The Importance of Test Management in Software Development

There was a time when software testing was considered as an afterthought or, most of the time, not even taken into account due to speedy launch or to gain a competitive edge. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. In Tandem with software development, software testing is also essential. Now the following post doesn't cover software testing entirely since it's quite a vast subject that cannot be justified with a few words, so we are trying to touch on one of its significant aspects, i.e. Test management. 

Here you will learn about what test management is, why test management must be taken into consideration, and how to conduct test management procedures in the right way. So let's get started! 

What is Test Management?

Popular Terminology Used in Test Management

Importance of Test Management in Software Development Lifecycle

Process of Conducting Test Management

#1 Planning

#2 Execution

Parting Words

What is Test Management?

Well, this is a process of managing different testing activities just to ensure that the developed software is made of high quality and efficiency. Here the entire management is divided into several small activities such as organizing, controlling, seamless visibility, accurate tracing, and so forth. All these minor procedures are conducted just to make sure that the entire software testing process is conducted in the right manner. Conducting high-end software testing is never easy, and you must hire a reliable software tester who can make the most of all the available manual and automated testing tools and come up with a great solution that turns out to be quite beneficial for your business. 

When you conduct software test management in the right manner, what happens is: 

● The product is delivered right on time

● Seamless consistency and smoother implementation

● 100% Customer Satisfaction

● Define well-defined outlines

● Get rid of all kinds of bugs and flaws

● Using all kinds of testing resources

● Better and transparent collaboration 

● Tracking the procedures accurately.

As per the test manager is concerned, he or she is responsible for outlining the testing scope, leading the entire testing team, managing different test resources, applying appropriate test metrics, and managing till the last testing effort is conducted. Basically, test management is all about ensuring that the final product has met its initial requirements and intended usage. And most important of all, the test management procedure must be detail-oriented. 

Now when should Test management be conducted? Well, the answer is pretty simple, it should be conducted right when the software development life cycle begins

Popular Terminology Used in Test Management

● Test Documentation - Here all types of documents are included that give a proper outline of all the technical requirements, developments, metrics, and of course, what is the final result. Tracking and measuring testing efforts come under this particular hood. 

● Test Estimation - As the name implies, test estimation is about when the entire activity will complete. Estimation is a very important factor in the entire test management process. 

● Test Metrics - Metrics as in how is the progress, what is the quality of the software developed, is the productivity high or low, and of course, how are the overall software testing procedures conducted. Basically, these metrics ensure that the entire software testing phase is conducted efficiently and effectively. 

● Test Progress Measurements - Now, this term is used to find all the relevant defects and the overall effort required to fix them. The unidentified defects and unexecuted test cases are considered here. 

● Metrics for Tracking the Testing Lifecycle - As the name implies, the metrics is considered for tracking the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). Here several aspects such as planning, implementation, analysis, execution, and test closure are taken care of. 

Now let us focus on why one must consider test management. What is the true significance of conducting test management procedures? 

Importance of Test Management in Software Development Lifecycle

On and all, there are many benefits offered by the test management systems in a software development project. And do you know what's the best part here? These below-mentioned benefits offer a win-win situation for both developers as well as end users. And, of course, in the end, you get a full-fledged, high-end software quality-based product. So let's see how test management is beneficial. 

● Collaborative Environment - One of the obvious advantages of conducting test management is that you can offer a collaborative environment. With test management, it is possible to make sure that the data is significantly stored in such a way that all the team members can have a look whenever they feel like it. Accessing test data and reviewing the metrics at any point of time is possible. 

● Say No to Data Duplication - Another significant benefit or another reason behind considering test management is this definitely reduces the overall scope for data duplication. Now when you have duplicate data across various places, it becomes extremely hard for developers to review the exact test result and make well-informed decisions. Not only this, here, test managers can have a bird-eye view of what's happening around them and create detailed reports. 

● Accurate delivery - One of the best benefits of considering test management is that here you can estimate the exact time of delivery, and again this surely assists well in making well-informed decisions. As the name implies, here, it can be well-estimated when the software product is ready to be launched. Here the given deadlines are pretty realistic and achievable. 

