Complete Buyer’s Guide to Test Management Software:
Today’s tutorial is going to be the one which you would wish to bookmark and keep as a reference that will serve you as and when you need to evaluate your test management tool choices.
We will start with a quick intro on test management and dig deeper into what are the steps to be followed while choosing the best test management software.
Let’s move on!!
This tutorial on Test Management and different tools will give you a complete overview of its meaning, need, parameters and features along with the list of top test management tools available in the market in simple terms for easy understanding of anyone who wants to know and select the best Tool.
What You Will Learn:
There are several test management tools that are available in the market. Hence, immense attention should be exercised while selecting a tool. Factors like cost, productivity, mobile support etc. are also to be considered primarily while picking a tool.
Here is a quick refresher STLC diagram for all of us:
Are you are wondering why we are starting with this, it is just to remind us that the entire activity of managing this software testing life cycle is what we call as Test Management.
Test management is the process of organizing & controlling test processes, test assets and artifacts for Manual or automated testing projects. The goal of test management is to improve test success and thereby increase the software quality.
The figure presented below depicts test management as the one which manages all the organizational aspects and phases of testing.
Below are the tasks and activities that are included:
Test Management tools track how testing is done/planned, generate/report the status of QA activities, and organize test assets/artifacts in a systematic manner. These tools are used to manage and track the software testing process- both automated and manual.
Generally, these tools come with incident management, problem management, test ware management, bug tracking, test scheduling & monitoring, logging of results, test reporting, etc. Test case management tools contain different modules that are used to manage the different stages of STLC.
Usually, they are employed to support manual testing, collect execution data by running automated tests, generate requirement traceability matrix (RTM), handle multiple platforms & environments, and to feed information about the detected bugs in the software.
According to research, software quality assurance uses over 50 percent of the total cost of the software, and this figure is even higher for a critical software. So, it is very important to use a test case management tool in your project that can improve your testing processes and control the overall cost of testing.
Many case studies have proven that manual test management has several disadvantages that can be resolved by using a test management tool.
The points given below define its need:
There are many commercial & few open source tools that are available in the market. You can refer to our page here to get a list of the available best test management systems.
This list has reviewed about 30+ tools and top 15 among them are mentioned as well. The tools’ review will definitely aid you in choosing the appropriate tool for your project.
Refer this list of top tools:
Before you drill down into the details of each tool, a question arises as:
To what kind of tool you should look for – open source or commercial?
We have very few open source options, such as:
And, commercial ones such as:
Given below are few differences:
For small level companies where audits, lawsuits etc. are not considered as factors, it’s not worth investing in expensive, feature-rich commercial tools. In that case, you can go with an open source tool or lower cost alternatives (like JIRA, Redmine, TestLink, PractiTest, QaTrag, Tarantula, etc.).
On the other hand, for the organizations that require a mature and well-developed test platform that is continuously improving, where audits, lawsuits, etc. are considerable factors, then one should go with feature-rich commercial tools (like QTest, HP Quality Center, Zephyr, etc.)”
Given below are few parameters to be considered while choosing a Test Management Software.
Firstly, filter out some tools from the list of all the available tools based on your project budget. In a large organization, if the budget permits, then going with a commercial tool is a good option as it is easy to use and maintain the organization.
Then you need to decide on how much licensing cost you are willing to pay. It will depend on the time frame for which you need to use the tool. Many commercial tools also come with a customized license where you pay according to the features and the duration of usage that you select.
The test management software chosen should improve the productivity.
When we say ‘improved productivity’, then it should cover the following areas for sure:
a) The Granularity of Test Information: The tool should be able to provide detailed and helpful information during various stages of the testing process.
The test report generated by the tool should be able to tell you the exact step where the test failed so that it saves time in tracing and replicating the issue
Additionally, the tool should be able to document testing strategies, maintain test case versions, log defects, link user stories, plan test execution, and upload videos/images.
b) Release Management Tracking: The tool should be able to robustly track and update the list of application modules being tested and released. Also, it should be able to provide a repository that represents a single version of the truth to all the stakeholders so that there is no conflict with the requirements.
c) Support for Agile: These days most of the projects are adopting the agile methodology, so the tool you are choosing should also be able to support agile. It includes support for features like user story creation, sprints, scrum, velocity charts, reports, etc.
The tool should offer continuous integration and should easily get integrated with the automation test tools and bug tracking tools in order to make the overall testing process fast and easy.
It’s really helpful if the tool has a fully featured version available for the mobile devices as well. This helps in getting the team scattered at different locations in sync. It also helps in 24*7 monitoring.
The tool you choose should be able to provide good support for live chat, phone calls, raising tickets, help desk, knowledge base, FAQs, etc.
There are 9 quality criteria:
Below are the high-level features that any test management tool must have:
=> You can also refer to our page that will give you a detailed explanation of the 4 essential features of test management tools.
The market is fully loaded with several test management products. Thus, finding the right test management solution for your organization becomes a challenging process.
Below are the steps to be followed for tool evaluation:
#1) Before you start examining the tools, it is very important that you understand the needs of the project. Don’t go ahead with a tool selection without knowing what exactly you are looking for and what features you expect from the tool.
#2) Once you are clear about the project requirements, start evaluating the tools that fit your budget and have the feature set your need.
#3) Rather than going for a single tool, you can also have an option to go for multiple compatible tools that together can serve as a test management solution and serve all your needs.
#4) The next thing that comes into consideration before you delve into the tool feature is your development environment. Queries related to privacy, security, IT administration support, hosting, the cost of maintenance, etc. with the new tool should be addressed properly.
#5) Further, you need to consider all the technical issues that you need to take care of if you are going to use a new tool.
#6) Now, you should consider the test management features that the tool is offering. Check if the tool offers all the essential basic features required for test management.
#7) Moving ahead, if you are already using a defect management tool and want to continue with it, check if the new tool integrates well with your defect management system. This is required to report and track defects properly.
If you do not want to use any existing defect management tool in the organization and want to go with an entirely new solution, then select a tool that has a built-in defect management solution
#8) Whatever tool or set of tools you choose, it must be able to establish a connection between the functional requirements and test cases.
Try to Answer the below Set of Questions to Evaluate a Tool:
You can compare the tools with each other based on the following parameters:
Given below are few tool comparison matrixes and charts for your better understanding:
(Note: Click on the image for an enlarged view)
We hope that this tutorial on Test Management tools would have been a quick refresher for you.
And I’m sure that this, in turn, will be a reference guide for you when you need to evaluate your tool choices.
Please do add to this content, anything that we might have missed and also share with us your test management pain points or success stories in the comments section below!!