When considering the shift (actually, when looking for reasons to not make the shift) a friend reminded me:
You have always job crafted your tester role to barely recognizable. Why should this manager role be any different in how you end up doing it?I almost understood what they meant. Now I understand fully.
I've been now in this new role for two weeks, and I barely see any difference. That is how much I had crafted my previous role.
I still test and I still love it. I'm still finding time boxes to test whatever I feel like, and I'm still not taking tasks from "the backlog" but identifying the most valuable thing I could be doing.
I still look at systems beyond the perceived team / components divisions, following all flows of change into the system we are building.
I still guide us all in doing things incrementally, and the testers perspective is perfect for that.
I still listen to my team mates (now direct reports) for their concerns and walk with them to address things.
I was as powerful as a tester (with my network of people to do the work with). I might claim I was even more powerful, because I did not have to deal with the "yes, manager - of course we do what you asked" and got to dig into the best solutions defending my perspectives, turning them reality without assigned power.
I never cared for the hierarchy when getting things done. If I learned something now, I learned that others should learn to care less about hierarchy. And that "escalating through hierarchies" is an organization worst practice on the level of actual practical work. I thought others also saw problems and felt they could just go solve them, seeing all obstacles they can get through as potential things for themselves to do.
I always knew many people's salaries. Because I talked with people one on one and made sure it was fair. Well, I told people joining the company my salary for them to know what they can try negotiating on. I also have moved my own bonuses on others who in the bigger scale of things deserved it more because that is what my sense of justice told me to do. I have fought for other people's raises, as well as my own before.
The only thing that is sort of new is the many quirks of recruitment - relocation processes and the work managers do there.
I'm surprised that my new job is my old job.
And talking with the friend again:
I told you you were already doing that job.