Over the last decade there has been an increasing shift towards the software life cycle process from waterfall to Agile, and now it is moving towards DevOps continuous integration and deployment. Each one has its own set of practices that stresses the importance of collaboration and communication among software developers and other IT professionals.
DevOps promotes frequent interaction between IT department and business users, and tries to regularly build and deliver software that meets business users' changing requirement needs. Keeping that in mind, there has to be links to requirements, and the test management tools should have some operability with test automation and defect management, since many organizations are shifting from manual approaches such as the use of excel sheets and Word documents to organize their testing process.
As a tester, we should make sure the test management tool should encompass the below day to day activities:
Creating and maintaining the test artefacts (requirements, test cases, etc) specific to each release/cycle.
Establishing traceability and coverage between the test assets.
Test execution support – Test suite creation, test execution status capture, etc.
Metric collection/Report-graph generation for analysis.
Bug tracking/defect management.
Integrate with VCS and CI/CD tools.
While considering test tool selection, one should understand their needs before examining each tool. One should keep their needs simple and avoid an over-engineered solution that will be expensive and more difficult to deploy. The only object is here is to ensure that the product should reap real benefit over the long haul. Let’s see what benchmark the test management tool should satisfy in this blog.
Integration with Project Management Tool
No man is an island, and the testing process is no exception, we must know the fact that any test management tool can’t serve its intended purpose without being integrated with a project management tool or change management system. The best known Project management tools that are widely used in the market are Jira, HP ALM etc. As we know that JIRA is one of the systems which is used mostly in the industry, we consider the fact that integration matters. This helps us right from the tracking of the requirements to document the scenarios, writing test cases, managing defects and projecting reports to share with stakeholders.
Support to Automation Testing
Testing consumes a lot of manpower and time in the software development life cycle. Organizations look for anything that can reduce this manual effort and time which in turn will reduce the cost of overall development. Test automation saves time and effort because, unlike some project activities, it is repeated, sometimes the test execution has to happen frequently, so the test management tools with in-built support for automation will help the team to achieve testing in a short period of time.
Support to Test case Development
This is one of the most essential features that a Test Management Tool should have, that it supports the reusability of test cases, user scenarios, and test stories. This will allow the existing test resources to be utilized again in various test projects. This will help in reducing the cost and time invested in test management, and the testing teams will be more productive. Most of the projects which adopts Agile methodology have automation testing practice, it would be good for the testers to follow BDD (Behaviour Driven Development) model to design automated tests. Having the test management tool that supports BDD tools like behave, Cucumber, Specflow etc, will reduce rewriting test cases by automation engineers.
Deployment Automation Support CI/ CD
The upside of deployment automation is that it allows delivery of new functionality to users within minutes whenever it's needed, as well as instant feedback will be given to the DevOps team that, in turn, allows them to respond rapidly to customer/ stakeholder demand in order to speed up the release of high-quality software. Tools like Jenkins, Teamcity and Bamboos help to achieve CI/ CD.
Powerful Dashboards/ Test Result Analysis
A tool that offers test results information in personalized dashboards will make everyone’s work easier. Dashboards should be flexible because different types of user have different needs when it comes to analyzing test results. Project Managers will look for results/ destination and the developers will look for the metrics/ Journey. The data can be diced and sliced to offer even greater insight into things such as the effectiveness of the development process and the existence of any high risk areas.
Below are some of the best test management tools that can help testers.
TestRailIt assists you to track and manage your software testing efforts and tracks individual test status, projects and milestones with active reports. It performs most of the tasks that are performed by Xray. It has no automation support and there is no requirements planning feature to associate the test cases and traceability.
ZephyrMajority of the developers have the knowledge that Jira is used for bug tracker that aims to control the development process with bugs, tasks, and agile cards. Zephyr is one of the numerous Jira’s plugins out spreading Jira’s capacities.
Using a combo of these two tools will enable you to attain things such as: creating test plan, test cases, executing tests, executing tests, producing reports. It has few limitations like, it doesn’t support CI Integration.
PractitestIt is a prominent cloud-based test management tool which assists project development teams to manage and organize their testing processes while giving management/ stakeholder a simple and clear view of their project status every time. It is best for Agile Teams as it supports Manual and Automation testing. The only disadvantage is that it is not budget friendly.
The testing team can make the testing process more efficient and produce better results with the help of the right test management tool that satisfies the needs of the team and budget.