Software has never been as complex as it is today. And that puts a lot of pressure on the testing team to deliver high-performance and bug-free products. Combine it with tight schedules, distributed teams, and limited resources, and you got yourself a mix of factors that make testing very challenging to organizations. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to build an efficient test management process.
Creating and maintaining test cases and requirements for your project cycles, or developing traceability between test assets, is just the tip of the iceberg. What’s equally important is measuring test efficiency and effectiveness. Metric collection should be at the core of your test management process if you want it to work. That’s the only way to tell whether your process works.
Here are some tips to help you check which areas of your test management process could use some improvement and which work excellently for your product.
HERE’S HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TEAM’S EFFECTIVENESS
Your first step is to determine which performance metrics to choose for your analytics.
Many test managers are interested in the following metrics they believe can help evaluate their QA team:
- Number of bugs found (including a breakdown into different development stages)
- Number of automated test cases produced
Let’s have a closer look at these metrics.
The number of bugs only indicates the quality of development and doesn’t tell us anything about the quality of testing. The same goes for the other metric.
It’s developers who will find this information helpful, not testers.
Here’s an alternative metric you should consider: the number and severity of bugs detected by users that slipped under the radar of testers.
As you can see, this metric is closely connected to customer satisfaction. Delivering a bug-free product should be your priority. How close your team gets to that point is your ultimate effectiveness (not efficiency) metric.
Here are some other metrics to measure the effectiveness of your team:
- Percentage coverage of complete application in functional testing – compare the number of successful test to the total number of tests that need to be completed for a project.
- Error rates – testing teams might have high error rates that lead to overlooking defects or developing a faulty project documentation. That happens due to various reasons, but most commonly skill shortage or lack of expertise. Pay attention to your team’s error rates and mistakes – that’s how you can develop a strategy to fill these skill gaps.
- Defect removal efficiency – how well is your team able to remove the defects or resolve problems they find? Compare the number of defects in the final product to the number of defects reported by testers, and you’ll get your answer.
MEASURE THE EFFICIENCY OF YOUR TEST MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Now that you know how to assess the effectiveness of your team, it’s time to look at efficiency.
Time is money, and your organization has none of those to spare. You can’t have a testing process that causes delays or fails to make the most out of the skills of your testing team.
Here are 3 efficiency metrics you should start measuring right now:
- Defect turnaround time – how much time does it take for testers to detect a defect? This metric helps to identify and confirm these defects, but also prioritize them by urgency.
- Testing expenses – you need to have full knowledge about how you’re using your resources in the testing process. It’s smart to break this metric into stages (from test setup to execution and reporting), or components (for example, project costs by features or elements in the final product).
- Test progress – to get this metric, compare the number of completed test cases to the total attempted number. That metric will help you see where your team finds it difficult to execute their tasks and address the problem as soon as possible
USE SMART TESTING SOLUTIONS
One way to boost your test management process and get closer to that bug-free product ideal is using testing solutions that help your testing team to deliver better results.
If your development team uses JIRA, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it to carry out testing as well.
Thanks to plugins like TestFLO, you can transform your JIRA instance into a powerful testing environment. (link)
Why use JIRA for test management? Here are some good reasons:
- You probably already have quite a few processes carried out in JIRA, so including Development Process and Testing Process is a good idea;
- You won’t need to create a new infrastructure or implement new tools;
- No need for extra staff training;
- Agile teams can include test cases in your sprint;
- Interdisciplinary teams will thrive in JIRA ecosystem.
Have a look here to see our coverage of top testing tools for JIRA teams.
MAKE IT WORK
Developing a quick and streamlined testing process is your priority. And you can’t be sure you’re going a good job without these metrics.
Have a look around to find tools that boost the performance of your team. Track and measure these metrics to learn more about the effectiveness and efficiency of your testing team, and your entire testing process.
Want to learn more about successful test management? Here’s a post I wrote about 10 areas that determine the success of test management processes. Have you got any questions about testing? Leave a comment; I’ll be happy to help you out.