5 Best Practices for Software Test Management

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By PractiTest Team  | Feb 05, 2024 | 7 min read
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    How many software developers does it take to change a light bulb? None, that’s a hardware problem! Jokes aside, the software development process can be highly complex with many moving parts. These may include regulatory requirements such as credit card data storage or access controls, user-specific features such as messaging systems or language preferences, or accessibility needs such as reducing sound or simplifying layouts.

    As software applications continue to grow in complexity, software testing and quality assurance work must support these complexities in tandem. QA teams need to balance thorough testing with fast delivery of the finished product. A sophisticated test management solution can help achieve that balance.

    5 Best Practices for Software Test Management in 2024

    Benefits of Software Test Management Tools

    An end-to-end test management solution acts as a centralized hub, helping QA teams easily collaborate, improve communication, and view all of their testing work on a single platform. It integrates with third-party bug trackers, project management systems, automation, and CI tools. Rather than work in a siloed process - with manual and functional testing and testing in production all operating independently - test management tools integrate all test results together.

    The result is a single source of truth, which:

    • Streamlines testing processes
    • Provides full transparency into QA work
    • Increases overall efficiency
    • Unites all stakeholders
    • Improves decision-making

    By implementing a modern test management solution, organizations can simplify their testing processes from the most basic, straightforward applications to more advanced, complex systems.

    What Does the Software Test Management Process Look Like?

    Gain a clear understanding of testing goals and project requirements. Think of it like going on a trip. There is much to do before you get on the plane (or even head to the airport). Consider what you would need ahead of time, such as your passport, itinerary, information on weather conditions at your destination, local attractions, travel insurance, and more.

    Once you establish some of the key project goals, then you can move ahead to define which elements of the software should be tested. Some may require more detailed testing, others may need less.

    Like an architect who designs a new commercial office building, and then hands off the design to the builder to begin construction, creating a detailed test plan and strategy is necessary. The test plan serves as a manual, guiding testers on the type of test cases, test steps, and expected results.

    A thorough test plan should include:

    • Methodologies
    • Approaches
    • Resources
    • Risks
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Bug tracking and reporting
    • Key deliverables

    Software testing management doesn’t really have an end; it’s a process that requires consistent measurement and analysis. Measure your goals according to the test plan you’ve designed and put into action.

    With the right software test management system, QA managers enable their team members to identify areas that require more thorough testing, areas that might be overtested, and others that require more collaboration.

    Best Practices for Software Testing Management in 2024

    How can QA teams ensure they’re using test management effectively? Here are 5 best practices to help lead the way.

    1. Test earlier. Timing is everything. In fact, the earlier, the better. Start testing before software development is complete. The earlier issues are discovered, the sooner they can be managed, reducing the risk of delays in delivering the final product. Doing this makes it easier to identify bugs long before they get into production, saving time and costs, and avoiding a negative user experience.

    2. Enable seamless integration. By the time an organization implements a test management solution, its QA team is likely already using a number of testing systems. By seamlessly integrating with other third-party testing tools, a test management platform brings all testing data into one place, resulting in a holistic view of the entire testing process. This ensures comprehensive test coverage, enhances collaboration, and accelerates workflows for a more efficient testing strategy.

    3. Employ automation. With automation testing, companies gain a powerful tool that helps achieve both time and cost savings. By reducing manual testing work, testers can automate what were previously time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks and instead, focus on higher-priority areas. It’s worth noting that there are several different types of automation testing, including User Interface (UI) testing, database testing, Application Programming Interface (API) testing, and performance and security testing. Regardless of the type, automation testing has been proven to increase accuracy, boost efficiency and productivity, and create consistency throughout the testing process, ultimately improving overall product quality.

    4. Increase visibility. Software testing generates large volumes of data. How are you utilizing it? An advanced software test management platform can better organize your testing data. Granular reporting options allow you to slice and dice your data to fit your project and overall business needs. Dig deep and use those insights to apply data-driven decision-making. Software test management solutions provide QA managers with real-time reports and dashboards, giving them a clear picture of where things stand. All stakeholders can gain full end-to-end visibility so they can know the status of their software project at any given moment.

    5. Eliminate guesswork with AI. Testing teams face consistent pressure to release new software products faster, but without compromising on the quality of their applications. AI-powered features are changing the way QA teams work to help them meet these pressures. It’s all about streamlining and prioritization. AI capabilities, enhanced by machine learning algorithms, help teams transform manual testing methods into seamless, automated actions. AI does the hard work for you. Think of it as having someone working behind the scenes handling the most time-consuming tasks, freeing up you and your team to focus on more important areas.

    A modern test management process should include AI functionality. Having this capability helps companies reduce their time to market so they can release products faster, increase their ROI, and gain a competitive advantage.

    Applying these five best practices will help organizations of any size maximize the value of their test management solution.

    Enterprise software testing

    Enterprise companies may face similar pressures as smaller organizations, but their software application and testing needs are quite different. The scale and complexity of software for enterprises are typically greater, usually requiring larger testing teams and the widespread use of more advanced testing solutions.