In addition to all these, when you use different test management tools, what happens is managing becomes super easy, managing test scenarios, executing test cases and tests scripts, updating status at regular intervals, tracking bugs and test reports, and of course, generating them, tracking test progress, looking for potential defects, template test cases, personalized dashboards/customizable reporting, Intuitive Web Interface, and so more. 

Some of the common test management tools include qTest, Zephyr, Test Collab, XQual, TestRail, Testpad, JIRA, Microfocus ALM (Application lifecycle management) or HP-QC (Quality center, which is the older version of ALM) and so more. And now comes the big question, how is test management conducted? 

Process of Conducting Test Management

As mentioned earlier, test management procedures are conducted to enhance the overall software development life cycle. Now when can you make the most of these procedures, it's when they are conducted in a seamless and accurate manner. And what's that accurate manner, we will be discussing that in this particular segment. 

#1 Planning

As the point implies, here, the test manager ensures everything is pre-planned for the entire test life cycle in prior. So what exactly does planning incorporate? Well, from conducting appropriate risk analysis to proper estimation, planning, and plotting and of course, how to keep everything intact or, should I say well-organized. 

In this step of test management, analyzing the current and potential risks is the first and foremost step to consider. The manager is not supposed to wait for the project to begin, he or she can get started with this step as soon as they can. As the name implies, here test managers tend to identify and analyze all the potential issues that can have a negative impact on the existing businesses. So on that note, analyzing risks on an early basis can be a lifesaver. Furthermore, possible losses can be avoided here. "The stage is about staying safe rather than sorry." 

After conducting appropriate risk analytics, it's time to estimate the total time, effort or energy required in conducting such a project. Definitely, here test managers can seek relevant assistance from all the necessary tools, resources, and budgets to estimate time, money and effort. When you estimate something in prior, everything works out in its place right from planning to execution, task monitoring, and whatnot! 

And here comes the crucial part, test planning. After analyzing all the potential risks and estimating the time, test planning can be taken into consideration. When you plan things in advance, it is quite possible to carry out all the testing activities pretty smoothly and efficiently. Right from determining the objective to come up with a strategy an approach and estimating the end scope, such aspects are taken into account. And now it's time for us to proceed further to the next stage. 

#2 Execution

The very next stage to take into account is the execution of all the pre-plans. Now what steps does this execution involve? Well, from monitoring and controlling the tests to managing all the issues, Creating relevant reports and evaluating them. 


Now the stage of execution begins as soon as the test managers or the testers begin carrying out the testing plans. Now we all know planning about something and implementing them can be quite a different story. So this is the time when test managers can focus on both aspects and see what exactly needs to be done. Also, here test managers are quite responsible for instructing their team members to plug for any kind of loopholes and enhance the overall testing quality. 

In this stage of execution, adequate monitoring is also done. You see, by doing so test managers and programmers get a clear visibility of where the testing procedures are heading and how everything is going on. 

Now when you are executing something, there are times when you might agree with one aspect whereas others don't, and this is the time when a severe issue arises. Here the role of a test manager increases, he is supposed to identify and fix such ever-developing issues. Now not all the issues can be taken into consideration at once, so it's his duty to prioritize them well and report in time. Here the test manager is also responsible for assigning the right member carrying the right expertise so that these procedures do not exceed the budget and can be accomplished within the predetermined deadline. 

Last but certainly not least is the test report. Here it is possible to identify the test coverage, product quality, and in case if there is a need for any further improvements or not. Here how much testing is required can be determined. At last, the manager creates an accurate test report featuring detailed analytics of the procedures being conducted. And all these stages must be carried out before the software goes into its final development stage, i.e. launch or release of the product. 

Parting Words

And we are done for now! This is what test management is all about. Fortunately, many test management tools are available that ensure seamless detection of bugs, integrating with other platforms, developing precise reports, creating a highly scalable environment, and a lot more. So without much delay, time to begin your software testing journey. 


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