The Best Way To Organize Your Tests So You Can Find Them, Always

This article presents unique approach to Test Management in regards to how to best manage your project’s information, so you can organize your test cases and test plans better, delivering testing results faster and more effectively.

The main focus is on the use of Custom Fields and PractiTest’s unique Hierarchical Filter Tree, that are at the core of the system’s innovative organization approach. 

The second section will present a more detailed explanation on setting up a new project based on Fields and Filters. 

PractiTest test management tool review

What you will learn in this tutorial:

1) What’s wrong with the way you manage tests?
2) Advantages of Filter Trees
3) What is PractiTest?
4) Main benefits
5) How to get started

  • Create customized fields
  • Creating filters
  • Import your information
  • Set up integrations

Let’s start.

#1) What’s wrong with the way you manage tests?

Testing projects are more complex than most of us plan beforehand, and definitely more challenging than people outside of the Testing team tend to imagine or give credit for.

Even if you look only at a single test as part of your whole portfolio of test cases…  How can you organize your tests in a way that will help you find them when you need them?

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For example, one test might cover a specific component in your application, but at the same time it may be related to a feature running across multiple components of your solution.  If this isn’t enough, you may also identify this test as verifying a specific technology or technological variable of your product. And you can keep adding dimensions to this list, which makes organization potentially really messy.

So when you want to organize your test cases based on any of these classifications (or a combination of them): Component vs. Technology vs. Functionality, you end up with a major challenge. Especially so, if you are limited by the fact that your organization is based on a one-dimensional hierarchy of folders, while projects are more a matrix of testing criteria.

Think about it, how many times have you needed to define a testing project based on a specific technology change such as an upgrade to an Operating System on one of the mobile devices you support? It’s extremely hard to find only those specific test cases that are relevant to this aspect.

Later on, the next project, you have a small change on a feature that cross effects your whole solution. Finding those appropriate tests is the equivalent of finding five needles in two haystacks.

The result is wasted time searching for tests, or creating duplicate tests. Or even worse, testers simply forgetting to cover a particular scenario or configuration because they did not find that test…

The examples are endless, the solution is simpler than you think!

If you need to find information based on different criteria, why not organize it based on these different criteria simultaneously?

By using Filters and ‘tagging’ your tests, you can easily organize and later find the exact tests you need in no time.

2) Advantages of Filter Trees

1) Flexibility – a more flexible way to organize your information based on the structure of your product, your company’s needs and the client demands (simultaneously).

For instance, if up until now testers suffered from having to conform their work process to “built in” and structured systems chosen arbitrarily or otherwise, with Filter Trees every team can define the information hierarchy that best suits their needs and helps them meet their company and clients’ demands.

2) No More Duplicated Tests: When it comes to duplicate tests – best case scenario is a test that is written twice, worst case scenario it was not run at all since people were not able to find it. The former scenario is a waste of ‘testing time’ and the later is simply a danger for a buggy delivery.

The above is averted by Filter Trees since each test can be “tagged” to multiple trees.

For example, if your test repository is organized by version and also by product, but a test is relevant to both. With folder based organization you would have to duplicate that test so it appeared in both folders. This sounds fair, until you start to imagine the mayhem that ensues when that same test is relevant to many more testing categories and folders, sub-folder etc.)

With Filter Trees and Multi-List Custom fields, you can ‘tag’ any test under two or more different “branches” of your project. So, for example, you would have a test tagged to appear under Version 1 and Version 2 as well and so on…instead of creating or duplicating the test.

3) Focused Testing and Full Coverage: Filter Trees allow you as a team or project leader to dynamically allocate specific entities (e.g test cases, requirement, issues) to different members of your organization.

For instance, have a group of testers assigned to deal with anything filtered as Prod A. While other team members are allocated to work on the latest version cross product.

4) Speed and Efficiency – On the most basic level Filters means everything is easier to find, so no time is wasted searching and filing, trying to guess where each test might be hiding. At the same, it saves time on creating tests. Once Fields are in place any team member need only fill out the relevant information, and the test will show up in the filters selected for viewing without any further “filing” action, it happens intrinsically.

5) Communicate project status and results – Present the relevant information to your project stakeholders and team members, in a pleasant and simple graphic display with Custom Dashboards.

(Note: Click on any image for enlarged view)

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Hierarchal Filters is a unique functional feature of PractiTest.

#3) What is PractiTest?

PractiTest is a QA Management solution for professional testers designed to help control the testing and development process.

It is a stand alone ALM solution that can also smoothly integrate with other tools you may already be working with:

  • Bug trackers (Jira, Redmine etc.);
  • Automation tools (Selenium, TestComplete, etc);
  • CI platforms (Jenkins, CircleCI and more);
  • and Slack.

