Managing your testing isn't just about finding bugs. It also helps you audit test coverage, execution, and outcomes so you can deliver high-quality software products.
Test management involves planning and organizing your tests so that you can ensure the traceability software testing process. This visibility is important, so that quality and engineering leaders can be sure their releases run as expected and look for ways to improve. Test management also helps you track tests that are candidates for automation and review your progress as you create, run, and maintain these automated tests.
Test management also enables you to identify which automated tests are buggy and prone to break. This can provide evidence as to whether your current automation tooling is a good fit for your team. For example, if your automated tests are always breaking and constantly need to be fixed, this information can help you build a business case for why you need a better automation tool, such as Functionize, that uses machine learning to make tests resilient.
Previously, testing was executed at the end of the development process and often right up against deadline, which meant it was done in a hurry. This often resulted in missed business requirements, a buggy application, and plenty of unhappy users.
However, in today's agile world, testing methods are changing. Developers no longer run tests after the implementation phase as they did in the past. Rather, developers must now start testing earlier in the software development life cycle so they can find and fix issues sooner.
In addition, an effective test management strategy ensures that the testing team is constantly updated about any changes in a customer's business requirements and ensures that they're always ready to write effective test cases to test those requirements. Implementing test management in its test automation strategy offers a number of benefits to companies using agile development, including:
Tracking Assigned Tasks
A test management strategy enables you to assign a particular task to the person with the right skills to accomplish that task. Effective test management involves using tracking tools that track the person assigned to the task and identify whether the task was completed. This helps you keep track of what each team member is working on.
Offers a Collaborative Environment
Test management typically ensures that the data is stored in such a way as to enable team members to access it easily. And a test management tool enables a collaborative cloud-based data exchange so team members can easily access all the test data and review metrics.
Helps Reduce Data Duplication
Using test management tools, siloed teams get a comprehensive view of all the tests that have been performed as well as any bugs that have been found, reducing data duplication because all the teams have the same view. These tests can be shared and reused in the future.
Helps Prioritize Tests
A test management tool enables you to more easily detect areas of risk because it lets you grade risk factors in custom fields, then prioritize those risk factors in the tool. This risk assessment is especially helpful when there isn’t enough time to test everything, so you can prioritize the high risk tests to be executed first.
Main Functionality of Test Management Tools
Typically, test management tools provide the following core functionality:
- Test planning and design. These tools help you document instructions for each test and plan which tests are necessary for each sprint or release. You can also figure out which tests you can automate and which are best kept manual.
- Requirements capture. Test management tools help you verify that your tests are covering all the required functionality of the application. This helps you mitigate risk and ensure that your features are working properly before a release.
- Test execution and analysis. This involves coordinating test resources and ensuring that test plans are executed properly. Your test execution plan will also specify the parameters for the test including any browsers, versions, or operating systems that need to be tested. It also keeps a record of all tests and the results of those tests.
3 Top Test Management Tools
There are a number of tools to choose from; however, the one that's right for you will depend on your requirements. Here is some information about three of the top test management tools:
A web-based test management tool, TestRail lets users manage, track, and organize their software testing. The tool offers end-to-end, web-based test management so teams can organize their testing efforts and get insights into their testing activities in real time. This tool lets you measure the progress of your tests via activity reports and interactive dashboards. TestRail integrates with collaboration and bug tracking tools, including Gemini, Axosoft, GitHub Atlassian Jira, FogBugz, Bugzilla, GitHub, and TFS as well as with test automation tools, such as Ranorex Studio, and more.
A complete test management tool for Jira, Xray lets team members plan, execute, and track their manual and automated tests. Xray aims to help organizations enhance the quality of their software with effective testing. With this tool, users can track the progress of their tests in real-time as well as track changes in their artifacts. Xray produces coverage analysis almost immediately and generates customizable test reports. Xray lets you add pre-conditions to tests that should be executed before the tests themselves.
3. Zephyr Squad
Zephyr Squad is a test management tool inside Jira that's great for agile teams that are focusing on test design, execution, and test automation. Since Zephyr Squad integrates into your Jira environment, agile teams that are familiar with Jira can start testing immediately. Zephyr Squad lets users design, execute, and automate their tests in Jira. Zephyr Squad also integrates with Confluence as well as continuous integration and automation tools.
Test management tools make it easier to test complex software. They are designed to integrate seamlessly into your tool stack and enable you to work more productively and efficiently.
Although some test automation firms try to entice you to use their test management tools, we at Functionize would rather leave that choice up to you because you know what your requirements are and what your tool stack looks like.
However, we strongly urge you to make using test management tools part of your test automation strategy as they can help you build up automation faster and more strategically so you can focus on developing better software.