Judgement and Decision Making: Ability to consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Team player: Ability to manage strong working relationships within the company. Able to complete tasks and work cooperatively with others.
  • Adaptability: Ability to respond and adapt to changing circumstances and to manage, solve problems and provide solutions in a climate of ambiguity.
  • Maximizes learning opportunities: Ability to actively participate in learning activities in a way that makes the most of the learning experience, such as taking notes, asking questions and critically analysing information; remains open to unplanned learning opportunities such as coaching from others.
  • Applies new knowledge or skill: Ability to use new knowledge, understanding, or skill to practical use on the job.
  • Flexibility: Ability to work in a fast paced environment.
  • Computer skills: Possesses intermediate to advanced Microsoft Suite Knowledge (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Microsoft Project /Visio. 
So what does that tell us? Firstly that you if you are a UAT manager already you should be congratulate yourself on your impressive competencies. And secondly, abilities in testing or quality assurance are not really required for a role managing user acceptance testing.