#4) Main benefits

  • Information management: PractiTest’s unique hierarchical filter trees are the best way to manage and find information throughout your project.
  • Integrations: Smoothly integrate your already ‘in use’ bug trackers and/ or automation tools with PT as your project management tool combining all your testing effort under one roof.
  • Dashboards & Reports: Customized display of project status with dashboards and reports to reflect only the relevant results to your various stakeholders: Developers, R&D, marketing, clients, company management etc.
  • Very easy to use: Intuitive UI, easily import any existing data (do you still use spreadsheets?) and you’ll be up and running in no time.

#5) How to get started

Before using the awesome power of Hierarchical filter trees there are a few basic actions for setting up your PractiTest project:

Step #1) Create customized fields

Before creating useful Filters as mentioned above, have a clear understanding of the categories you will most likely need during any given project. There will usually between 2 to 5 categories such as: Product type, Technology, Version and so on.

PractiTest has 2 types of fields: System fields and Custom fields.

System fields’ are fields common to most testing projects such as: Assigned to; Last modified; Last run; Run status; Priority etc.  These fields will exist by default in any new project (to save set-up time) and can then edited if needed.

Here is an example of some:


way to organize your tests 3

Custom Fields’ are defined by you and enable accurate customizing of the information displayed for each entity. The possibilities here are nearly endless and it is this flexibility of defining custom fields together with the unique Hierarchical Filters that give PractiTest an improved way of test management.

PractiTest Custom Fields

  • To create a new custom field go to Settings on top right side of the screen and choose the Fields sub-tab. Scroll down to ‘Custom fields’ and select the ‘Create New Custom Field’ button at the bottom.
  • Give your field a name and decide what type of field it will be from the options drop-down list.
    A common choice is the List type field where you enter as many values needed for your project.
  • Under “Field linkage to entities”, is where you assign this new field to selected modules (tests, requirements, issues etc.), as well as whether it is mandatory or if it has a default value.

When done just click Save to go back to the now updated list of Custom Fields.

PractiTest Custom field customization

After deciding and then defining the fields you’ll need for your tests, based on the parameters and information that is relevant to them, creating filters becomes almost trivial.

If you need a borrowed analogy, think of Filters like the “Labels” in Gmail, rather than the more traditional way of organizing your emails with a folder tree structure. Much like in Gmail, after you have created a filter – based on the fields you defined previously, just by selecting that filter in the side pane all the relevant tests will be displayed in a snap.

way to organize your tests 6

Step #2) Creating filters

You can create filters directly from the Filter Tree pane on the left side of your screen in each module. By clicking on the little [+] icon you can add a new parent filter. By clicking on the tab icon beside each existing filter you can add a new sub filter or edit the existing one.

Creating filters in PractiTest

When creating a new Filter:

  • Choose a Filter Type from the options list
  • Enter a name in the field below
  • Under Filter, Criteria define what fields to include/ exclude from your filter using the “Add ‘AND’ query”
  • In the Custom Fields below, choose which Fields (columns) to display by “drag and drop” to the items selected box or by clicking on the green “+” button.  You can rearrange these as desired
  • Press Create Filter to save.

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These Filters work throughout PractiTest in all Modules: Requirements / User stories, Tests, Runs, and Issues.

Step #3) Import your information

After defining fields for you project it is time to import Requirements, Issues, Tests or Steps and start working immediately.

PractiTest supports importing data from CSV, XLS, and XLSX files or even directly from Google Drive.

To import go to the ‘Import & Export’ tab under Settings, and select what data you intend to import (Issues, Tests, Steps or Requirements):

way to organize your tests 9

For each import option, you will need to map and assign your projects’ fields in PractiTest (both System Fields and Custom Fields) with the columns in your file to be imported.

Here is a screenshot of importing Tests:

Import your information in PractiTest

Step #4) Set up integrations

All integrations can be set-up via the designated Integrations sub-tab under Settings.

Set up integrations in PractiTest

PractiTest Integrates with many popular Bug trackers (Be sure to check out our two-way integration with Jira Cloud and Jira Server on our website); Automation tools (Such as Selenium, Jenkins etc.) as well as team communications platforms such as Slack. If that isn’t enough it is possible to create a customized integration using our API. To see the full list visit this integrations page.

Now that your PractiTest project is set-up with Fields, Filters, Imported data and integrations you are ready to go! Create Tests, Test sets, and runs, generate Issues and monitor your progress using advanced Dashboards and Reports.

Want to try for yourself? Here is the page for a trial account.

Conclusion

PractiTest is an end-to-end Test Management solution, with a unique method of organizing your project information so you can find what you need and deliver results swiftly and efficiently.

It saves a lot of time from set-up to delivery, while providing a holistic solution to QA project management challenges.

Do you find any difficulties in organizing and finding tests? How are you managing your test cases? Also let us know if you have any questions about PractiTest tool.




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3 comments ↓

#1 Sheetal

Interesting filters concept

#2 Suhas debne

Thanks for sharing the article

#3 Neha Joshi

Thank you very much for sharing such informative blog.

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