What is Test Monitoring and Test Control?

Test Monitoring and Test Control is basically a management activity. Test monitoring is a process of evaluating and providing feedback of the “currently in progress” testing phase and Test control is an activity of guiding and taking corrective action based on some metrics or information to improve the efficiency and quality.

Test monitoring activity includes:

  1. Providing feed back to the team and the other required stakeholders about the progress of the testing efforts.
  2. Broadcasting the results of testing to associated members.
  3. Finding and tracking the test metrics.
  4. Planning and estimation and deciding the future course of action based on the metrics calculated.

Point 1 and 2 basically talks about Test reporting which is an important part of test monitoring. Reports should be precise and to the point and should avoid the “long stories”. It is important here to understand that the content of reporting differs for every stakeholder.

Point 3 and 4 talks about the metrics. Following are the metrics can that be used for test monitoring:

  1. Test coverage metric
  2. Test execution metrics (Number of test cases pass, fail, blocked, on hold)
  3. Defect metrics
  4. Requirement traceability metrics
  5. Miscellaneous metrics like level of confidence of testers, dates milestones, cost, schedule and turnaround time.

Test control is basically a guiding and taking corrective measures activity, based on the results of test monitoring. Examples include:

  1. Prioritizing the testing efforts
  2. Revisiting the test schedules and dates
  3. Reorganizing the test environment
  4. Re prioritizing the test cases / conditions

Test monitoring and control goes hand in hand. Being primarily a manager’s activity, a Test Analyst contributes towards this activity by gathering and calculating the metrics which will be eventually used for monitoring and control.