With software testing becoming ever more complex, the role of test management has assumed great significance However many testing organisations still lack the requisite test management tools and capabilities for the right levels of co-ordination across their organisations to ensure the timely release of quality-assured software.
In an ever more complex software testing world, good test management is an imperative that cannot be ignored. The often complex outsourcing deals in today’s context can lead to equally complex management issues. Indeed, according to Gartner the leading cause of missed expectations is poor governance. When tackling these issues, test organisations are increasingly finding benefit from management tools.
Good test management delivers a range of benefits including reduced time to market, faster delivery, improved productivity through reduced rework, and better analytic results through increased visibility and control using dashboards. Such a test management function enables a centralised view across all elements of testing, both manual and automated, right from the development stage through to Quality Assurance (QA), during both the functional phase and performance. This activity can go a long way in ensuring full collaboration and control at every stage of the process.
Vijay Balasubramaniam, Global Head - Testing Practice at IT services and solutions expert ITC Infotech explains the central role that test management can play in the software testing process. “Software development companies are increasingly looking outside their own organisations for solutions to help them test their products while maintaining a high return on investment. One of the more successful models employed by these organisations is outsourcing the testing process to contractors, consultants, Testing Centres of Excellence (TCoEs) or external organisations which specialise in specific areas of testing. In such cases, the contracting organisation is still responsible for the overall quality of the products which it validates. The outsourced testers must have access to the right equipment, the right tools and the right infrastructure to get the job done effectively, within budget and within the timescales specified. To achieve these objectives a test management system has to be in place to provide a common platform for contractors, contracting organisations and other external specialists.”
A well planned test management strategy is required to ensure higher levels of organisation and control of the end-to-end testing activities and processes. Vijay Balasubramaniam adds: “At ITC Infotech, our test management approach is structured specifically to ensure effective application testing. We use a range of commercial and open-source test management and optimisation tools and techniques as well as open-source tools that store information about how the testing is to be done. This includes a detailed plan of the testing activities. We also use them to develop, execute and assess all our testing activities, gather execution data from automated tests, and report on the status of all of our quality assurance activities.”
One of the latest trends in testing is the concept of the Global cubicle where testing is carried out by a number of testers across different geographies and time zones. “It is more vital than ever to have a test management system that provides a common platform, bringing together the test process, artefacts used therein and work items from groups of testers working across geographical locations and time zones. It has become crucial than ever for organisations to implement a test management strategy that unifies and controls the entire software testing process,” states Vijay Balasubramaniam.