As a tester, developer, or test manager, you must love shopping — specifically for test management tools? But the dilemma is that you have too many options, right? The pressure to vet software to make sure it is market ready is increasingly becoming complex and tricky, and vendors are not making it easy by providing a myriad of multifunctional test management solutions. Have you considered narrowing down your options with simple 'what can it do for me' pointers?
Your number one priority is to align your testing needs (one-time, consistent, or long-term use), duration of testing, and your budget to the final outcome or expectation. Consider going for open source tools that are inexpensive and at the same time will offer support and ease of use.
Software Testing Help recently put out a generous list of 15 test management tools for testers that are a mix of open source and commercial. So this may help you further. After you have identified your choices based on your requirement and budget, plunge right into analyzing the tools with these top parameters:
Improves productivity and quality
The key capabilities of traceability, real-time reporting, and collaboration helps define a good test management strategy, which in turn enables in shorter time to market and shipping the right product, therefore contributing to the quality of a software.
- Meticulous tracking of every step of the testing life cycle — requirements, tests, and defects — is critical for multi-step processes and helps test managers minimize risks and provide optimal coverage. This involves having an interactive dashboard and interface that enables tracking of test cases of past, current, and future projects, especially changes made to test cases or test scripts, new features or updates, new user requirement, change in user stories, and more . For example, in case of test case failure, it is good to know at what step the test failed, identifying the defects, and fixing them, which is an insight for future projects; or detecting inconsistent testing requirements, which helps in the reuse of test cases for the future.
- Assists in combining manual and automated tests in a single test suite. For example, a test suite can have a combination of a few manual and/or automated GUI (graphical user interface) tests to test the frontend and a few API tests to test the backend. This kind of suite can later be repurposed across release or sprints to reduce rework, and built upon over time with additional tests that in turn acts as a regression suite. It also gives insights into the time taken to run a test, which helps identify manual tests for automation and failed automated tests for manual testing.
- Provides updates and a clear overview of every step of a project in real time. This enables QA teams in an agile environment to respond quickly, enhancing a software's interactive capability, and establishing a strong continuous feedback loop.
- Compatible in the cloud with advanced collaboration capabilities. Improved communication on a single platform between testers, developers, and other stakeholders only avoids silos as they stay updated about every step in the testing process, and access to testing assets like metrics, data, reports, sprints, and release.
Enables automation integration
Automation integration is a vital element of a test management tool and its ability to seamlessly integrate with automation tools and software development suites defines the strength of a test management strategy. Automated testing is one of the biggest trends this year and is invaluable to achieving CI/CD and therefore implementing a successful DevOps strategy.
- Enables to run test cases on a predetermined cycle or as per need saving time, effort, and money, and shorter time to market. QA teams need not run, for example, regression tests manually, therefore eliminating repetition and minimizing error.
- Supports continuous integration, easing off the burden on test engineers. A good test management tool which has automated test case execution will have the ability to manage test scripts, schedule and launch tests automatically both locally and remotely, store test results, and more.
- Seamlessly integrates with bug tracking tools and support desk softwares making the testing process a lot easier for QA teams. It should have the ability to let all stakeholders of a project to work on a single issue at the same time, and link bugs to test case instances, and helps users to get instant solution to the problem, and close an issue.
Adapts to an agile development process
With software development being agile, it is essential that developers also speak the same language as testers. A good test management tool enables them to collaborate, plan, and execute together and increases visibility to ship faster, cutting down cost and time.
- Scalable and customizable to different parts of the organization, which may use different development methodologies. For instance, does the tool give you the ability to create custom fields so that you can define and pick values specific to your business processes.
- Flexible to accomodate changes depending on the type, size, and duration of a project, for example excluding certain fields or eliminating irrelevant tests, which saves time. An ideal test management tool will also foster the freedom to cater to specific QA strategies.
- Easily adoptable by different kinds of users within an organization, which requires minimal training, easy to get started, and ease of use. This also means that the tool has integration options and the IT team will not spend time developing custom integrations, some examples like Jira (and its corresponding test management tool like synapseRT).
- Supports creation of user stories, estimation, sprint backlog planning, velocity charts and more, and record of the product release for iterations and backlogs
Offers support in multiple ways
A test management tool should be able to provide support in various ways — its adaptability to mobile devices, to multiple users, languages and demographics, and other support features that enable a seamless testing process.
- Allowing multiple users to collaborate on a single platform with tracking and security in place. For example, user-based allocation of rights, encryption of files and folders with passwords, locking of editable files, versioning of the files, etc.
- Supports multiple devices like mobile devices and tablets, which makes it easy for the team to function from anywhere and at anytime — especially when on client location or in another geographic location.
- User-friendly interface with customer integration feature that accommodates multiple language and time zone support with advanced search ability
Picking the right test management tool is critical to your agile software development lifecycle, and it provides visibility across tests like units, regression, APIs, and GUIs ensuring optimal coverage of requirements across these types of tests. And as testing scales, a test management tool should also scale.