9 best practices for Test Management

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Test management is a comprehensive process involving multiple phases of risk analysis, test estimation, test planning, test organization, test monitoring & control, issues management, and test report & execution. But it has its own share of challenges such as lack of time for testing, lack of required resources, absence of colocated test teams, and ambiguity of test requirements. To ensure the maximum effectiveness of the test management process, it is imperative to overcome these challenges first. 

A properly followed test management life cycle consistently helps meet and exceed customer demands in terms of product quality. The race among organizations to reduce the time to market with the best quality products is laying an even greater stress today on such a framework than ever before. Being the center of attention, if followed properly, the process will lead to better products, and thereby more satisfied customers. 

Let us understand the best practices to follow for test management: 

Test Management recommendations 

Best practices for Test Management include keeping the test efforts organized with well-defined processes and systems in place. Since different projects may have different specific testing requirements, an effective test management process can deliver a predictable and repeatable process. Such processes are usually easier to estimate and plan, which help the overall management and control of a project. 

To overcome the challenges that hinder the implementation of a successful test management environment, organizations may try to use the following well-known practices to implement a successful test management system: 

1. Begin the testing activities earlier in the SDLC

Even though this is an unsaid rule, few organizations follow it. This leads to bugs being identified at a later stage – which adds on to the costs. The test process, therefore, must begin as soon as a few test cases have been written or if they can be extracted from the initial software requirements. 

2. Perform iterative tests

Software testing must be performed iteratively. This risk-based approach helps generate important testing assets and also helps reduce problems going ahead by garnering focus on bugs or any unwelcome delays early on in the cycle. 

3. Reuse test assets and improve time spent every time 

Recycling and reuse of test procedures & test automation objects always help enhance the quality and efficiency  of  a product, and of teams too that can save a lot of time and effort by this simple strategy. However, it requires test management skills to be able to foresee if a certain asset can be reused in the future. 

4. Utilize testing and testing strategies based on requirements

Different strokes fell different oaks, they say. Similarly, to perform different types of tests, such as agile, security, mobile, big data and analytics, and more, you need to follow different testing approaches that suit the specific kind of test management framework. In other words, try to follow a requirements-based testing approach that not only helps in system/application validation but also helps in calculating the testing efforts needed. 

5. Ensure proper coordination between co-located testing resources

Utilizing the skills and effective coordination of co-located resources is the need of the hour as it helps overcome resource issues, maximize productivity, and improve timelines, thereby improving ROI. To overcome the  inherent technical challenges involved, proper tools and channels such as utilizing Web clients or automatically– replicated data must be used. 

6. Define & enforce flexible testing processes

Because different projects have different testing needs and require different testing efforts, we need customizable test management processes for creating an automated workflow. This process should be repeatable and also allow for further optimization and modifications as per requirement. For a successful test management implementation, it is extremely important to clearly define the process along with the workflow and then enforce the same within the team. This is especially true if your organization adheres to strict regulations such as CMMI- SVC v1.3, Maturity Level 5, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2013, or HIPPA. These standards need to be audited and thus have strict compliance needs for validation. 

7. Coordinate & integrate with the development teams – use DevOps shift-left practice

To achieve maximum communication and seamless integration of a product testing environment, testing and  development teams need to work in complete tandem with each other. This improves quality, reduces any communication issues, and brings any missed details to the fore. 

8. Communicate the correct status at the right time

The thing with proper communication is that if not made at the right moment, it might also cost an opportunity. Proper test management involves complete sharing of all relevant data such as goals and status, in the right format, at the right time, to the right stakeholders, for a project to be successful. 

9. As someone said – “To save time, automate, automate, automate!”

Performing the many tasks involved in test management involves a lot of time and effort. Utilize specific Test  Management tools – commercial or opensource – to reduce the time spent. While most of these test  management tools need to be installed in-house, there are others that can be accessed as Software as a Service  (SaaS), for example, HP ALM/Quality center, QAComplete, Silk Central, Zephyr, JIRA, and IBM Rational Quality Manager. 

Conclusion 

It is recommended to use newer approaches for implementing a successful test management scenario. Following the best practices suggested herein will help overcome almost all sorts of obstacles. 

At Cigniti, we have a specialized, dedicated Test Management team involving highlyskilled, co-located software testing professionals who ensure delivery of quality products to accelerate time-to-market, reduce test efforts, and expenses. Talk to our experts to know how we can help you optimize your Software Test Life Cycle.