Test Management Systems and User Adoption

March 1st, 2012 by Bill Echlin
This is a follow up to the previous post on Approaches to User Training for Test Management Systems. We thought we’d take a look at one of the most important reasons for training. That is increasing user adoption. Getting your QA team to use your test management system, and use it correctly, is key to your success. Increasing user adoption with training does, however, depend on a few significant elements.
It’s about the process – a lot of test management training is based around the functionality of the system. We track this piece of data, at this point in the process, in this field. We record the results in this field and log the environment tested against here, etc, etc. The reason we do this is to support the test process that the organisation has adopted. For example we track the phase of testing that a test is run in so that we see where in the development lifecycle we’re capturing issues.
As such your QA team will need to understand not only the business process but also how the system maps to that process. A significant part of the training should therefore be focused on educating people about the process. This way they can see how the system is configured to enhance that test management process.
It’s a sales task – Your QA team need to know that it’s worth investing their time and effort on this. Any training needs to sell the benefits and advantages of using the test management solution. That’s not just the benefits to the organistaion but the benefits to the users too. On the other side of the coin training also needs to overcome the objections which usually surround the implementation of new systems. There will always be someone who sees a new system as a solution for tracking them and monitoring what they are doing. Your sales pitch needs to overcome these objections and demonstrate the benefits.
It’s a two way street – during the requirments capture and implementation phases you can be sure that you won’t have resolved every issue and captured every important requirement. The training phase is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to get open and honest feedback from users. People are typically more open to raising points of concern and issues, one on one, with a trainer. People aren’t so keen on dealing with some outside consultant who’s responsible for implementing the new test management system. So the training phase is an ideal forum to capture that feedback and feed it into immediate enhancements or future improvement cycles.
What we are trying to get across here is that we should look at training as a forum to increase user adoption. If we approach it from that angle then we can see other significant factors that can increase the overall success. When you see training from this perspective then you can appreciate the importance in the context of the overall success of your test management system implementation.

This is a follow up to the previous post on Approaches to User Training for Test Management Systems. We thought we’d take a look at one of the most important reasons for training. That is increasing user adoption. Getting your QA team to use your test management system, and use it correctly, is key to your success. Increasing user adoption with training does, however, depend on a few significant elements.

It’s about the process – A lot of test management training is based around the functionality of the system. We track this piece of data, at this point in the process, in this field. We record the results in this field and log the environment tested against here, etc, etc. The reason we do this is to support the test process that the organisation has adopted. For example we track the phase of testing that a test is run in so that we see where in the development lifecycle we’re capturing issues.

As such your QA team will need to understand not only the business process but also how the system maps to that process. A significant part of the training should therefore be focused on educating people about the process. This way they can see how the system is configured to enhance that test management process.

It’s a sales task – Your QA team need to know that it’s worth investing their time and effort on this. Any training needs to sell the benefits and advantages of using the test management solution. That’s not just the benefits to the organistaion but the benefits to the users too. On the other side of the coin training also needs to overcome the objections which usually surround the implementation of new systems. There will always be someone who sees a new system as a solution for tracking them and monitoring what they are doing. Your sales pitch needs to overcome these objections and demonstrate the benefits.

It’s a two way street – During the requirments capture and implementation phases you can be sure that you won’t have resolved every issue and captured every important requirement. The training phase is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to get open and honest feedback from users. People are typically more open to raising points of concern and issues, one on one, with a trainer. People aren’t so keen on dealing with some outside consultant who’s responsible for implementing the new test management system. So the training phase is an ideal forum to capture that feedback and feed it into immediate enhancements or future improvement cycles.

What we are trying to get across here is that we should look at training as a forum to increase user adoption. If we approach it from that angle then we can see other significant factors that can increase the overall success. When you see training from this perspective then you can appreciate the importance in the context of the overall success of your test management system implementation.

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