We believe specific competencies are needed in the area of test engineering to perform a role in the test life cycle. The specific key competencies to be possessed by a test personnel vary according to the roles within the hierarchy of the testing organization. Typical roles would be test engineer, test lead, and test manager.
The spirit of COMPASS is to break down the competency list to a more fine-grained key competency areas in test engineering and assess for the same. The competency required to perform each of the stated role is different.
How is COMPASS administered?
COMPASS is administered as a written exam for a duration of 90 to 120 minutes to assess team members test competency. The questions are aligned to the competency aspect – strategizing, planning, design, and execution, reporting – with respect to the defined role. To assess competency for each role there is different set of written exam.
The answers are evaluated on the basis of strong understanding of the concepts, methods, techniques and its application. The assessment is aimed to determine areas of strength and areas of improvement in a team member with respect to that competency aspect for the defined role. Therefore it is not merely a “Pass” or “Fail”.
A report on every assessed team member is prepared which highlights the areas of strength and areas of improvement with respect to specific competency aspect needed for the role. This helps the organization in understanding the competency profile of each test team member towards project deliverables. (Sample report provided on request.)
When is COMPASS administered?
COMPASS can be administered in the following situations-
As part of recruitment process -in this scenario the short listed candidates for the specific role in QA is assessed for competency in test skills. The COMPASS report forms a valuable input in the decision to make job offer to the short listed candidates.
As part of regular QA team skill assessment- in this case, the existing test team members are assessed on the test competency. The COMPASS report forms a valuable input for test lead/managers to gauge the competency of their test team members in the team composition for a project and also in closing gaps in competency by charting out suitable training programs for test team members.
Benefits to organizations:
- Helps in identifying gaps in skills required to perform a job that is needed at different roles
- Identify and plan suitable training program as early as possible
- Increased productivity – consistent competency among team members leads to better performance
- Effective human resource utilization
- Right test talent acquisition
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