Large organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on properly functioning software to support primary business processes or, in some cases, to enable them to be carried out at all. Testing of software (changes) is necessary to cover risks and prevent consequential damage caused by software errors. Structured testing, however, requires a lot of timeHowever, structured testing takes up a lot of time, which soon creates a need for a professional test management tool. How do you make a choice and which aspects are important?
Package selection step-by-step plan
In order to make a choice, a standard method for software selection is used in most cases. First, the requirements and wishes are mapped out, possibly supplemented with weighting factors. Based on this, a first selection of potential suppliers is made, which results in a 'long list'. The word 'long' is perhaps misleading: ideally, the number of long-listed parties should remain well under ten. By presenting the list of requirements to the suppliers, a 'short list' with the three best scoring solutions can be drawn up. On this basis, a choice is made, whether or not preceded by a Pilot or a Proof of Concept.
Although this method of package selection is perfectly adequate for the selection of a test tool, in practice insufficient attention is paid to the non-functional aspects. This is because the input provided for the requirements is often limited to the functional side of the solution.
Non-functional requirements and wishes
When selecting a test tool, it is important to look beyond the functional capabilities that the solution offers. In the (non-exhaustive) overview below some important requirements and wishes are often missing when selecting a test tool:
One of the most important non-functional requirements is the user-friendliness of the test tool. In the cases where this criterion is used, it never gets the weighting it deserves. Especially when the users of the tool are not exclusively IT or test professionals, the success of the tool stands or falls with its user friendliness. It is therefore important to put this criterion at the top of the wish list!
"Is the solution easy to use? And how does the supplier ensure that it remains so?"
When testing large projects, it often happens that an external supplier solves the test findings. There is close cooperation and a test management tool offers a solution. In such situations, it is important that the employees of your supplier have remote access to the test tool. But also colleagues who work from home or another location can benefit from remote access. This also includes access from a smartphone or tablet.
"Do you also want to give your suppliers access to the test management tool?
"Is it possible to view test results from a smartphone or tablet?"
It is also wise to formulate some requirements and wishes on the technical level. If the solution is made available from the cloud, security is an important aspect to consider. Although the data entered is not of a confidential nature, you do not want the test findings to end up on the street.
"What security requirements do you have for a test management tool?"
In addition, performance is an aspect that often remains underexposed. One of the major advantages of a test management tool is time savings. However, this is cancelled out by poor performance and waiting times for regular actions. In addition, poor performance leads to frustration among users.
"What performance do you expect from the chosen solution?"
In case a cloud solution is chosen, it is recommended to find out where (in which country) your data is stored. It may happen that some recorded test results contain personal data. When these data are stored abroad, this is subject to strict conditions and may in some cases lead to fines.
"Is the data stored in the Netherlands, at a Dutch company?"
Chances are that you are making a choice for a test tool that will be used for a longer period of time. It is therefore important that your vision and the vision of your supplier in the field of testing are largely in line with each other. The development agenda of the supplier is driven by this vision, but to what extent are customers involved in composing this agenda? In the best case scenario, you as a customer have the possibility to influence this, through a user platform or other forms of feedback.
"What is your vision on testing and does it match the vision of the supplier?
"To what extent do you, as a customer, influence the development agenda?"
"Is there a platform where users can exchange experiences?"
Advice on selection of test management tool
The general advice is therefore not to limit the requirements to the functional side when selecting a test management tool. Besides technical aspects, it is also important to check your vision on testing against the vision of the supplier. In order to benefit for a longer period from the investment in a test management tool, it is important to determine whether there is a 'fit' between your organisation and that of your supplier. Are you on the eve of selecting a test tool? Please feel free to contact us so we can answer the above questions!