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India Testing Awards 2015: Interview with Test Leader of the Year Award Winner Renu Rajani

22 Mar

“My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week and also Capgemini’s Facebook page. I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World”- says Renu Rajani, Vice President at Capgemini (Testing Global Service Line) and the winner of Test Leader of the Year Award-2015.

 

Renu Rajani, won the ‘Test Leader of the Year Award’ at the India Testing Awards 2015. The award recognizes practitioners and companies who have created Testing programs that define the future of product development, services and support. The felicitation ceremony was part of the ‘World Conference Next Gen Testing’ that witnessed participation from senior executives across global IT companies. 

Over a quick meeting, Unicom team spoke to Renu to find out more about her achievement:

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani

 

1. What was your approach in filling up the application form?

The award application form has sections on –

  • Background – Objective/Challenge.  The applicant should describe the challenges/ objectives that inspired the Testing Methodology and the key accomplishments relating to the same.  In this section, I focused on testing transformation challenges handled by me in an innovative/unique manner.
  • Top-3 Testing Projects – Here specific experiences from 3 projects where I made a difference. In describing each of my project, I was specific on the outcome I was trying to accomplish with specific method/approach and how I specifically kept in mind customer needs.
  • Testing mindset, philosophy and demonstrable Action on these projects here I specifically listed execution plan, challenges encountered, results and feedback from across stakeholders.
  • Recommendations from Industry – Your leaders may want to nominate you and in such case might want to put recommendations.  Ensure these are fair and unbiased and reflection of your work. In todays social media world, one can use some of the recommendations provided online by your senior industry network contacts over platforms such as LinkedIN and these do carry good weight if coming from a credible source.
  • Measurable Impact – I include specific examples, facts and data points on impact (quantitative and qualitative) my projects, approach/method have created.
  • Why Me – In this section make a compelling reason for you to be awarded.  The justifications should be around impact you have created, thought leadership you bring to the table that is acknowledged by industry, etc.
  • List of Team members groomed by you – this is yet another way to demonstrate the impact.  How have people groomed under you have benefitted the industry and what do they think of you? What does industry think of people groomed under you.  Again, if you have worked at your social media presence, that could speak for itself!

Finally, The award is an acknowledgement of one’s work in the Testing field.  More than preparation or credentials stated in the application, it is the thought leadership of the individual and how his/her work is showcased to the external world, which play an essential role in the voting process. The application response is a reflection of how someone has established him/herself in the field over the career span.

 

2. Please share the first thought when you realized that you have won the award?

I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World and that I had duty to serve as thought leader and role model to the testing universe. Being active in diversity and women leadership initiatives for last many years and having nurtured women careers in testing, I also felt the award being conferred to a woman held even more significance and role modeling for women in IT.

 

3. What was the significance of winning this award to you/your organisation?

This award acknowledges my professional thought leadership, evangelism in testing space, as well as reinforces Capgemini’s positioning in Testing Community and marketplace.

 

Renu Rajani

Renu Rajani

 

4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you would like to share?

My entire team felt it was a great acknowledgement of my work. My manager Govindarajan Muthukrishnan was too pleased.  In my mind the award as much belonged to him as he offered me tremendous platform in terms of my roles that gave me opportunity to demonstrate transformational leadership in testing space.  My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week, as well as on Capgemini Facebook page under #betheyou hashtag.  I really did mind myself on the top of the world!

 

Capgemini Expert Connect is the platform that provides tremendous visibility to global empanelled experts like myself who are brand ambassadors for our companies thought leadership.  The Expert connect platform and Architecture community also widely carried my award news.

 

5. Please describe your experience of the day the award was held?

On the day award ceremony was held, it was day-2 of the conference event and I was a speaker as well in the event. I had just returned from my international travel, in barely few hours of landing went to the event for my session .  The hotel had trophies displayed without names.  Names of 15 nominees for this award were on the Unicom portal and all were requested to stay in the evening to hear the verdict! I was tired on the day due to travel and was about to leave for the day and when organizers learnt I was leaving for the day, they could not have told me I was the winner of the award.  They gently requested I better wait for 2 hours for the evening ceremony.  I stayed thinking I would congratulate the winners, only to figure out that KPMG and jury had selected me as “Testing Leader of the Year 2015”.  Like I said, when I stood with the trophy, I felt on the top of the world

 

6. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the nominees? 

One’s Point of View and thought leadership in the field, healthy networks within the industry and visibility of work on social media is important. One has to be an acknowledged thought leader and evangelist for bagging such recognitions.

For my candidature, the application scored the highest with a score of 9/10 points. The jury remarks read:  ‘Overall strength in various aspects of testing including from actual implementation to evangelism with everything in between. Good social media influence’.

 

7. What message you have for those reading your interview?

2015 has seen focus on Digital with testing Agile/DevOps/Continuous Integration mode becoming mainstay.  The market shifts have new demands on our talent to continue to upgrade and up-skill ourselves to stay relevant in this changing marketplace.

Testing & QA profession leverages the best of individuals’ multi-faceted – business, technical, process, soft skills, domain and industry skills.  Be proud to belong to this profession and value it continues to offer to the industry.