For decades, industries across the world have measured processes to improve efficiency and quality. You’ve probably heard the catchphrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Without software testing metrics, we can only guess what a “successful” product is. With the relevant data, we can quickly make educated decisions. These well-informed decisions are an essential element of building quality products.
Today, more than ever, quality in products and services is essential 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 shipped?
- How many units are returned?
These metrics provide useful insight that 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 measured can inspire us to work harder and perform better. Software testing metrics help us to 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, the software testing process uses many different metrics. Software testing metrics should align with the goals of the business. Not all metrics are necessary for every team; identify the business goals first, and then determine the measurements needed. Here are a few standard software testing metrics in use today.
Common Software Testing Metrics:
- # of test cases – How many tests there are to execute?
- # 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 and can determine shortcomings in the development process. It gives information on the total number of bugs found during the test.
- # of test cases skipped – Any skipped test cases are those that remain outstanding and still need to be run.
- # of test cases not started – These test cases have not been performed yet, so they cannot be logged as passed, failed, or skipped.
- % complete – What is the percentage of completed tests? This metric is great for tracking the progress of the overall testing project, which can help drive other decisions.
- % test cases passed – A useful measurement that gives insight into the overall status of “quality.” If the pass rate is only 25%, there’s still a lot of work to do. If 95% have passed, you’re in pretty decent shape.
- # of test runs – A metric that shows how many end-to-end tests exist and gives a good sense of the overall workload.
There are many more metrics that can be derived from the preparation and execution of software testing. It is vital to understand which metrics pertain to your tasks 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 determine the number of outstanding tests assigned to you. Try TestLodge today and see how simple it is to track software testing metrics!