Not all test management systems are created equal

EXTRACT

High-quality test management platforms distinguish themselves with advanced features.

ARTICLE CONTENT

Many quality assurance teams employ test management software to keep track of their reports, runs and other documents related to the testing process. Without such software, organizations would have an extremely difficult time ensuring that in-house application development remained on task and met release deadlines on a regular basis. Not all test management systems are created equal, however. There are a few key features that QA leaders should look for when investing in a new platform.

A good test management system should go above and beyond basic product features and offer a comprehensive platform for QA operations. For example, while more organizations are looking to increase their usage of automated test scripts, they may be encountering issues that prevent them from wringing the most value from these tools. Some teams may find that the amount of time and resources needed to write automated test scripts undercuts the ensuing speed benefits. To make an investment in automation successful, QA leaders must be able to reduce the upfront costs.

Support automated tools
Part of the issue with automation is that testers may view such tools as disposable, and get rid of them after each production cycle. It can be even more problematic if teams don’t have a means to store, share and reuse test scripts. If QA units have a high-quality test management system in place, they can easily save their most effective resources and have them available for later projects. Recycling test scripts allows team members to spend less time creating these tools and more time actually running them. As WIRED contributor Andreas Kuehlmann explained, automated software testing scripts can vastly improve QA processes when implemented correctly.

“Test automation is business-critical for companies to remain competitive,” Kuehlmann wrote. “It is key to moving to agile development processes and a prerequisite for continuous delivery. … When organizations adopt automated testing, they become less vulnerable to potential defects and flaws.”

Offer oversight capabilities
Another feature that distinguishes top-shelf test management software from the pack is the ability to meet high-level monitoring needs. Many inferior products will offer few oversight capabilities, keeping relevant information siloed to only a select few individuals. Information pertaining to QA processes needs to disseminated and placed in the hands of everyone from testers to C-level decision-makers. Software Testing Help’s Swati Seela highlighted the importance of test execution reports, explaining that they should be issued on a daily basis to ensure that software testers on the same page. By compiling these documents and sharing them with team leaders and their supervisors, QA teams can spot disruptive elements that may slow down development and nip them in the bud.

Managers should also be sure that their test case management system offers the ability to make real-time updates. This is especially important for organizations that outsource their QA operations to teams located in other countries. Local programmers and testers can’t be left waiting for relevant reports and test results from their remote counterparts to come through. When choosing a new test management platform, team leaders should ensure that their prospective solution will support QA efforts by enabling users to update in real time.

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