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Top features to look for you in your test management tool

Disha Thakkar
May 10, 2019

As software development races ahead to keep up with the DevOps and Agile speed, there is a definite momentum behind ALM tools.

In fact, Gartner predicts global enterprise software spending of $297 billion this year up by 6.4% compared to 2012.

 

The ALM market is a highly competitive one. But one area that gets left behind in this rush to secure the big bucks is test management functionality.

 

Let’s not forget that ALM solutions are primarily designed to meet the needs of software developers. They don’t take into account the lifecycle of testing or the opinions of testers.

 

What happens is that test management tools are then added to the package as an afterthought. This doesn’t meet the Agile testing or continuous testing requirements well.

 

Neither do they cover all the bases for an effective test cycle, much less a project spanning months or even years.

 

Since software development in many cases extends well beyond the production release, the requirements of teams handling regression testing and rollout of features on a live platform are quite complex.

 

So, what can teams do to avoid risk of failure or risk of critical bugs escaping to production?

 

The value of a selecting the right test management software tools can’t be emphasized enough. And choosing the right tool means paying close attention to the most essential features that you need to achieve your quality ideals.

Omnichannel

User experiences are no longer limited to the mobile or the web. Your test management or test automation tool needs to support omni-channel testing for web, mobile and web services including BDD and TDD support.

Seamless User Experience

Modern Agile teams need a smooth UI and intuitive journey when they use various tools. You probably know how efficiency is impacted if your tools provide a janky experience or navigation, or limited browser support. Agile testers need an agile user experience and your test management tool should enable this speed.

Shared ownership of quality

The essence of Agile and DevOps is to deliver working software more frequently. This has introduced a new way of doing things, influencing not just developers but QA team and other stakeholders. The best way to bring order to the chaos of managing test environments is by documenting test environment configurations, resource scheduling and incidents backed by data.

 

The principle of shared ownership needs changes across the organization, processes and tools. For example, developers and test engineers need to work closely and use tools that support TDD and BDD. Basically, the test management tool must promote collaboration and scalable testing. It also requires tools that promote collaboration and scalable testing.

Versioning and tracking

Version control of QA artifacts is relevant to your test management process.

 

Whether you are working in a highly regulated environment or not, it is necessary to trace the history and modifications to your test artifacts.

 

Choose a tool that facilitates easy versioning and tracking of tools. Also, the ability to set workflows and permissions can help various stakeholders retain control and stay on track.

Reusability

When you create test cases, they should tie to functional actions that the user performs to achieve a meaningful outcome. This aids in modularity and reusability. Your test management tool must enable cross-project reusability & functionality, so that you don’t duplicate the effort each time you want to build a similar case.

Traceability and transparency

Test management tools can make the process of managing requirements and traceability much easier, thereby increasing efficiency and coverage. Many modern test management tools like QMetry offer a single view through requirements/user stories, test assets and defects so that managers can plan optimally and avoid risks. This can help avoid resource leakage and ensure just the right amount of coverage across environments.

 

In the context of DevOps, where software teams use several project managements, issue tracking and test management tools, it becomes a little more complicated. An advanced test management tool can offer end-to-end traceability across manual, automated, Selenium, CI-CD tools, Jira and much more.

Quality Metrics

Metrics or Quality Analytics play a crucial role in evaluating the productivity of the DevOps teams. With the help of defined quality analytics and your team can measure the efficiency, quality, cost and health of the product at any point in time. Select a tool that offers advanced reporting and analytics, and preferably custom dashboards and visual analysis.

Scalability and integration

Often the older test management tools fall short when your organization sees an increase in activity or needs to scale up quickly.

 

Read for example, one of our clients need to scale up quickly to accommodate the increasing testing demands as a result of growth in their consumer base.

 

Modern DevOps teams also work with a variety of tools to implement continuous delivery. You need a tool that is designed to meet the ever-evolving demand of the software testing ecosystem. This means seamless integrations with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery tools, issue tracking and other test management tools.

 

Ensure that your test management tool provides the necessary integrations with your tool stack be it Bamboo or Jira, Jenkins or Selenium.

 

The right test management tool will help you achieve:

  • Shift Left
  • Continuous Testing aided by Test Automation
  • Multiple integrations with the help of open API
  • BDD and TDD implementation

We will cover how the right tool helps you to achieve the above-mentioned capabilities in our follow-up blogs.

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