What is a test management tool? Sometimes the simplest questions are the best. When you deal with the business of test processes, test tools and test management on a daily basis, it's occasionally good to zoom out. Just to see if we're all still on the same page. Therefore, in this blog we answer the simple but good question: What is a test management tool?
The test management tool
Let's start with what a test management tool especially is not. It is not a tool...
- that automated software test;
- that sidelines the test manager or test coordinator;
- with which only the test manager and/or test coordinator works (after all, all employees who perform test tasks use the tool);
- only for the IT department (see previous point);
- with which you do the same as in Excel, but in the cloud;
- where you have to record things purely for reporting and accountability purposes;
- that will cost a lot of extra time (it actually saves time!);
- which is only suitable for testing in the "old" (waterfall) way (a test management tool is also indispensable for testing within agile/devops environments)
But what exactly is a test management tool? Let's start with the testing process. In our society, software is here to stay. We are becoming more and more dependent on it. Indeed, we rely on it more and more. The consequences of errors in software are increasing and can lead to catastrophes. Whether it's custom systems or standard applications. Whether the software runs on in-house servers, in the cloud or with a hosting partner. It is critical that every organization properly test the software it depends on.
Business process testing with a tool
So having a good test process is important. This test process should be interwoven with all business processes. It is based on a master test plan. This means that every implementation, integration, migration, upgrade and update of applications must be tested. This includes functional acceptance tests (FAT) and user acceptance tests (GAT). And the tests are performed on different environments; development, test, acceptance environment and sometimes also on the production environment.
Setting up a testing process
As you can see above, a test plan and the associated test process is quite extensive. The question now is how do you set up such a process? You will have to arrange a number of things. Think of the following matters:
- Who will do the testing? Application managers, key users, users...?
- What and how will it be tested?
- How often will testing take place? Is there a frequent update cycle?
- How do you communicate with stakeholders about the testing process?
- How and where are the test results recorded?
- Where are defects (defects) registered and how are they resolved?
- How do you safeguard the entire process and how do you ensure track and trace?
To manage, execute and control the above in a well-run process, a test management tool is indispensable.
A well-functioning test process
Above, we have indicated what a test process entails. Organisations that take their first steps in setting up a test process, often start with Excel sheets and Word documents. This can work fine in itself. However, when the test process becomes more extensive, we often see that mistakes are made. Spreadsheets are reused too often or are no longer readable due to poor version control. E-mails are sent back and forth, worsening the timeline and communication. The test manager loses the overview and the grip on his process, which in turn increases the risk.
Benefits of test management software
With a test management tool, you avoid losing grip and control of your testing process. You create test cycles in a test management tool based on your IT landscape. Build test scripts and run them through an underlying workflow. Record defects and test results and create a complete history and track and trace. Through reporting capabilities, you always know where you are in the testing process. This also allows you to report to management quickly and easily. A good test management tool helps you take the above steps through different modules. This way you can easily build your test process in the test tool.
From test management tool to automated software test tool and quality portal
So, as described, a test management tool helps you set up, maintain and execute a mature testing process. But it brings other benefits as well. Because the test management tool gives you an overview of your testing process, you also know which processes in terms of testing can be automated. The scripts from the test management tool can be used for the test automation tool. Think especially of common regression tests. But it also works the other way around. Findings noticed with a testautomation tool are "shot" directly to the test management tool. So you can have your developer pick up these defects and then retest them.
IT Service Management tool
Your IT Service Management tool can also be linked to your test management tool. Changes in your production environment can be offered from your ITSM tool to your test management tool so that they can be tested. When a test is completed, a signal is sent back from the test management tool to your ITSM tool.
Not unimportant is the proof or track and trace you record with the test management tool. During audits and/or auditing, you can easily submit documents at the push of a button. In the context of data protection and compliancy, this is ideal.
Best test management tool
Testersuite helps you execute your testing process in a very simple way. Are your colleagues not far in their test maturity yet? No problem, in Testersuite you can very easily start with just capturing defects. No real testing knowledge is needed. Are you a test professional? Then Testersuite is also the best test management tool for you. Run your test cycles , create test cases, solve defects , manage your release management and report to stakeholders.