Ways to Cut the Cost of your Test Management Project

September 22nd, 2011 by Bill Echlin

For many these days, the almost unlimited budgets to spend on test management tools are long gone. However the importance of getting the right solution is no less diminished. If you’re looking to cut costs with implementing the right system then these suggestions may help.

Do you really need a new application – many organisations already have a solution in place. That may be the top end market leading product or an excel/word based framework. Perhaps it’s this existing setup that isn’t working well for you. The temptation is to rip it out and migrate to a shiny new system. Before you do that however look at the options associated with re-implementing what you already have in place. This will certainly be cheaper and may even be less work than implementing something you aren’t familiar with.

Don’t try to do too much – generally it’s best to implement a new system in small phases rather than the big bang approach. Pick the areas you really need to improve on and that will provide the biggest impact. In this way you can spread the costs of implementing a test management solution over a period of time. Perhaps you just use the new tool to manage the manual tests for the first year and then integrate with your automation environment the following year.

Can you get a discount – many suppliers will offer discounts to various sectors like educational establishments and charities. It never does any harm to ask the question to see if you qualify.

Don’t focus on the brand – the top names in the market aren’t always the best option for your test management requirements. There are many low end and mid sized solutions that are high quality and feature rich these days. So ask yourself do I really need all those bells and whistles of the top end branded products.

Barter – is your company prepared to act as a reference site? Many suppliers are only too keen to find new references and companies that will provide testimonials. If you don’t mind your name in the spotlight then there’s usually room for a discount.

Don’t customise – there is always the temptation when implementing a new test management system to aim for the perfect solution. Understandably this usually results in customisation in order to fit neatly in to your existing process. This costs money. Not just in terms of consultants fees but in terms of time and effort on your part. You have two options. Firstly see if you can bend your process to fit with the tool (I’d expect to see process improvements when bending things here not things getting worse). Or find a tool that is highly customisable out of the box.

It’s easy to get carried away when you’ve made the decisions to improve your process. And yes, in many instances companies out grow their existing setup and really do need to take the next step up. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that buying the shiniest most popular solution on the market to improve your test management isn’t the only option in town.

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