Test Management Blog

The Hidden Influence on Quality

May 15, 2013
Have you read Quiet by Susan Cain yet? In it Cain refers to studies that show just how much peer pressure influences our decisions — a concept that has some interesting ramifications for us as software testers. We’re all exposed to peer pressure. Even as testers we are subjected to peer pressure. Peers in development roles question the defects that we uncover. Our project management peers question our test plans. In an attempt to overcome issues with peer pressure, an advertising man named Alex Osborn invented brainstorming. He believed that creativity was stifled by the fear of judgment from colleagues. So he sought to remove the threat of criticism from teamwork. Brainstorming has just 4 rules:        1. Don't judge...
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A Look at QAComplete’s New Test Management Versioning Capabilities

April 18, 2013
With the release of the 9.8.1 version of QAComplete and ALMComplete SmartBear software have included two new key test management features. The first is a versioning feature that allows you to select which version of a testcase is used in a run. The second is an assignment feature that allows you to assign at the test level. Lets look at both features in a more detail. Versioning QAComplete has always had the capability to automatically increment the version of a case as it's changed and then use the latest version in new runs. With this new release more of this underlying versioning capability is exposed to the QA engineer to give them more control. You now have the ability to...
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Integrating Quality Center and VersionOne

March 29, 2013
These days a large part of successful project management and test management depends on the integration of tools. Tools that are used across different business functions need to be integrated to provide visibility and traceability across the business. For example the Dev team and QA team might need different tools for test management and agile development. Yet the team as a whole need to be able to report on progress and quality across both functions. Yet with testers raising defects in one tool and developers looking at defects in another tool it's difficult to keep track and keep in sync. In this sort of situation integration of development and QA tools makes sense. We're going to take a look at...
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Test Management and Application Lifecycle Management Integration

March 16, 2013
I read an article the other day that questioned if collaboration actually impacts productivity. As software testers in the age of agile we’re encouraged to embrace the concept of collaboration as something that will improve the way in which we work. We’re pushed to collaborate within the test management process and other business processes. And we’re pushed into working in groups in open plan offices. There’s probably some merit in this argument that collaboration might result in reduced productivity. In an open plan office we’re constantly interrupted by other people. We find it easier to waste time chatting with people. Getting things done in dedicated and focused work sessions has become more difficult. Some blame this on our desire to...
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What is Test Management?

February 28, 2013
I was asked by a colleague the other day to define what test management is. Having spent 20 years practicing it, I was surprised to discover that I couldn't come up with a short pithy one liner to describe it quickly. With a bit of thought I came up with this though... "The discipline of controlling and tracking the process of testing from the development of test cases through to the reporting on execution status". It’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a simple definition. The domain of QA is massive in itself and this aspect tends to impinge on just about every aspect of QA. So whilst a one sentence definition is nice to...
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50 Ideas to Improve your Test Management Process – Part 5

February 22, 2013
That week flew by and we're already on the last 10 ideas to help improve your test management process. Hopefully you'll get some inspiration from the last 10 ideas this week. Provide a portal for external parties - There are many other stakeholders interested in the QA process. If they're interested, then the question is just how involved are they? Would their involvement benefit or hinder your QA efforts? In many cases the actual involvement of dev in helping asses areas for testing is a huge benefit. The involvement of project managers we'd all probably agree is a bit of a pain. There are many other parties (e.g. end users) that can contribute to help you get the most out...
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50 Ideas to Improve your Test Management Process – Part 4

February 21, 2013
Another 10 test management ideas for you to consider over the coming months. Integrate with automation tools - If you already have automation in place but haven't looked at sync'ing this into your test management system yet then this is an easy win. Even if you have tools from different vendors you'll find you have access to API's that allow you to link tools. Might be a few days effort writing some glue code but the effort is well worth it. The benefit being that you'll have consolidated reporting of status across but automated and manual testing. True integration, however, really only comes if you have automation and test management tools out of the same stable. As always though that'll...
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50 Ideas to Improve your Test Management Process – Part 3

February 20, 2013
So here we go for the next 10 ideas on enhancing your test management process. Split things up differently - Maybe you currently assign your staff based on projects. What about if you looked at a completely different approach and had a sub team that focuses on integration testing, some QA engineers that concentrated solely on user acceptance. Or maybe it's time to embrace the agile way of life and embed QA engineers directly with the development team. Nobody says we have to be one big QA team where each member is focused on only his or her project. Experiment with something new. Check availability stats - How much time did you waste last year because of system down time?...
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50 Ideas to Improve your Test Management Process – Part 2

February 19, 2013
So, to part 2. Another 10 ideas on how you might improve your test management process. No point waffling. So here we go. Write a usage guide - Often writing things down helps clarify the process. Processes grow up over time and morph into something that we never really expected. Something that's never really efficient either. Now it does take a bit of effort and time but it's worth it. Trust me. Sit down and take an afternoon to document the processes you follow (the real ones, not ones think you'd like to be following) and the way in which you use your test management system. This is an undertaking that will not only help you clarify what your team...
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50 Ideas to Improve your Test Management Process – Part 1

February 18, 2013
We're a month or two into 2013 now and with our new years resolutions some way behind us we thought we'd take a look at how you might improve your test management process over the remaining 10 months of the year. So over the next 5 days we're going to look at 50 improvement ideas that you can consider for implementation. Here's the first 10 1. Review your reports - one of the main purposes for capturing data in a test management tool is so that you can report on aspects of your projects like progress, resource utilisation and goals. If the reports you're currently creating don't trigger changes where necessary then you should start questioning the purpose of those...
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