Test manager at ADWEKO - A field report

Anja Rißland is responsible for the test management of our ADWEKO customers in the area of Managed Services and gives an insight into the tasks and requirements of the role of a test manager. In the interview, she reveals why she values test management so much and how she envisions her future career.

Brief introduction: Anja Rißland, Senior Test Manager at ADWEKO

Our test manager Anja Rißland started as a consultant in the managed services area at ADWEKO in April 2019.

Directly on her first project, she was able to prove herself in the role of test manager at a large insurance company. Originally, she started her educational path in banking apprenticeship, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and Management and graduated in Banking Business Administration. 

In the meantime, Anja is a Senior Consultant in Managed Services and stayed true to her test management path.

As an account manager, she looks after customers assigned to her and also took over the subject area responsibility for the Managed Testing Services area at ADWEKO. 

Dear Anja, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. What are the basic tasks and areas of expertise of a test manager at ADWEKO?

Of course, the tasks vary from customer to customer. Being a test manager primarily means planning, controlling and managing the customer's test process and thus ensuring the quality of the software. What software is involved and how big the project and the tasks are, all this then depends on the customer. 

In addition to the project tasks, ADWEKO also offers the possibility of expanding the area. Here you can ideally contribute with your own ideas, participate in the subject area circle and thus establish yourself as a contact person for testing questions. In this way, everyone can contribute to the success of the testing area and thus also of ADWEKO as a whole. 

 

That sounds like a very extensive area of responsibility. In your opinion, what makes a good test manager? Are there special technical and soft skills that he/she must have?

A good test manager should have a high level of quality awareness, since creating and ensuring quality is one of the most important tasks of a test manager.

Methodological competence is also important, as well as a certain degree of communication skills in order to convey these methods appropriately. This is because it is quite possible to take on internal or external coaching tasks. 

Basically, the test manager works together with the project manager to complete a project successfully. However, there may be occasional conflicts of interest between the two parties. A strong solution orientation and the ability to work in a team are indispensable for a test manager. 

As a test manager, especially in agile projects, sometimes also tests, a certain IT affinity is advantageous, so that one can quickly get into the software to be tested. Especially at the end of a project, things can get heated up, as the software is finally tested at this point. Here you can score points with a certain stress resistance and flexibility. 

Test management requires quality awareness, problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Anja Rißland - senior test manager ADWEKO

Does a test manager need to have leadership skills? If so, why?

In test management, you control and supervise the test process and, depending on the level, may also lead a test team. If you want to climb the career ladder in test management and lead your own team, you should have a certain feeling for the right way to deal with your employees. On the one hand, this includes the awareness to act as a role model and to self-critically recognize and use the potential of individual team members and to steer them in the right direction. Many skills of the actual leadership quality develop by themselves in this direction through practical experience and further training. 

 

Test management in an IT consulting firm in the banking and insurance industry - what is the special attraction for you at ADWEKO?

In contrast to larger consulting firms, at ADWEKO I have the freedom to actively participate completely in the development and expansion of the area. My own ideas are heard here and can be quickly put into practice.

In terms of content, the special attraction for me is the variety of the software tested. Because this can be very different. For example, it can be applications such as online banking that are used by customers, but also internal applications such as commission processing. I think this variety is great!

Also, in the banking and insurance environment, we are in a highly regulated industry. That means we serve customers who are controlled by BaFin (the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). Compliance with the specified regulations is therefore particularly appealing to me as a test manager because of the high level of responsibility that this entails. 

 

And what does that mean in terms of direct practical relevance? What projects are you currently working on? Can you give us a little exclusive insight?

At the moment I am working for a large insurance company as a test manager in the life insurance environment. This agile project is about offering various life insurance products through the different distribution systems. Unusually for ADWEKO, I am working in a non-SAP environment. In the project, we work with Jira and HP ALM, among others, and test automation solutions such as SoapUI and Jenkins are also used here.  

The special attraction? Varied software and a high level of responsibility transfer.

Anja Rißland - senior test manager at ADWEKO

Are there any certifications that are necessary for your work?

Shortly after joining ADWEKO in 2019, I was able to complete my ISTQB certifications at Foundation Level Certified Tester and Agile Tester. Then last year in December 2020, I completed my Test Manager certification at the Advanced Level. These certifications help you become more confident in your methodological skills on the one hand, and also help you make contacts with other people in the testing field on the other. 

 

What are your plans and possibilities for your future career at ADWEKO?

I would definitely like to stay in testing and continue working as a test manager. I would like to become a Managing Consultant and focus on the human career branch. 

Vielen Dank liebe Anja, für Deine Einblicke! Bleib gesund!