Test Manager Mentoring
At the last forum we held a feedback session on how the TMF could be enhanced and there was a suggestion that we increase community support by introducing some form of mentoring scheme.
Group discussion and networking have always been key a core objective of the TMF. A mentoring scheme, facilitated by TMF members seemed to be very popular idea and we identified two types of mentoring relationship that could be valuable to TMF members.
The value to the mentee would be having access to someone independent, who has greater experience in the area of interest and being able to share concerns and challenges in a trusted and private way. The mentor would gain experience in mentoring - a valuable management skill.
To flourish, the career development relationship would typically be longer term with intermittent discussion sessions (maybe to coincide with TMF events). The current challenge relationship could be more ad-hoc discussions or longer term.
These relationships can (and do) develop naturally via networking events, but we’re seeking to speed things along a little and give senior practitioners the opportunity to connect with people who you may not have realised could help you.
For mentoring to work, there has to be a level of trust as well as common ground. Ideally, you need to meet face to face initially so you can establish whether its worthwhile proceeding further.
A mentoring scheme has been something we have wanted to introduce for some time. So, if there is sufficient interestet 'out there', we'll stage a 'speed dating' session on the Summit programme in January and we'll see how it goes.
Prior to the Summit we need to establish the level of interest in this session so we’ll be asking you to register interest in either being a mentor, or being a mentee. In addition, we’ll ask for a short summary of the topics you’re particularly interested in. If there is enough interest, we’ll stage a Summit session where potential mentors can meet potential mentees by spending a few minutes exploring topics of interest.
We don’t plan to control any follow up activity; if mentoring 'pairs' believe they can work together on career development or specific challenges, you can make your own arrangements to take further discussions forwards. However, we will provide some guidelines on mentoring to help you. If it works for you, we'd be delighted to hear of your success stories to promote the scheme further.
A more formal request for participation will be coming soon, but in the meantime, please comment here or send any ideas to Susan or myself.