It’s smart to invest in developing a productive test management process at your organization.
If your team doesn’t lean on that type of procedure, you’re just bound to face a number of problems:
- You won’t have a central repository of test cases – when most execution results are stored on individual devices, it’s hard for the team to collaborate and for the management to analyze the quality outcome of the project.
- Since test cases won’t be shared, you risk that they’re duplicated within the project or between projects that use a similar functionality.
- You won’t be able to efficiently track the execution results and risk overwriting them.
- System failure might cause you to lose valuable test data.
To address and overcome these problems, organizations should develop test management systems that help to build a central test repository and optimize the testing process.
Investing in a tool like TestFLO is a good idea for companies looking for a solution to organize their testing and delivering quality software. (www.testflo.com)
Here are 10 key areas you should look into to make sure that your test management process is productive and cost-effective.
- Master Test Plan
Most organizations develop a master test plan or strategy to guide their testing processes. These methodologies for planning, organizing, and managing testing are essential for the process to be successful.
Take a closer look at the various areas of your master test plan and examine it in terms of efficiency. Set quality objectives and make sure that no problems pass testing undetected. You need a particular goal to guide you in testing – your testing team will be grateful for it.
- Test Plans
Testing is a complex, repetitive process. That’s why it requires thorough planning. When planning your project testing, you need to define particular objectives, outline strategies, analyze risks, and develop test-design specifications and test cases.
But that’s not everything. You also need to schedule test activities, and the responsibilities for testing at levels ranging from unit to system. A good test plan also addresses the allocation of resources and documentation where you clarify test-completion criteria to determine when the testing is finished.
- Test Cases and Repository
All test cases need to be part of a testing repository, whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet or database in Mercury. A testing repository is a must if you want to efficiently track and report the success of your test cases.
How to productively track test cases? Test the run data, code version, build number, and all comments that were added after the test case was carried out. Your repository should be understandable to project managers and other stakeholders – they need to be able to make sense of your testing process.
It’s smart to implement a trace matrix to connect your test cases to requirements. That’s how you create a coverage report that will point out any issues in your testing process. Make sure to store your test cases so that they can be used again in the future.
- Test Execution/Test Script
To ensure that your test management is successful, you need to sketch your test execution plan or test script. Define the tasks, goals, and tools for each test and assign the responsibilities to particular testers.
You need to develop a time frame with particular requirements, resources, and quality goals. Without that kind of documents, you’ll risk testing without any guidance – and that could easily become inefficient or costly.
- Requirements Management
Requirements are a key element in your testing process. A requirement is basically a defined capability your project outcome should successfully address.
That’s why it’s in your interest to develop processes that will allow you to analyze, document, trace, prioritize, and document requirements. A good requirements management ensures that you verify and meet the needs and expectations of project stakeholders, including internal or external ones.
- Defect Management
Another critical area of your test management is defect management. This process handles the activities in the defect life cycle – from the moment when a defect is logged till it’s resolved and closed.
It’s important to pay close attention not only to the tools for defect management, but also to the process itself. You don’t want to be changing your tool set every time you discover a defect only to end up with an inconsistent process that doesn’t meet your needs.
It’s smart to automate repetitive tasks in your testing process. That will free your testers to take care of other tasks. You can automate various processes, for example regression testing or adding claims to your testing environment.
Deciding which parts of your process should be automated is tough, but you can get there by analyzing your current testing process and the needs of your organization. The important thing is to consider automation as an element that could render your entire process much smoother and productive.
- Test Environments
If we lived in an ideal world, we’d have systems with separate environments for development, testing, and production. But that’s just way too expensive for most organizations.
Still, you should take extra care in setting up your testing environment. Testing and development can be carried out in the same environment – just remember to closely manage development during the acceptance testing phase. It wouldn’t make sense to include untested code in your production environment either, so try to keep these separate.
- Regression Testing
Regression testing is basically checking whether any modifications applied to the code haven’t caused other, unintended effects. It’s also about making sure that the system complies with defined requirements.
You need to asses your regression testing to make sure that the process works for your organization. Testers might miss out on testing a functionality because they think it hasn’t changed – proper regression testing helps to solve this and many other problems.
- Reporting and Metrics
No organization can afford to ignore data collection and analysis these days, and testing is no exception. You need a test measurement program which constantly evaluates the quality and effectiveness of your testing process.
How else will you know that your testing improves or that your personnel is becoming less productive? Testing analytics should be planned and managed with as much care as the testing process itself.
Testing is a must if you want to deliver a flawless product.
These 10 areas determine the success of your test management and allow to develop a set of processes that only help your team to become more productive and efficient.
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