How to Best Manage Distributed Testing

Last updated: July 01, 2012

We all see it happening and a lot of us are part of it – the distributed testing (and development) phenomenon – a project tested by engineers in different locations either locally – working from home, or the office, on different shifts and in different departments, or internationally – anywhere in the world, and in a range of different time zones.

QA managers and testers know what a coordination and management nightmare distributed testing scenarios can be. If everyone isn’t on the same page, not only do testing teams miss deadlines but they don’t catch and properly follow up on all issues and bugs, and this leads to… well, we all have a story or two of where this leads.

Although distributed testing has been around for years, there are teams out there that still use Excel to manage their testing procedures. Now, don’t get us wrong. We think Excel is great. We use it too, to keep track of our departments’ budgets, for some of our scheduling and to import/export testing-related files. These days, Excel can even be accessed via the Web and mobile and it does enable a degree of collaboration. But, for managing testing, the most efficient – and dare we say, smartest – method is to use a dedicated testing solution, created by testers for testers and the way they need to work.

As lots of you already know, PractiTest is a great testing solution. It allows managers to manage and gain control of their processes in the way that makes sense for the particular project, taking into account the departments, assignments, and people involved. There are so many features that make it a thorough and dependable testing management solution but here we’ll mention just a few – those more relevant for distributed testing.

  • PractiTest facilitates the communication that is crucial to successful distributed testing – by keeping everyone up to date with tasks, issues, bugs, statuses, etc. and making the work routine clear to all. And, because it’s cloud-based, no matter where in the world testers are doing their job, the system is fast and responsive.
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  • QA managers simply set up and organize test runs, assigning them to testers – wherever they may be. Each step performed reports independent results including actual outcomes of the test, so the status of who’s working on what, and where it stands is clear to all.
  • Issue workflow is managed in a single system including work on bugs, enhancement requests and other tasks. For example, managers can define the workflow for bugs, specifying which groups may perform the different transitions between them so that rejecting issues can be limited to team leaders, or permiting only testers to transition a bug from Fixed to Closed, etc.
  • Duplicate bugs are prevented from being submitted – a potential scenario when many testers are not necessarily in direct contact. The system scans the database for similar descriptions to the bug currently being entered into the system.
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  • Managers can set up email notifications for alerts on work on issues of particular importance.
  • And more…

We encourage you to find out more about PractiTest so that you too can make distributed testing manageable and successful.