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What is test management – and top 5 tools you can use

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Test management is the process that covers all the steps involved in different phases of the
testing process, from start to end. Through testing management, you can control all the
aspects of testing and trace the work down to individual testers to increase the work’s
visibility. The whole reason for using testing management tools is to develop high-quality
software and establish trust.

Testing management tools can manage both automated and manual tests, so you can
cover all your bases. However, there are things you should keep in mind before creating a
test management plan. You have to keep the test efforts well organized and on track. You
have to test interactively. You also have to manage resources and ensure that the company
can reuse some of the assets for future projects. You can also use DevOps techniques to
save time and money.

Typically, you’ll define a test manager for this role. They have to lead the whole testing team and perform other responsibilities too, such as outlining the testing scope, laying out the testing methodology, determining testing metrics, and more. They also have to improve
transparency for all stakeholders and ensure that all tests are stored and logged for future references. You can appoint someone in your own organization or hire a QA outsourcing
vendor for this role.

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s dive a little deeper into what test
management implies and what stages you should be focusing on. The stages are:

1.Initial Analysis and Estimation

The test analysis phase is when the test manager outlines the risks associated with a
particular test and devises strategies to mitigate them. They also have to think about the
non-functional requirements of the project, such as compliance and usability.
At this stage, the company also calculates the time and effort required to complete a
particular test series. It’s a forecast of how long a specific sequence of tests will take to
complete and how many resources you will need to allocate.

2. Planning

The planning phase includes all the other tasks, such as schedule, approach, and
resources. The company also needs to design the scope of the project to create a detailed
test plan.

You have to define the exact schedule and deliverables to be completed at the end of the test. You also have to allocate enough testers so that they can handle the process
smoothly.

Once you have defined the roles and responsibilities, the testers will begin writing test
cases and creating the test environment. Once the written test is completed, testers input it into the testing environment where the final test will be conducted.

3. Execution of test

Once all the written tests are completed, manual and automatic testing can begin. The team should manage both budget and resources in real-time. The testers should note all the information related to the test, such as test case number, summary, steps taken, expected result, actual result, preconditions, post conditions, and other factors of interest.

Along with executing the test cases, you also have to monitor them and make sure that the
tests stick to the predefined schedule and don’t have any issues. If there is any deviation in the plan, you have to adjust it accordingly. This is called issue management. Not doing so may cause a default in deadlines and an increase in project costs.

You also need to make sure that the test stops when the exit criteria are met. Factors like
client requirements and functionality define what exactly the exit criteria should be. You also need to ensure that all reported issues are correctly cataloged and that all test cases are covered.

4. Reporting and Assessment

Once your team finishes with the testing, they have to process the output. They have to
evaluate all the logged data and make plans to implement bug fixes. They also need to
identify areas for improvement.

You need to compile a detailed test report, identifying things like test case completion
percentage, resources used, severity, and priority issues. You also have to provide a
secondary issue report related to the issues you found with attributes such as the identified
issues, issue likelihood, and prevention plan.

Most companies use test management tools to simplify the process. Some of the common
Test management tools are:

Test collab

Easy to set up and integrate with bug tracking and test automation tools. It removes the need for manual intimation to all stakeholders by maintaining visibility through a single dashboard. Though it’s not the simplest tool around, experienced testers shouldn’t have problems working with it.

qTest

This tool is fast, simple, and efficient. Agile testing and development teams typically use
qTest to test at scale. It also incorporates DevOps features to ensure team collaboration. It
has different category options for new features and application areas.

Zephyr

This tool is very popular for its agility. It can integrate with DevOps, automation, and
analytics tools. It offers seamless user experiences and enhanced functionality. It focuses
on reliability and security and has 24/7 support options.

Jira

This is arguably one of the most popular software management tools. It can support testing
and Jira native capabilities. It’s user-friendly and has a streamlined process. It has a tree
structure that increases visibility and clarity for stored data.

TestMonitor

It’s an end-to-end test management tool with a structured test approach. It has an easy test design for faster testing and comprehensive reporting. It also has integrated Slack
notifications for issue creation.

Conclusion

Test management is an activity that ensures the successful completion of all the tasks in the testing process. A test manager’s job is to coordinate with various individuals, create the testing plan, and define completion and execution metrics. They also have to monitor the tests and provide detailed reports.

Test management may have problems such as time constraints, lack of resources, and
complex test cases. But it’s the test manager’s responsibility to make an informed decision
based on available data. Doing so will improve the overall process and make the whole
operation smoother.

 
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