Every software development project requires a well-developed test management process – and every test management process requires the right tools.
Sure, you can start with simple and informal spreadsheets as your testing command center. But as your software grows, you will need a more mature process. And to build that kind of process, you’ll need a more advanced tool.
There are many great solutions designed for test management and deciding which one to acquire for your process can become challenging. And if you decided to use Jira as your project management tool, things get even more complicated. Still, testing in Jira is definitely a good idea, so it’s worth considering this solution.
In this article, I would like to share everything I’ve learned about efficient testing in Jira.
Different ways, different tools
Before deciding which tool would work best for you, you have to first choose which method you will follow in testing. Since you are already using Jira, you can take one of these three paths:
- Pure Jira – do not adapt any new tools to your instance, but instead focus on customizing Jira to make it into a test management tool on your own or with the help of the Jira administrator. Users won’t require extra training because Jira is a familiar environment. You can transform Jira into a testing platform, but be aware that it will always have its limitations.
- Standalone testing solution – you purchase specific software dedicated for test management. This path will require user training and might become a bit time- consuming, but it should also offer you greatest flexibility.
- Jira paired with a test management app – you can extend your Jira functionality with a dedicated app from the Atlassian Marketplace. That way, your instance will be better adjusted to testing activities.
Each method listed above can become a smashing success or total failure. In the end, it all depends on the project, organisation specifics, and many other factors. Even the spreadsheets I mentioned before can become a suitable solution for very basic implementations of a testing process, but it’s definitely a good idea to find something a bit more advanced for your growing project.
So let’s take a closer look at each of these solutions to help you see which one works best for your needs.
Atlassian’s Jira is a great tool for software projects management (and more!). The modification capabilities of this solution are outstanding and allow implementing different processes. Still, Jira is not an all-in-one tool.
Using Jira for testing is a smart move because it will require much less time for users to get accustomed to it as you’re not introducing a new piece of software. The user interface and core functionalities are familiar to users, so there’s no need for extra training for the tool. Just configure your project, explain the process to the team, and you’re good to go.
Even though this is a quick and simple way of setting your test management in place, in most cases it’s not going to be enough. Jira doesn’t include dedicated functionalities for creating effective test cases, tracking their execution, or generating dedicated reports.
Many test management features need to be implemented as a workaround and that can be quite inconvenient when you’re using Jira for testing on daily basis.
Standalone testing solution
Another option is investing in software designed particularly for test management with highly specialized functionalities to enable efficient testing. Integration with different issue trackers like Jira is a must-have feature, which allows to incorporate the testing process into your current workflow.
If you choose this option, you can expect your tool to be well-suited for different testing tasks. That’s the most valuable advantage of a standalone software solution. The testing process you establish should be fairly easy to achieve – if you pick the right solution, of course.
There are many standalone test management tools on the market, so picking the right one can be difficult. Looking for the most suitable one and browsing through demos, POCs and documentation lectures can be time-consuming.
And once you finally make a decision, you’ll have another tool in your set and need to offer the end users some kind of training to learn how to use the solution efficiently. Also, it may take even more time to reach full efficiency as your team gets accustomed to the tool.
In the end, there’s the matter of integration with your current setup as well. Using many different tools might affect global monitoring of your work progress and keeping the data actual very challenging.
Jira + Test Management App
Reason 1: Familiar environment
The overall user experience is one of the most important characteristics of almost any software. The interface quality impacts the time users require to learn the tool and use it with maximum efficiency.
Choosing a Jira app for your test management solution ensures that your team continues to work in a familiar environment. If Jira and other Atlassian tools are currently utilized on a daily basis for completing different tasks in your team, an extension of the issue tracker will keep users comfortable and ready to go.
Surely some kind of training will be needed, but it should be fairly simple. The team needs to be aware of the core functionalities the app brings and the test process itself, but that is still just a small part of what needs to be done when you’re introducing an entirely new tool.
Reason 2: Test management
The main objective of managers who choose a test management solution is verifying its capability to model the test process they are planning to work with.
Testing activities demand specific features from the solution. What was a major disadvantage when using pure Jira for test management is now brought to the table by the dedicated app.
The Atlassian Marketplace is the right place to look for apps and you can be sure to find at least a few great ones that were designed for test management. Of course each solution is different and you need to decide which one will suit you best, but you can be sure to find basic testing functionality in every app. You will be able to create effective test cases, plan your testing cycles, report on progress, and more.
Reason 3: Built-in features of Jira
One of the most important pros for using Jira apps is the Jira environment itself and all its features. Most of the time, you will be able to use the rich set of modification options to enhance your testing experience.
Jira is an advanced issue tracking solution that offers users a wide range of options for customizing the way it operates. If the app is heavily based on Jira issue types, bear in mind that you can create your own custom fields to store additional data or configure the workflow including all its mechanisms (conditions, post functions etc.).
For example, to improve your reporting, configure a dashboard with gadgets of your choice and set up permission and notification schemes for better control of your project. This a tiny part of Jira feature set that can be used for test management improvements.
Reason 4: Integration
In the end, there is always the matter of integration between various tools your team uses for performing different tasks. The more tools are in your setup, the more complicated the work becomes. Dealing with different interfaces, various sources of data, separate maintenance processes, and methods of carrying out the integration can become quite problematic.
Extending Jira with an app guarantees the best integration. You have one point of management for your project tracking and testing activities. This a great advantage since you keep all your data in one place and there is no need to switch tools for performing different tasks – be it daily work or technical, maintenance tasks.
Today test management is a critical process in developing software products, and keeping all testing activities organized requires a well-suited and robust tool.
When choosing a testing solution, you can pick from different paths. If you are using Jira for project tracking, you should definitely consider extending it with a test management app from the Atlassian Marketplace. It is a great way to get your testing process running while keeping all essential information in one place.
Our Jira app TestFLO allow to do just that – and much more. If you would to learn more about TestFLO and how it can empower your test management process, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. You can also start a free 30-day trial or try out the app with our live demo.