Last time out we discussed four essential features that test management tools should have. Our quest for perfection continues and, armed with feedback from real-world testers, we’d like to share another four expectations for great test management solutions. Let’s take a look at what can help specific test management software and tools to stand out from the competition.
What You Will Learn:
4 More Essential Features that Test Management Tools Should Have
#1) Easy to integrate existing software
It can be an uphill battle to convince your development team to adopt new test management software or tools. You may be able to point out a host of potential improvements for the test department, but unless you can convince the developers designing and coding your product, then you’ll probably meet with some resistance. People don’t like change. If software engineers are comfortable with an existing defect tracking system, then they will not want to take on the learning curve associated with something new.
This is why great test management software is designed to integrate with external defect tracking databases or existing ALM solutions. If you can seamlessly integrate a new system without disrupting the established workflow, then you can maximize collaboration without any negative impact on the schedule. In short – the development team will be happy to accept the test department using a new test management solution, provided it doesn’t create any extra work for them.
#2) Easy to integrate existing automation
When it comes to performance testing, automation is vital. Any new test management software must be able to fit in with the existing automation tools or frameworks. Whether those automated solutions are already in place, or still being designed, the benefits of proper integration are enormous, and they break down as follows:
- Test Setup – You must be able to set up manual and automated tests using the same tool so that the QA department can quickly identify which text cases are automated and calculate what has to be tested manually and what level of effort it will require to complete.
- Test Execution – To ensure maximum efficiency, testers should be able to run the automated tests from within the test management solution. They also need to be able to interact with the automation framework, so they can test on specific environments and get live test results back.
- Test Coverage Analysis – If automated tests can be managed alongside manual tests in a single tool then it’s much easier for testers to analyze the level of test coverage and determine whether it’s adequate to cover a build or a specific feature.
- Reuse Reporting Feature – Proper integration of the test automation framework with the test management tool will enable it to leverage the reporting functionality. That means testers will have a consolidated view of the metrics they need in real-time, and it saves them from having to generate custom reporting views.
#3) Simple visualization in a consolidated report
As Agile development has taken off, the time pressures on QA departments have gone through the roof. Testers are frequently expected to produce reports and assess the state of play at the drop of a hat. This can involve absorbing the wide variety of reports and metrics that most test management tools produce. Commercial testing solutions all provide some form of visual feedback for reports, but complexity varies wildly, sometimes every metric is given its own chart. This can lead to confusion and it can be difficult for testers to deliver a quick answer.
Getting a fast, overall view can be invaluable. That’s why a single consolidated report that provides insights into the current status of the release, cycle, test runs and defects, is so desirable.
#4) Speed and collaboration
While new test management tools and systems need to enable testers to do a better, more thorough job, they also need to increase productivity and integrate with the organization’s existing processes and practices. Thoughtless design can actually hinder speed and efficiency, and it can create barriers to collaboration. The right solutions will seamlessly integrate with commercial and open source defect tracking systems, ALMs and automation tools. Wed that to the flexibility, traceability, usability, and transparency we spoke about in the first article and you will have the ultimate test management tool.
About the Author
Vu Lam is CEO of QASymphony, a leading developer of Quality Management solutions for software developers and QA testers. He was previously with First Consulting Group and was an early pioneer in Vietnam’s offshore IT services industry since 1995. He holds an MS degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. You may reach him at email@example.com.
If you are looking for the best test management solution, these features can be your good guide to make a perfect selection.
Let us know in comments, any other feature you are looking for in a test management software.