For decades, industries across the world have been measuring processes to improve efficiency and quality. You’ve probably heard the catchphrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Without measuring, we’re guessing what “success” is. With data, we can make educated decisions quickly. These well-informed decisions are an important element of building quality products.
Today, more than ever, quality in products/services is important in all business operations. But how do you measure “quality”? In the manufacturing world, there are basic metrics you should focus on, for example:
- How many units are you producing?
- How many units are being shipped?
- How many units are being returned?
These metrics provide a ton of insight and can help drive a wide range of business decisions, including:
- “We need to change the way this is built to increase production time.”
- “We need to hire more warehouse workers.”
- “We need to improve the structural quality to reduce return rates.”
Likewise, in the software industry, software testing metrics help us track progress, measure quality, and make decisions. The simple fact of knowing something is being measure leads us to work harder and perform better. Software testing metrics help us understand what’s working and what’s not. They also give us insight into the development process – is there a part of the software that frequently has defects? If so, you might want to dig deeper into the development process.
In this data-driven world, there are a number of different metrics that can be used in the software testing process. Software testing metrics should align with the business goals. Not all metrics are necessary for every team – identify the business goals first, and then determine the measurements needed. Here are just a few common software testing metrics that are used today.
Common Software Testing Metrics:
- # of test cases – This provides an overall view of how many tests will be executed.
- # of test cases passed – This metric shows how many of the total test cases were passed, and provides a good sense of “quality” or lack thereof.
- # of test cases failed – This metric provides insight into weaknesses and bugs. It can also be used to determine shortcomings in the development process. Essentially, it is the metric used to determine the total # of bugs found during the test.
- # of test cases skipped – Any skipped test cases are outstanding tests that still need to be run.
- # of test cases not started – Simply put, these test cases have no yet been tested. That is, they have not yet been passed, failed, or skipped.
- % complete – This metric is great for tracking progress of the overall testing project, which can help drive other decisions.
- % test cases passed – This gives insight into the overall status of “quality”. If only 25% passed, there’s a lot of work to do. If 95% passed, you’re in pretty decent shape.
- # of test runs – This metric shows how many end-to-end tests exist and gives a good sense of overall workload.
There are many more metrics that can be derived from the preparation and execution of software testing. It’s important to understand which metrics are important to you, and which metrics will support your business goals.
The metrics above and more are measured in TestLodge Test Case Management. We give you the metrics you need to track both progress and quality. As a test lead, you’ll find our tool provides a simple interface for reporting on the progress of your testing efforts, including insights on the workload of your testers. As a tester, you’ll get a quick, simple view of the test results, and be able to quickly determine the number of outstanding tests assigned to you. Try TestLodge today and see how simple it is to track software testing metrics!