Situational Quality Coaching (when to coach, train & mentor)

Situational Quality Coaching (when to coach, train & mentor)
Training, Mentoring & Coaching by Anne-Marie Charrett

Fun fact, a quality coach doesn't only coach; they also mentor, train and facilitate1. This article explores when to coach, train, and mentor a product team on quality.

Coaching, Mentoring, Training

Coaching, Mentoring & training are different teaching methods and valuable parts of your quality coach makeup bag. Like many things in tech, knowing when to coach, when to train and when to mentor depends on the team, how experienced a quality coach is, and the nature of what is to be learned.

Imagine you wanted a product team to understand what makes a good test.

A mentor might say "here are some articles I've read on what makes a good test"

A coach might ask a team "what do you think are the elements of a good test?"

A trainer will deliver a session on "how to know what makes a good test"

All three methods allow the product team to learn the topic. The level of agency and the level of instruction are the core differences between the methods. When a quality coach teaches, they're instructing a team on how to perform a testing activity. When they mentor, they make content available, with the team choosing to use or not use the content. In coaching, they guide learning through the nature of the questions they ask the team.