Test Management Blog

Top Software Failures and the Failure Cycle

February 2, 2012
It's always interesting taking a look back over the year to examine some of the significant software failures. Whilst companies rarely allude to the causes behind these failures it's easy to argue that poor software testing is likely to contribute significantly. The trouble with blaming this on software testing is that it usually means the QA team takes the wrap. And in taking the wrap we’re pushed into blaming it on poor process (e.g. test management process), lack of resources or even poor requirements. Naturally the QA team feel aggrieved that they are being singled out. And rightly so. Product quality is the responsibility of the whole product team not just the QA team. So when we see failures, like...
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Six New Test Management Features in QAComplete 9.7

January 27, 2012
The Test Management solution QAComplete 9.7 has been out for around 3 months now. In that time we've had the opportunity to implement for many clients and evaluate the new feature set in the real world. Billed as a solution comparable to HP's Quality Center there are some interesting new features to help teams manage their QA process here. With 3 months of use under our belts our impression is that SmartBear have been listening to their client base. They have restructured the way testcases are managed but retained the core traceability and visibility features. Essentially it's still easy to use but delivers a far richer feature set for the QA team. So here are some of the key features...
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Exporting Test Management Results

January 17, 2012
All test management tools provide reporting to some degree. Most also support exporting of test results and test data. That data may include testcases, run status information, configuration settings, etc. Whatever the information you need to export the key question will be does the test management tool support the export format you need? Typically you can expect a tool to support CSV, Excel, Pdf, Word (or Rich Text Format) and XML. The following video shows how to export in these various formats from QAComplete. You’ll see in this video that there are two core approaches to exporting. The first is to export directly from within the GUI to CSV format. This involves selecting the data you wish to export (usually...
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The Aggregated Test Management Results Report

January 11, 2012
On a fairly regular basis we get asked for a specific test management report that will show the aggregated results from multiple runs. The idea behind this is that ultimately you can show that every testcase was run and that every one passed. So for example on test cycle 1 you may get... my_test_case_A:   failed my_test_case_B:  passed my_test_case_C:  passed Then on cycle 2 you get.... my_test_case_A:   passed The aggregated test management information would then show the following: my_test_case_A:   passed my_test_case_B:  passed my_test_case_C:  passed So we’re looking for the latest result for each testcase and showing that result as if all the tests have been run in one go. Very misleading when you consider it from that perspective....
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Confusing Simplicity with Usability when selecting a Test Management Tool

November 11, 2011
A lot of companies that are evaluating test management tools say the tool must be easy to use. A reasonable request. It’s what’s behind this request that is interesting. In many cases it is the fact that the tool needs to be used by people that are not software testers. The reason for this? Companies supplement their QA team with people from the business or their QA team is comprised completely of people that come from the business. In a few cases companies opt not to take on testers with formal QA experience but decide to use people who know the business inside out as testers. Usually in this case the team have little or no experience of using test...
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What is the Difference Between a Test Manager and a Project Manager?

November 3, 2011
The 31st Test Management forum took place in the UK last week. For those of you based in the UK who have a fascination with this area of our discipline this is well worth attending. Attended by a number of prominent test mangers and consultants it makes for some very stimulating discussions (and in some instances quite heated debate). One of the topics that struck home in this latest session was a simple question about the difference between a project manager (PM) and a test manager (TM). On the surface a simple question. Dig a little deeper though and this question is more interesting than it would at first appear. For example what stops a test manager becoming a project...
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Too Much Focus on the Test Management Technology Rather than the Implementer

October 12, 2011
When evaluating test management applications it’s easy to get carried away with the focus on the technology. Technology isn’t every thing though. Especially these days when the different products all seem to offer a similar feature set. Let’s face it most of the solutions these days cover pretty much the same ground. You may even consider the price more important than the technology. Even so you’re still missing one very important factor. Probably the most important factor. That factor influences the success of your project like no other. That factor is the choice you make on who implements the product. Most companies have requirements to integrate their test management solution into their existing process and environment. This means configuring the...
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31st Test Management Forum Coming Up

October 11, 2011
We're two weeks away from the 31st Test Management forum in London this month. Usually a great live forum for picking up on some of the latest concepts and ideas surrounding this specialist discipline. Line up for this meeting are sessions on: Innovations in Test Automation - putting the case forward for IT innovations that deliver cost savings through the implementation of automation. Covering the cost challenges normally associated with implementation this session aims to identify the benefits of looking beyond just the price of purchasing the tools. The Agile Pretence - in this session the speaker is looking to challenge that often spoken statement that 'we're agile'. Are we really agile? Is this phrase being slightly overused these days...
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Questioning the worth of your current test management tool?

October 5, 2011
Finding the right test management tool is difficult. Finding the right tool with the features you need to deliver the benefits you need to manage your process is even more difficult. Perhaps... Quality Center is costing you too much? You’ve outgrown TestLink? Excel and Word are not scaling up for you? If this is the case then take a look at the latest 9.7 release of QAComplete.       Test Management with QAComplete The latest release of QAComplete now delivers... Dynamic test-step management Create test-steps with easy to drag and drop features. Build your cases with the simplicity of Excel yet keep the traceability that Excel can never deliver. An easy to reuse library Hundreds, thousand or even hundreds of thousands of...
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Ways to Cut the Cost of your Test Management Project

September 22, 2011
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...
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