Test repository is the first step of lean management for testing

A testing repository can help support lean testing efforts.

When an organization decides to leverage lean operations, it must go all in and ensure that its processes are following lean values. This extends all the way to software development and testing, meaning that developers and quality assurance staff must be able to observe lean practices while supporting project needs. In testing, there are a number of adjustments that will be required to meet these objectives, but QA teams can start by utilizing a test repository. Let's take a deeper look at why a test repository is a good first step and how it can help groups observe lean test management.

Reduces overall waste
The biggest value of an application of lean methodologies in software testing is that they mitigate waste and help organizations better utilize their available resources. As TechSmith Senior Software Testing Specialist Clint Hoagland noted, old processes are often focused on documenting testing efforts and running tests again at the end of each release to ensure new work didn't affect old functionality. As expected, this testing approach had significant problems like writing and maintaining test cases, which can become expensive and time-consuming.

"Following the test cases to the letter would theoretically blind testers to important problems," Hoagland wrote. "Effectively, we had a process where we asked developers and testers to walk in each others' footprints every release, ignoring their own intuition and product expertise."

However, by creating a test repository, QA teams can write tests once and easily access them for future use. This resource can also be leveraged for seamless automation integration, enabling groups to execute tests as needed, without needing the manual approval for each interaction. In this way, the repository gives back significant time to QA professionals to focus on other critical areas and ensure that the project is getting the full support it requires.

Boost application knowledge and quality
In an environment where testing can determine the success or failure of a program, a repository can be an essential asset to ensure each element is fully evaluate and any defects are identified quickly. Gallop noted that maintaining system documentation including a test repository can help achieve smooth and successful project execution. While code should ideally pass the test case the very first run, if it doesn't, QA teams can leverage the repository to narrow down the issue and strategies to fix it.

"A lot of effort in creating test data can be saved by maintaining a central repository which contains all kinds of data that may be required for various kinds of testing," Software Testing Help stated. "How is this done? In consecutive test cycles, for either a new test case or modified test case check if the data exists in the repository. If not existing, feed that data in the test environment first."

By actively maintaining the repository, QA teams can easily look up past cases and reduce the time needed for testing efforts. A unified platform will also be much more accessible and less expensive than one dedicated to each project or each group, helping to keep everyone on track and boost overall quality.

Standardizing processes
Too often, teams leverage different procedures depending on the project, but this may not always be the most efficient way to operate. Lean testing helps standardize processes, and keeping a repository can further boost this initiative. Software Testing Help noted that storing excessive and unwanted data can make it challenging to retrieve the appropriate information, but with lean practices, teams can effectively refresh their test cases to reflect the most current trends.

"Depending on the sets of data that are frequently used, obsolete data can be easily eliminated and hence ensuring that correct data is always present, thereby reducing cost to store that unneeded data," Software Testing Help stated. "Secondly, you can also have a couple versions of this repository saved or can revise it as necessary. Having different versions of the repository can help greatly in regression testing to identify what change in data can cause the code to break."

As software development becomes more complex, leveraging a test repository can be a major asset. This platform will not only help QA teams be more efficient, but it will also encourage lean management practices.

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