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Test Management Process in Software Testing

Test Management Process in Software Testing

Like design and creation, software testing plays an integral role in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The testing phase during development ensures that quality software solutions are formulated and delivered. However, you need a sound test management system to ascertain high-end and smooth software testing.

This article will give you a comprehensive insight into the test management in software testing.

Test Management- What is it?

Test management refers to the process where all test-related activities are organized and controlled to ensure high-grade testing of the software app. Numerous tools are deployed for the test management process, which helps manage manual and automated tests specified already by a software test process.  

What is the Purpose of Test Management?

Test management helps ensure that high-quality software applications are delivered, which meet the customers’ demands. It helps develop the software application within stringent deadlines, facilitating collaboration between the testers and the developers. 

To date, the most detailed study on this topic was conducted in 2002 by NIST titled ‘The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Infrastructure for Software Testing.’ 

As per the study, the annual cost of inadequate software testing in the US ranges between $22bn and $59bn. And as we’re much more engrossed in software use today, one can only imagine the dollar price has risen to a very high level since.

In a nutshell, test management helps with:

  • On-time product delivery
  • More consistent and smoother projects
  • Customer satisfaction

Who looks after Test Management? 

Although the developers and the entire testing team play a crucial role during the process, the Test Lead/Manager acts as the key test support, looks after resource planning and management, and solves issues that hinder the testing process. Most enterprises nowadays prefer to hire Indian programmers to manage their software-related needs.

The Test Manager/Lead is responsible for the following:

  • Outlining the testing scope
  • Leading the testing team
  • Managing the test resources
  • Applying the test metrics
  • Installing and managing the final testing effort

What are the Different Phases in Test Management Process?

By now, you might have understood the importance of test management in enhancing the software design, development, and delivery process. However, you can enjoy the benefits of test management only when you conduct the entire process systematically and adequately.

The test management process involves two major phases:

  1. Planning
  2. Executing

Both these phases have their sub-processes, which we’ll explore below:

1. Planning:

This is the first phase, where the developers and testers plan the entire test cycle. Planning is further divided into the following sub-processes:

i. Risk analysis:

Risks are something that might or might not happen during the SDLC. However, they might adversely affect the software quality and the company’s reputation if they happen. Hence, the Test Lead needs to conduct a risk analysis before the start of the project to determine any risk factors and come up with possible solutions. 

ii. Test estimation:

Test estimation implies predicting the time needed for every test phase/activity. It’s considered one of the most crucial tasks during the test management process. 

Advantages of correct test estimation:

  • Precise estimates can result in better planning, monitoring, and execution of tasks
  • Allows for more precise test scheduling
  • It helps realize the test results more assertively

Studying the company’s past project or consulting fellow team members responsible for the test phase can improve test estimation results.

iii. Test planning:

It is a vital step in conducting all test-related activities efficiently and smoothly. This defines the test scope, strategy, objectives, suspension/exit criteria, resource planning, test deliverables, time scheduling, etc. A project might fail in the absence of a proper test plan. Effective test planning is specifically significant in the development of large software systems.   

iv. Test organization:

Once the planning is done and everything’s in place, the next step involves organizing the perfect testing team. Test organization is about defining who’s responsible for which task in the testing process. Hence, your job does not get over just when you hire Indian programmers. You must create an efficient team and delegate tasks carefully for effective test execution. 

2. Execution:

Execution is the phase in which the actual software testing is executed to determine the results. It is further divided into:

i. Test monitoring & control:

While the software is being tested, all the work progress must be monitored. You will have to oversee all activities during the testing period and maintain control of the process to ensure that the project is within the budget, on schedule, and progressing well.  

ii. Monitoring:

This phase is where the test team gathers, records, and then reports relevant information about the project activities. 

During monitoring, the Test Lead/Manager is responsible for the below-listed activities:

  • Creating an outline for the project goal
  • Keeping an eye on the project’s performance
  • Conducting a comparison between the planned and actual performance
  • Recording and reporting any identified issue 

Monitoring provides discipline specifications and an initial plan for the testing process. 

iii. Controlling:

A software project wouldn’t always run as planned. There may be certain deviations between the actual and planned work. Hence, to remove or minimize these deviations, there is a need to conduct certain changes, and that’s where test controlling assists. During this step, the Test Lead comes up with solutions to correct or adjust the deviations from the test plan. 

iv. Issue Management:

We’ve already learned about risk management; however, what will happen if we still fail to manage risks effectively, which eventually converts into an issue? There will always be unexpected issues during the SDLC. But what’s important is to stay prepared to deal with these issues efficiently, or they could negatively affect the project’s outcome.

v. Test report and evaluation:

Once the testing process is over, it’s time to prepare a test report and evaluate the data. This report helps identify the developed software quality, test coverage, and required improvements or modifications. After careful evaluation, the Test Lead logs the software as ready for release and submits the report to the client or stakeholders for approval.   

Tools for Test Management:

Software test management can get complex as we get deeper into the development process. For this reason, several test management tools in software testing are available these days. These tools greatly help, especially during the final four test management phases. 

