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What do QA lead responsibilities entail? The list is long

Taking on the role of a QA lead for the first time can be daunting. How does it differ from other roles? What does the job entail? Expert Gerie Owen has the answers.

Job titles and responsibilities vary greatly between organizations. In general, QA lead responsibilities require you to represent the QA and testing functions to the rest of the team. That means attending planning and status meetings, preparing test plans and coordinating testing activities across the scope of a project. You are likely to define the testing strategy and work with other team leads

You're also directing the efforts of other testers on the team, in addition to performing testing activities yourself. You may be parceling out testing tasks, advising on testing strategies and working with more junior testers to develop their skills.

While typically everyone on the team has responsibility for quality, your QA lead responsibilities mean you may be the one who actually signs off on quality as a part of the go-live decision. There may be a formal sign-off, or it may simply be an agreement on your part that the application is ready. In either case, you are the one presenting the risks and your professional assessment to the rest of the team and to management.

But QA lead responsibilities may have a broader meaning in your organization. You may be writing performance reviews, for example, or representing testing in management meetings. You may also act as a consultant to other testing teams. If your organization has multiple testing teams, you might represent your team in a testing scrum of scrums.

Your best bet is to find someone who has already held that role in your organization, take that person out to lunch and pick his or her brain. If you're the first QA lead in your organization, you have an exciting opportunity to define just what the role entails.

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