Published on May 21st, 2020 | by Patrick Panuncillon0
8 Things to Know Before Choosing a Test Management Tool
With all the dizzying options of test management tools in the market, it’s easy to fall prey to dubious marketing schemes. Thankfully, in this article, we’ll provide you with the necessary things to know so you can select the best test management tool that works for your business.
Here is an important consideration to take note of first. Do not compare lettuce with onions. That means there is no point comparing a $50 per month tool with a full-blown $10 000 commercial tool when you have budgetary constraints. So to start it, assess the tools available and select initial options based on the budget you have.
Once you’re done filtering the tools based on financial scope, you can then proceed to the following parameters.
1. Test Management Tool Should Improve Productivity
Testing proponents have to contend with the rapidly changing technological landscape and the growing need to test on multiple platforms. Fortunately, there are other fields where they can boost the efficiency of a tool, including insightful reporting and data management. Selecting the proper test management tool can improve these parameters.
Let’s now delve deeper into the fundamentals of a test management tool from a productivity component.
Granularity of Test Information
The test management tool should provide comprehensive reports relevant to the testing procedures. In a test case failure, for instance, it matters to identify a particular stage where the test failed. Regardless of the modifications incorporated while testing, the test management tool should include insights about the modifications to the proponents.
Among other features expected of a test management tool are linking stories, planning test execution, creation of defects, and documenting test strategy.
Release Management Tracking (DevOps)
Software Releases come with various engagements happening all at once, including build version tracking and team coordination. An ideal test management tool should, therefore, be able to keep track of the software being tested and released sustainably. That helps prevent conflict and other issues with the other artifacts being tested. Further, it should run efficiently despite running multiple projects in one sitting.
One feature that makes a test management tool stand out is its capacity to provide an insight into how long it’s going to address it. Specifically, it should be able to deliver the following:
- Test case authoring status
- Test case failed and passed
- Test plan progress
- Test status by suites
- Test case to be automated
- Test status by area
2. Agile Support
With more and more tools introduced in the market, one key feature eyed is agility. That means you should ensure that the chosen test management tool aligns with the agile methodology. When a test management tool supports agile, it can make requirements easily mutable and incrementally completed. Moreover, it should foster solid collaboration among key stakeholders, developers, and testing teams.
Here are some elements that an agile test management tool can support:
- Scrum and Kanban
- Creating Stories
- Velocity charts and other reports
- Sprint backlog planning
In every agile situation, test run comparison by test management tool results in productivity considering you’re after modifications in defect rates per iteration. More importantly, a test management tool has to store a record of the product release for each backlog and iteration.
3. External Integration
More and more test engineers are resorting to automated test case execution to reduce workloads and pressures. That is why the chosen test management tool should efficiently work or integrate with test automation tools. Consider assessing if it can adequately organize test scripts and schedule or kick off tests both on the remote host and on a local situation.
Furthermore, the test management tool should align with continuous integration, given the continually changing testing landscape. If it functions well with a CI, tests can launch automatically, saving you considerable time and effort. Among the essential factors that can trigger include source code, a scheduled task for a specific time duration, or a test case with underlying test automation. Take note. Time, granularity, direction, and detail vary in continuous integration.
An excellent test management tool should also allow the integration of a bug tracking tool to make the testing process efficient. That means it should not cause conflict or issues when integrated with bug tracking tools such as the Jira, Mantis, and many others. With that capacity, the tool can foster a successful collaborative engagement among the team members while working on an issue at the same time.
Nowadays, the majority of people utilize their mobile devices and tablets to browse for data and information online or do work on digital transactions.
Therefore, it makes sense to ensure that the test management tool offers all or most mobile device features. In short, it should be mobile-friendly.
Think about it. There is a growing notice on the importance of mobile support, especially for proponents working at the client location.
But don’t just solely fall to the special compatibility features. You should also consider the need for reliable support for mobile devices and OS.
What if you’re just a newbie to this testing process, and you’re lost with all the technicalities and jargon? Ah, that’s where the role of support comes to play.
That is why any test management tool available in the market should have a corresponding support team to assist customers readily. Among the best features, it should have a knowledge base, phone call, raising help desk ticket, live chat, and product documentation information. It should also have a page for FAQs and online user guides.
Some test management tools also help address customers’ queries by holding a live video conference. If that does not apply given a situation, then recorded videos or demos can make up to that and should be readily available for viewing.
Here is the catch, though. Even though these features may be available on most tools, make sure to pick one that offers your “preferred” support medium.
So there you have it. Take note of these essential considerations when choosing a test management tool. You don’t only have to understand what is test management tool but dabble on the critical factors when choosing one. The tool you select can spell either success or disaster. But with these criteria in mind, you should not go wrong.
As goes a famous adage, “No man is an island.” That also applies to personnel involved in the testing process. Sure, there is a level of independence needed for each person to function productively, but total separation adversely affects team dynamics. It also lessens the exchange of fresh and innovative ideas that come from good teamwork.
There are a variety of ways to guide proponents in the testing process to contribute ideas and address issues as a team. Some of these are fully or partially associated with a test tool, while others are done without it.
Among the independent options are face to face meetings, social media, and email, which are way more useful than no effort at all. These, however, entail more considerable effort among the participants to pinpoint the precise elements tackled. Take note. An email thread with multiple users jumping back and forth leads to demoralization in most members trying to beat a deadline.
That is where a collaborative feature plays a critical role. Through that, a test management tool provides a viable setting for healthy teamwork while lessening the disenfranchisement of a user. When there is a close integration between an email system and a test tool, expect quality results.
But here is a catch. A more viable solution depends on a discussion trail system that is either partially connected with a test tool or fully integrated into it.
7. Exploratory Testing
Planned testing makes up a good step, but it has to be predictive. Although you can expect a planned functionality to verify it, it’s more difficult to plan for unwanted functionality. That is why it works best to permit a testing member to identify where his/her intuition anchors.
Here is the thing. Exploratory testing focuses more on empirically-driven and less-structured testing rather than an arbitrary feature on the part of the tester. This technique can also complement scripted testing, contrary to a popular notion that it replaces it.
Your desired test management tool should support both scripted and unscripted exploratory testing to cover all aspects of your testing.
8. Defect Reporting
Testing leads to the diagnosis of defects or issues in the system. The process of reporting and identifying those defects associated with the tests can either positively or negatively impact the development process’ efficiency.
Fortunately, there are tools such as Practitest, which can help you do just that. With a tool, expect more time and effort saved, detailed insight into every problem diagnosed, and lessened gaps that may yield an error in the future.
Looking for the best test management tool in the market to help improve your testing process? Here are the essential things you first need to know before jumping right in. Apply these and see incredible results.