Benefits of using the Test Management Tools:

  • Testware management
  • Automatic development of the RTM (Required Test Matrix) 
  • Test scheduling
  • Test result logging
  • Test monitoring 
  • Issue/incident management
  • Test reporting 

However, selecting the right set of tools for the whole process is important.

Essential Principles for Tool Selection:

You cannot just choose a tool for test management randomly. The choice of the tool varies as per your project functionalities and requirements. Take ample time to evaluate what you want from a particular tool, study its features, and then decide.

To help you out, below are a few questions you can ask before zeroing a tool for test management for your software application:

  • Does this test management tool support the development of test plans, test cases, user stories, or test scenarios? 
  • Is the tool capable enough to manage your team and software project?
  • Does the tool support test runs or test process management?
  • Can it develop test reports?
  • How capable is the tool in bug tracking?
  • Does the tool have crash analytics, import/export, etc.?

Best Test Management Tools:

Check out: PractiTest Alternatives

Benefits of Test Management:

  • Enhances the software quality
  • Helps in the development and maintenance of product metrics
  • Identify areas of weakness
  • Empowers the developers to ascertain that fewer coding or design errors are included in the code.
  • Checks if the software system is ‘fit for purpose and performs as it is expected to

Challenges in Test Management:

  • Lack of adequate testing resources
  • Insufficient testing time
  • Schedule and budget constraints
  • Complex requirements associated with testing and validating
  • Absence of testing documents 

Test Management-Best Practices:

i. Use iterative tests:

Using iterative testing practices is extremely beneficial and highly recommended. These approaches help create test assets as well as save time. 

ii. Ensure that you begin testing activities as early as possible:

Starting testing activities during the early SDLC stages is highly beneficial. However, most people don’t follow this practice despite knowing it. That eventually results in identifying bugs or errors at later testing stages, leading to additional expenses for rectifying them. Moreover, this delays the entire process because it increases the time spent to rectify and retest it.

iii. Try to improvise on time spent:

Always try to work towards improving team efficiency and product quality. That could save you immense effort and time.

iv. Reutilize the test assets:

Reutilizing the test assets, such as test cases, procedures, etc., can save your effort and time. Hence, try to reuse the testing assets whenever you can. 

v. Ensure effective coordination between co-located test resources:

Make sure that there is effective coordination between co-located test resources as that helps control problems associated with testing resources, mend timelines, and improve productivity, thereby resulting in a better ROI.  

vi. Use requirement-based testing strategies:

Different kinds of testing procedures need different kinds of testing approaches. Therefore, it’s always recommended to utilize a test strategy based on your software testing requirement. Such an approach could help you reap better test results and quickly deliver a high-quality product. It also lowers the testing time and effort.  

vii. Use DevOps:

As the competition increases, new testing procedures are ruling the testing industry. DevOps can be a beneficial approach to follow as it concentrates on the close association of the developers, operation team, and testers. It helps maintain uniformity in the upcoming releases, lower defects, facilitates rapid software development, speeds up business growth, etc.

viii. Leverage malleable testing process:

Each project has a different requirement and therefore needs a different testing process. A malleable testing process is essential to building an automated and easy workflow. This process must also allow optimization and alteration of the overall workflow according to the need.

ix. Effective communication is crucial for successful test management:

To ensure smooth test management, effective communication of every appropriate information, like status, goals, etc., to the stakeholders and clients is essential. That helps get their feedback and input on the testing work and allows the Test Lead and the test team to make enhancements accordingly.  

x. Optimizingautomated testing or tools for greater benefits:

Achieving these tasks needs effort and time. Using automated test management tools will help save your time and effort, reduce human errors, and enhance test coverage while providing better and more effective test results. 

Final thoughts:

Customers expect enhanced product features while stakeholders expect a speedy release cycle—often with stringent scrutiny on resources and budgets—making the test management process a crucial aspect of your enterprise’s software development cycle. 

Hence, while managing your work processes, do not save on testing, as this mistake could turn out to be a huge blunder and a costly expenditure later. 

Hire programmers from India with experience and skill set, ensure clear communication and systematic task delegation among your developers and testers, and leverage an intuitive test management tool like Testsigma for better ROI. Such automated tools provide the software testers with all the accelerators and features required to create quality software. Test management tools can elevate productivity by properly organizing the process, supporting effective communication, and visualizing progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do you conduct test management?

The test management is done in two-phase test planning and execution. Test planning risk analysis, test estimation, test planning, and test organization come under the test planning and test monitoring and controls, issue management and test report evaluation come under the execution phase.

What is the purpose of test management?

The purpose of test management is to ensure high-quality testing of the software without facing any major challenges. It makes it easy to monitor and control the software testing life cycle and helps to decide the expected time and cost it will take to complete the project. 

What are top 5 test management tools?

There is an abundance of test management tools in the market, but some of the good and most used are the following:

  • Testsigma
  • TestLink
  • TestRail
  • EasyQA
  • JIRA

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