The software testing market is teeming with tools for test management. Tools that promise faster time to market, better integration, shift-left and everything short of the moon! Not every test management tool is right for your organization and its unique needs. Often, decision makers get blinded by all the razzmatazz surrounding products and make an imperfect choice. So, how can you avoid buyer’s remorse and choose the best test management tool within your budget and aligned to your needs?
Here are 10 things you need to know before you select a test management tool:
Start with a budget range. It doesn’t make sense overshooting your budget when you cannot really afford an expensive tool, nor can you justify the expense in terms of the ROI.
Commercial tools are somewhat expensive but provide great support and training. If you are on a tight budget, then open source is a good option.
While budgeting, don’t forget to estimate the costing for license. Based on the number of projects, team members and duration, you can determine whether to pay per user, concurrent user or persistent user.
Filtering your selection of tools based on the budget will give you a fair idea and a distilled list to choose from.
2. Granularity of test information
Does the shortlist of test management tools meet the desired criteria when it comes to granularity of information? The test management tool must offer detailed quality analytics related to the test progress. For instance, you should be able to easily trace the test step at which failure happened. Are you able to manage an audit trail of changes and version control? Can you save results of test as a session and compare test run results?
3. Quality Analytics
Test reports offer actionable insights to agile teams for a better understanding of project status and product readiness. A modern, enterprise-grade test management tool should provide a variety of reports, tailor-made reporting and dashboard gadgets.
Out of the box reports that are designed for testers offer real-time visibility of test progress. You can monitor important parameters like traceability, reusability, coverage etc, with a report for each type. Find a tool that offers the ability to tweak and customize the reports by using filters, fields of your choice and represent information visually for effective analytics.
4. Agile Support
A number of organizations are now moving from conventional waterfall models to contemporary Agile and DevOps practices.
Whether you use a waterfall approach or agile, your test management must provide support for each methodology, even if you are in transition.
Some test management features that foster teamwork include:
- Creating stories
- Sprint backlog planning
- Velocity charts and other reports
- Ability to plan and execute test cycles
- Test Data Parametrization
Test management tools can help manage requirements and traceability with better speed and accuracy. Does the test management tool offer a single view through requirements/user stories, test assets and defects so managers can plan optimally and avoid risks?
With end-to-end traceability, teams can avoid resource leakage and ensure higher coverage across environments. Modern test management tools can offer complete traceability across manual, automated, Selenium, CI-CD tools Jira and more.
6. Integration Support
To get the best leverage out of your CI/CD pipeline and automation tools, you need a test management tool that provides integration support and execute test automation results. For optimum scalability and flexibility, select a product that offers integration with issue-tracking tools like Jira, the ability to run test automation scripts, APi test, integration tests automatically from CI/CD tool, support for in-sprint automation and most used automation frameworks.
In addition, you should be able to sync with version control systems, and other tools in your pipeline such as Jenkins and Bamboo.
Find out whether the test management tools you have shortlisted provide integration support at the desired level.
7. Migration support
Many organizations are in the market for a modern, DevOps ready test management tool after struggling with legacy ALM products. However, the migration journey can be quite difficult and lead to significant downtime, loss of test data and avoidable project delays. Modern test management tools should provide migration support and a proven migration utility to take the pain out of this process. Find out if the tools you have shortlisted are known for their migration efficiency.
8. Smarter testing
Does the test management tool offer smarter ways of improving tester efficiency and productivity? Does it use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for better predictive quality and insights? The new generation of test management products optimize your testing efficiency by flagging duplicate test assets along with matching percentages.
The test management tool should offer different ways to reuse existing test cases, copying them to the test step levels, moving test case across projects to maximize efficiency.
The support team of the test management company must fully extend their customers in all possible ways. Find out what kind of training and support does the vendor offer? Are there adequate documentation, demos and product videos to help you get your team on board quickly? What is the turnaround time for support tickets and troubleshooting? In the long run, high-quality support goes a long way toward efficient use of test management.
10. User experience
Software teams need an intuitive user experience and smooth UI while using tools. Issues like janky experience or poor navigation, limited browser support do not belong to this era of software testing. Check out reviews for test management tools and if existing users mention poor experience, it is a red flag. Agile teams need an agile user experience and the product should be up to speed.
Some of the best test management tools in the market streamline the quality assurance process and reduce your overall maintenance and testing efforts so you spend less time on housekeeping tasks and more time on testing and fixing bugs. Go for a product that simplifies test management and offers visibility and transparency into the process.