In today’s organizations, having an effective test management process is crucial for being able to release high-quality software that is both on time and to budget. Along with negotiating complex software development activities, efficient test management practices are needful at every stage of the project lifecycle, with the common goal of delivering a high-quality product to the customer.
In the current business climate, organizations are competing to provide customers with the best product in the shortest time span. This makes it necessary for them to use a test management process that will subsequently increase customer satisfaction.
Test Management Process Phases
Test management process breaks down into several phases which include test analysis, test planning and preparation, test execution, and test closure.
1. The Test Analysis Phase
This is the basic phase in the test management process. During this phase, an analysis of functional and non-functional requirements is carried out which can include business requirements, a functional specification document, and a technical specification document. These artifacts may vary from organization to organization and at this point, all the gaps are identified and communicated to the client. These gaps will mostly relate to non-functional requirements such as usability, testability, performance, security, and how the project can be scaled and maintained. During the same phase, the test team analyzes the requirements for the creation of tests, before ordering priorities.
2. Test Planning & Preparation Phase
In this, the second phase of test planning, test case, test data, and test environment preparations are carried out. A test plan document is prepared which outlines the scope and objectives to be accomplished. Include will be the features to be tested, as well those that are not, the types of testing performed during the execution of test cases, roles and responsibilities of team members, entry and exit criteria, and assumptions. Along with the test planning document, the test team will begin working on writing test cases and preparing test data. Both negative and positive test cases will be needed for each requirement. A test case outlines the steps required to test any functionality or module, and includes both the expected and actual result. Test environment preparation is an essential part of this phase, without which the testers arr unable to test the system. After the coding phase has been completed for the functionality or module, a build is prepared and fed into the tester’s environment where a test execution is carried out.
3. The Test Execution Phase
During this phase, the tester executes the test cases prepared in the previous step. If during execution, actual and expected results do not match then the tester opens the bug(s), returning it to the developer for fixing. Bug reporting and fixing should follow a complete defect life cycle.
4. Test Closure Phase
This is the last and most important phase in the test management process. Test closure includes creating all the test reports which ensure that the entire system, integration, and user acceptance testing passed and confirmation will be made that all requirements have been tested and there is no pending critical bug to be fixed. Later, a test manager reviews all the artifacts and upon approval, the product is logged as ready for release. A team review takes place to analyze what went well, what did not go so well, and other areas where there is a need for improvements.
Test Management Best Practices
The points below can guide you in your test management process.
- Keep testing efforts organized through well-defined processes
- Find the best testers and maintain good working relationships with all the stakeholders
- Keep test cases which need to be reused maintained and updated
- Automate to save time, if possible
- Use test management tools such as TestLodge or other free test case management tools for the better test team management
- Good representation in test reports helps make informed decisions.
Using an effective test management process can help organizations deliver product(s) on time. By orchestrating test efforts, projects can stay within budget throughout the lifecycle.