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Nov042013

Three alternative uses for test management software

If a quality assurance team has implemented a sophisticated test management system, then its members have no doubt experienced some of the significant benefits this technology can provide, including syncing on-site and offshore teams, creating and storing automated test scripts and sharing testing resources across the entire company. Once these features have been digested and fully implemented, QA leaders might wonder how they can further take advantage of their test management software to wring the most value out of this high-performance utility. With a little creativity, QA management can discover innovative uses for this technology, optimizing the performance of software testers and developers.

Get more value out of test management platforms

Of the many ways that quality assurance professionals can leverage their test management software in new and exciting fashions, three stand out as the most surprising:

  1. Cultivate testing innovation - Sometimes testers and managers can hew so closely to accepted QA dogma that they run the risk of production stagnation. Teams and technology change, and what once worked effectively in the QA environment may no longer offer the same benefits. The addition of new software testers presents an opportunity for managers to reconsider how to best utilize their personnel and resources. Quality assurance experts Rikard Edgren and Qamcom Karlstad noted in a report the pair authored for The Testing Eye that infusing standard processes with some creativity can pull testers out of disruptive production ruts.

    By experimenting with new testing techniques, QA management may come across a new approach that makes the best use of current personnel. For instance, pair testing - where two testers collaborate on a single process, with one running scripts while the other documents the results - may prove to be an effective method for those staff members. QA teams will need to have access to a flexible and comprehensive management system that can quickly and conveniently create, store and share test scripts and reports in order to try out new approaches to testing.

  2. Leverage mind mapping - There is no single best way to attack a particular piece of software. Typically, a balanced diet of disparate testing methods and tools offers the most effective way to thoroughly check for errors or performance issues. Because the approach is not set in stone, some testers find it is beneficial to come up with new testing methods as they mentally develop. Encouraging these processes and sharing successful methods and techniques with other team members can be extremely challenging without an overarching management platform.

    Many testers have found that creating mind maps to generate graphical representations of their mental testing concepts can help them structure abstract or unfocused ideas, as well as better communicate these thoughts to team members for further use. A high-quality test management system can accommodate the creation of the necessary materials as well as facilitate the dissemination of successful methods across the team.

  3. Optimize test sprints - QA veterans - particularly those who have served on agile projects - are by now extremely familiar with test sprints, when specific software features are examined in a short window of time. Software engineering researchers Shlomo Mark, David Ben-Yishai and Guy Shilon explained on Testuff that QA can get the most value out of these processes by approaching the code in different ways and seeing what methods prove to be the most effective at identifying flaws and errors. Because these production windows are often extremely hectic, keeping track of which tactics worked and which fell flat can be very difficult. However, QA management can record the success rate of different approaches and scripts within a test management system, giving team members a roadmap for optimal test sprints moving forward.

The above post is a guest post provided by Zephyr.

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November 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShalin

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