A manager has a meeting with their employee
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One-to-ones (1:1) are regularly scheduled meetings between a tester and their direct line manager to discuss anything that the tester wants to discuss. They’re not status update meetings, but rather to help build a human connection and trust between the tester and manager to facilitate a good working relationship and ensure a good working environment for the tester. While the tester is free to discuss anything they want (except for status updates), there are common themes that the manager may wish to suggest to an otherwise empty agenda (Fournier, 2017):

  • Personal introduction and background (particularly for initial sessions)
  • Overall happiness and general working environment
  • Personal development goals and career growth
  • Any questions or concerns the tester has
  • Suggestions that the tester has for new ideas or improvements
  • Monitor overall health and wellbeing, including any overtime, workload or pressure
  • Small talk or general catch-up about what’s been happening in each other’s lives


Key Attributes

  • Schedule regular meetings that allow testers to prepare starting with 1-2 of weeks and extending or contracting as necessary
  • Tester can cancel or reschedule the meeting as they wish, though the manager should aim to keep the 1:1 meeting whenever possible
  • Despite the regular schedule, make it clear testers can contact their line manager for a 1:1 at any time and for any reason (except status updates)
  • Make it clear the tester controls the agenda and what they want to discuss, though the manager can offer “conversation starter” suggestions
  • The meetings should be friendly, open and welcoming
  • They can be a simple chat or an opportunity to give and receive feedback


Top Tips

  • Skip-overs: The manager’s manager performs a 1:1 for the tester every so often (if willing and possible) to allow feedback on the manager and their 1:1



  • Fournier, C., 2017. The Manager`s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth & Change. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media. pp. 2-3, 52-56

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