Optimizing Test Management Efforts

April 21, 2011

Part of an effective QA cycle depends on an efficient test management process. In this webinar we look at ways to allocate work to your team using Software Planner and the ways in which you can analyse how your QA cycle is progressing. Controlling time effectively will allow you to make the most of your resources, whilst a greater awareness of the test status will help you to meet your targets. With the right project management tools you can keep up to date on your project’s progress.

As noted in previous webinars, Software Planner is able to keep track of many aspects of your testing artifacts, including your software requirements, test cases, and defect data. The project tools can be used to show the tasks that are still outstanding and those completed. Essentially giving you the pertinent points from your test plan in a form that’s accessible to everyone in your group. From here you are able to break this down into the individual tests, and allocate the tasks between your group accordingly. This will create a projection of how you are progressing through the QA cycle as a whole, as well as the daily achievements from your team. All of this adds up to help you track the management of your testing throughout the organisation.

For the project features to be effective, however, it is vital that your testers log their hours for you to maintain accurate projections. Using the project tools, they are able to log the hours taken and report how long they estimate the work to take on a time sheet report. This in turn can be used to highlight where a colleague may be struggling to complete their tasks, and for you to apportion work to other team members as necessary. The two-way communication between you and your colleagues through the project management features allows for more successful leadership.

One way that you can prioritise tasks is by analysing the metrics collated by Software Planner. The metrics keep track of how many defects are active, the resolution trending, the severity of the remaining defects, and their priority for repair. If, as part of the test management process, your testers can prioritise defects by severity, those defects that need more time and manpower can be given greater precedence. This will avoid over allocation of resources and help you to meet your targets.

Communication is key to all of this if you and your team are to meet your goals. The simplest way is to meet with your team daily, first thing in the morning, for approximately 15 minutes. This will keep you abreast of test progress and assignment of defects. In short you’ll have a better feel for priorities and for how the QA cycle is progressing. You’ll spot overworked testers sooner and give yourself the opportunity to re-allocate sooner. This style of hands-on leadership will give you a better handle on the job at hand and should shorten your QA cycle.

Using Software Planner is a practical way to organise your staff. The project management features allow you to distribute work appropriately. From the testers perspective it allows them to see how their work is progressing. Overall the metrics should provide greater insight of the whole QA cycle. Ultimately, the right tools provide you with greater control over your test management process.