    Broad use of automation testing and AI-powered testing systems are more common at the enterprise level. Due to a larger user base and more complex customer needs - often requiring compliance with industry regulations and intricate, user-specific criteria - time savings and fast market delivery are key focus areas.

    Rising consumer demand for digital services is highlighting the need for better test management solutions for enterprises.

    Scalability is a must. As with smaller companies, software applications are growing in complexity. Enterprise companies typically employ a large workforce, have diverse business activities, and maintain a global presence. Their development and quality assurance teams are often working on many - sometimes hundreds - of software projects at the same time. They need a flexible enterprise test management platform that evolves with them.

    Enterprises require detailed and robust end-to-end testing with sophisticated security protocols. Maintaining a large customer base with users in many different geographies requires software to adapt to multiple languages and localization. QA teams must test areas of the software that are frequently updated to ensure that changes do not impact different user roles or erroneously give permissions to another user.

    Enterprise testing must encompass all of these detailed elements. This includes advanced automation testing, performance testing, regression testing, and BDD testing to ensure that the software runs smoothly and can deliver an exceptional user experience.

    Ensuring Software Reliability and Delighting Users With Test Management Techniques

    Demand for digital services continues to increase and software applications are in heavy development mode across nearly every industry.

    In Fintech, contactless payments and P2P lending solutions are changing the way consumers pay for purchases and share money. Modern agriculture solutions like soil and water sensors and robotic harvesters are optimizing farming and helping growers improve produce quality. In medicine, the growth of telehealth services and robotic-assisted surgery is enhancing healthcare worldwide.

    Modern software applications must be reliable and provide a positive user experience. Powerful technologies require powerful software testing solutions. Test management plays a key role in achieving these goals by maximizing efficiency throughout the software development lifecycle.

    Enhancing quality assurance

    A modern test management platform helps leading companies with planning, executing, and monitoring software tests to identify and address defects before they make it into production. By implementing comprehensive test plans, companies can easily verify that each element of their software functions as planned. This process helps to identify bugs, errors, and inconsistencies early in the development cycle, preventing them from reaching the end-users and causing a negative user experience.

    Increasing collaboration

    A fully end-to-end test management platform facilitates collaboration between all stakeholders including developers, testers, product owners, and others. Centralized test repositories and real-time reporting enable seamless communication and coordination. This not only enhances the overall quality of the software but also accelerates the development process by reducing miscommunication, decreasing delays, and ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page.

    Improving test execution

    Sophisticated test management platforms support test case execution across multiple environments and configurations. This ensures that software functions consistently across different devices, operating systems, and browsers, a key element of ensuring reliability. By conducting thorough tests under diverse conditions, companies can guarantee that their applications meet the expectations of a diverse user base.

    Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

    Test Management plays a pivotal role in CI/CD pipelines, ensuring that each code change undergoes rigorous testing before integration into the main codebase. Automated testing within CI/CD workflows helps quickly identify and resolve issues, accelerating the release of new features or updates. This is crucial in today’s competitive landscape, where rapid and reliable software deployment is essential.

    Maximizing test coverage

    A well-implemented test management platform helps companies maximize test coverage, ensuring that every aspect of the software has been thoroughly tested. This includes functional, non-functional, and regression testing to identify any unintended consequences of code changes. This helps reduce the risk of post-release defects and increases software functionality.

    Enhancing user experience

    At the end of the day, it’s consumer demand and user experience that drives software success. Test management platforms enable companies to conduct usability testing, ensuring that the software is intuitive and user-friendly. By gathering feedback from real users through testing scenarios, companies can identify gaps in functionality and make rapid adjustments that enhance the user experience.

    Maximizing the value of test management platforms

    To gain the most value from a test management platform, companies should consider the following key points: Comprehensive test planning

    QA teams should develop detailed test plans that cover all aspects of the software, including functional and non-functional requirements. This provides a roadmap for testing efforts and ensures that all critical functionalities have been thoroughly tested and work as designed.

    Integrating with automation tools

    Integrate test automation tools into the test management platform to automate repetitive and time-consuming test cases. This saves time and frees up team members to focus on more critical areas. Automation can reduce the likelihood of human error and help accelerate the entire QA process.

    Real-time reporting and analytics

    Take advantage of real-time reporting and customizable dashboards. Use these features to gain insights into the testing progress,and improve bug tracking, and overall software quality. Apply in-depth analytics to understand gaps in your testing process and identify low and high-risk areas of your software. This data-driven approach helps stakeholders improve decision-making with a data-driven approach.

    Collaboration and communication

    An advanced test management platform supports team collaboration. Clear communication channels and shared repositories help facilitate efficient teamwork, reducing the likelihood of unclear requirements, misunderstandings, and confusion and promoting a united quality assurance environment.

    An end-to-end test management solution like PractiTest is the foundation that ensures reliability, functionality, and a positive user experience. It helps leading companies navigate the complexity of today’s rapidly evolving software needs.

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