When it comes to the software development lifecycle (SDLC), test management is one of the most important disciplines to include within a robust evaluation process.
Test management is the practice of closely managing and monitoring application testing to ensure that resources are being focused on high-risk or important areas of the software. With test management, a test manager or team lead can closely organize, control, analyze, and trace the testing process while managing testing resources.
If you’re unfamiliar with the role test management plays in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), this guide is here to help. Below, we will break down the test management process, including why it’s important, how to implement it, and different test management toolsyou can utilize to streamline the process.
Why is Test Management Important?
Test management is important because it ensures an organization is delivering a high-quality, bug-free software application that meets the customer’s requirements or demands. In addition, it enables organizations to:
- Meet deadlines faster
- Increase team collaboration
- Streamline project resource allocation
Test Management Process
The Test Management process can be divided into two main parts, including:
- Risk Analysis
- Test Estimation
- Test Planning
- Test Organization
- Test Monitoring and Control
- Issue Management
- Test Report and Evaluation
During the planning phase of the test management process, a test manager will establish a comprehensive plan of the test life cycle. This includes:
- Risk Analysis: Early risk analysis and identification is the first step of the test management process. This allows the test manager to use application security tools like Static Application Security Testing (SAST) to proactively document any potential application software risks or security vulnerabilities.
- Test Estimation: This allows the test manager to estimate the amount of required resources (e.g., equipment, facilities, funding, etc.), human skill needed, project timeline, and the overall cost to complete the test. The test estimation process ensures enhanced planning and precise execution at every stage of the test.
- Test Planning: Once test estimates are complete, the test planning process can begin. During this stage, the test manager puts together a comprehensive document that details the test strategy. This includes the information collected during the risk analysis and test estimation phases, as well as the core objectives and key deliverables of the test.
- Test Organization: During this phase, a test manager will organize a skilled testing team and define their individual roles and/or activities in the testing process. In addition, this phase includes explanations of what each testing activity consists of, as well as the goal or purpose of this activity.
The second part of the test management process is the actual execution of the test. This includes:
- Test Monitoring and Control: The first stage of test execution is test monitoring and control. This includes software performance testing, as well as evaluating and sharing feedback on the current test metrics, proceedings, and budget to ensure that all specific test objectives are met. During this stage, the test manager will compare the status of current test-related activities against the test estimation and planning documents, allowing them to analyze, record, and report whether the process is meeting the correct benchmarks. If the testing process isn’t going as planned, the testing manager will work to bring the actual testing performance back in line with the planned objectives.
- Issue Management: Along with test monitoring, a test manager will need to identify, report, and resolve any issues that present themselves during testing. During this stage, each issue found must be reported on time, prioritized, and logged, as well as appointed to the appropriate team member with the right set of skills to resolve the issue. This stage works to ensure that the project doesn’t go past its original deadline, that the budget is not exceeded, and that the organization retains customer trust.
- Test Report and Evaluation: Once the project is completed, the test manager compiles a test report that includes an in-depth evaluation of the testing process. This report organizes a summary and analysis of the test results for key stakeholders and developers, as well as the methods used to complete the test. The test report is a final review of the testing process and the current quality of the software before it moves into the final development process.
Test Management Tools
The test management process is intensive, as it requires a significant amount of time and resources to plan. A test manager is also responsible for many major aspects of the process—including analyzing risk, estimating the required resources, building a testing team, and adapting to unforeseen issues to ensure things stay on track. Fortunately, deploying a central testing management tool can help them keep everything in order.
With a centralized test management tool, a test manager can do things like improve visibility of test cases, requirements, and defects, as well as easily measure testing progress and team member productivity from one platform. In addition, a test management tool should offer real-time analytics and metrics on software quality and provide a single pane of glass to view all aspects of the testing cycle.
Essentially, a centralized test management tool should:
- Track and consolidate testing efforts from an intuitive user interface or dashboard
- Provide end-to-end traceability
- Achieve transparency with real-time analytics
- Automate test management workflow and processes
- Enhance communication and collaboration between all team members
- Offer easy scalability as the testing process becomes more complex
- Adapt to highly regulated environments
- Integrate with open-source platforms and third-party products
Streamline Test Management with Micro Focus
At Micro Focus, we’ve made it simple to centralize the test management process. Micro Focus ALM Octane enables organizations to tightly align quality efforts from development to release, employ a broad range of tests anchored by automation, and continuously monitor and improve for increased throughput.
ALM Octane also fosters an open approach so that quality is visible, traceable, and continuously improved. By synchronizing quality and testing with Agile and DevOps processes, risks are mitigated early in the software delivery value stream – speeding the way for faster delivery and improved customer satisfaction.
Manage and streamline your test management process; reach out to Micro Focus to learn more.