How to manage remote QA team without dropping quality
Switching from on-premise to remote
This might not be an easy task at the beginning of a team that works for years and years on-premise. The primary issue might be you don't have a designated place to work remotely. Then lack of resources. Not having proper table or desk, comfortable chair, stable internet connectivity, devices with all environment setups (especially if your working on technical stuff), and so on. Before anything else spend some time and sort out these problems.
After all how do you ensure your remote QA team works successfully?
✓ Stay professional
For sure it can feel different when working from home/remote environment. But there are few things that you can do to encourage professionalism. Start and finish your work on a regular time slot as you did when you're going to the office (there can be slight differences). Use a proper desk or table instead of keeping a laptop on your lap. Keep a notebook, a pen with you always. Since you don't have to swipe your office ID somewhere while working on remote put a message on your team communication channel when starting work, taking a break, and finishing work.
✓ Work according to a plan with the alignment of teams expectation
Plan your day up front before start the work. Inform other members about what are things that you are going to work on, over whatever communication channel you're using to communicate. can have a quick daily team catch up on a meeting like a scrum.
✓ Always make the right decision at the right time
Not like in the office you cant see every move of your team and they can't see you either. Making the wrong decision might screw other's work end of the day. So, communicate with the team before deciding anything and keep everyone in the loop for the important stuff.
✓ Communicate more often
This is the key to remote working. Make stronger communication with your team and also with other teams (dev, DevOps). This will allow us to get clear roadblocks easily and keeps team/s informed whats happening. This level of communication is very very important for management also to get understand whats going on. Another important thing is to use video calls instead of voice-only calls. For sure it will inspire you rather than talking at a blank screen. So, wherever possible ensure to collaborate 'face to face' over a video call. At least have one 'face to face' overall team meeting per week. Create a meeting invite and send others for the calls/discussions that are taking more than 10min. This will improve both professionalism and communication.
Ensure the 'quality'
Ultimately 'quality' is the key for the QA team. Not like working on on-premise it's very easy to go wrong when working remotely if you haven't got bulletproof instructions and information. So, always look for well structured, well-written, and well-maintained documents/information. This is one of the biggest challenges that remote QA teams are having.
When moving forward with COVID-19 and working from home If you take these as a whole, most of these are generally applicable for any of the teams that are working remotely or working from home. Finally, If your team is capable of following above-mentioned action items you can still deliver high-quality software/products
Happy Testing !!!!
You can find some basic tools from the following link that can be used to create an effective working from home team