Is your test management solution ready for the enterprise?
Businesses come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, so their resources must follow suit. After all, a one-size-fits-all solution is unlikely to function appropriately for every organization in all situations. Take enterprises, for example. Large companies have significantly different considerations and risks than small firms. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that enterprises are going to use their assets much differently than SMBs, and any programs will specifically need to address these requirements.
Enterprises are increasingly looking to improve their software development process and a lot of this effort will rely on building in quality across projects. Investing in an enterprise test management software is one of the best ways to facilitate these initiatives. However, organizations must ensure that the asset directly fits their needs and is able to keep up with the pace of their operations, no matter their size. Let's take a look at how to ensure that your test management solution is ready for the enterprise.
Understand your needs
One of the best ways to identify any holes in your solution is to have a full understanding of what your needs are as a business. Each organization comes with a different set of requirements, so ensuring that your test management solution can rise to the occasion will be critical to your long-term success. For example, let's say you're just now starting to get into test management. You'll likely need support in terms of integration and employee training. On the other hand, if you have a solution that isn't performing up to expectations, you may simply be looking for a system that enhances productivity and visibility without needing as much hands-on interaction with the vendor.
By understanding your needs, you can also flesh out what goals you'd like to achieve with the test management solution and what potential risks you'll face. Many teams will seek to lower costs, shorten development time, improve integration between applications and release higher-quality software, according to Zephyr's Test Management Solution Buyer's Guide. However, there may be some challenges to overcome before organizations can start reaping these benefits. You'll need to consider if your test management solution enables communication, tracks schedules and keeps up with evolving assets. A comprehensive tool will help users collaborate across the enterprise and ensure that the best products are being released on a consistent basis.
Ensure ease of use
The accessibility of a test management solution will be critical for teams in a large enterprise, especially if they are spread out across the globe. Users should simply be able to log in and start working on their projects without having to go through a lot of red tape to fix issues or adjust tests. TechTarget contributor Peter Walen noted that tools that aren't user friendly will significantly slow down production speed. Before making a purchase, you should ask to test out a solution. This will give necessary insight about how well it operates, if its interface is easy to navigate and if it has the feature you require for your testing needs. You'll be able to purchase a test management solution already knowing how to use the system as well as having peace of mind that it will work for software testers.
"A tool that requires significant rework of test cases for them to be used in multiple projects does nothing to speed testing or reduce frustration among testers," Walen wrote. "These both directly impact morale and team efficiency, and ultimately, the cost of testing."
Integrate with automation
In agile software development, one of the biggest factors is automation, which helps teams execute repetitive tests without manual interaction. For many enterprises, automation integration has already become a major part of business operations, but software development must also play well with these tools. Test management and automation tools need to be able to interact and work off of each other to deliver the best applications every time. As Gallop noted, the best solutions will provide APIs for a variety of programming languages. Test management tools must also be able to integrate with test execution solutions.
Leverage comprehensive bug tracking
Even with the eagle eyes of your testing team, it's still likely that vulnerabilities will find their way through into project builds. For this reason, it's critical that test management tools have defect tracking capabilities. Monitoring across a case level as well as the overall level will be important to saving time and costs to fix issues down the road. Quality assurance professionals can leverage this type of information to relate defects to specific test cases and develop better scripts. Your test management solution must not only be able to keep these types of records, but must also generate reports concerning historical and developing trends. Software Testing Help specifically noted that Zephyr's real-time test metrics were critical for business decisions to inform quality intelligence.
"Zephyr provides all the rich functionality QA teams and testers need to create and execute test cases with less effort allowing more time to do actual testing by alleviating significant time-wasting steps," Software Testing Help stated. "Project management is provided with Zephyr's state-of-the-art push-based real-time metrics (no sync, no refresh!) to make highly critical business decisions based on informed quality intelligence on free project dashboards."
Test management is a major necessity for creating quality applications, ensuring that test cases are organized and that they keep teams updated at all times. By following these tips, you'll have the test case management system to keep up with your enterprise and produce great software.