May 30, 2023 by Rabih Arabi
In the world of software development, testing is a crucial component to providing good software product quality. However, without proper test management, the testing process can become chaotic, inefficient and ineffective. Test management plays an essential role in software testing: It provides structure, organization, outlook and control over the testing activities.
Effective test management adds value to software development and testing projects. The main benefits are:
The quality of a software product can be greatly enhanced by implementing effective test management. A well-structured and organized testing process that thoroughly tests all aspects of the software — including its functional and non-functional features such as performance, security and usability — enhances the efficiency of the testing process. It helps with:
This minimizes time and resources required for testing, while ensuring that the testing is conducted thoroughly and effectively. Moreover, effective test management mitigates the risk of defects and issues in the software product by identifying potential issues early, thus preventing issues from becoming significant problems which require extensive and costly fixes.
Effective test management facilitates communication and collaboration among project team members by providing comprehensive information about the testing process and results. This ensures that all team members are working together toward the shared objectives of meeting the requirements to achieve the final goals:
A flawless product and a happy and satisfied client.
Efficient test management approaches are aligned with the ISO 29119 test process and consist of three phases:
Test management process
Figure 1. Test management process ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 software testing
Let’s have a closer look at each phase.
To create a solid test plan, gather all relevant information about the project and the device under test. Then, define other critical aspects like the scope, test objectives and test levels. The ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119:2021 Part 3 (Test Documentation) includes a recommended template for the test plan that covers the majority of the important details. Furthermore, the test strategy should outline the mandatory approach of the project while also considering different environments — such as simulation, virtualization and real hardware.
Test strategy and planning process
Figure 2. Test strategy and planning process — ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 Software testing
Maintaining oversight of test activities, schedules and deadlines is critical. One effective way is to create a dashboard. Additionally, it’s beneficial to track: Internal quality aspects (such as requirements) that lack corresponding test cases; test cases that lack any association to requirements; defects that lack links to testing cases; and other relevant metrics that can aid in improving overall testing quality.
Test monitoring and control process
Figure 3. Test monitoring and control — test management process ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 Software testing
Sharing information is a core responsibility of management — it keeps the team focused and allows project managers and stakeholders to make more informed decisions. It’s crucial to define a set of useful reporting metrics though — they allow effective communication when tailored to the project setup and the intended recipients of the reports.
Test completion process
Figure 4. Test completion process — test management process ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 Software testing
Proper test management really makes a difference, as the following success story of a current project shows:
“When we started, everything was quite chaotic. It was the first project where all the testing activities were implementing Agile methodology. What’s more, the development team did not follow old processes — these could have helped the testing team to reach its objectives.
So, our issues were:
Additionally, development teams and testing teams were located in different time zones, making communication even more difficult. Knowing that reaching the start of production was at stake, senior management support was brought in.
By applying proper test management, the situation gradually improved.
Now — a year later — we see:
Overall, team efficiency has increased and things have started to go in a normal way. We have a test manager who knows how to identify risks and how to make things better, and teams who follow processes. Due to proper test management, we’ll soon have a successful product and a satisfied customer.”
Effective test management is essential for delivering high-quality software products that meet customer expectations and comply with industry standards and regulations. Effective test management practices, software development and testing projects can improve software quality, increase efficiency and achieve customer satisfaction. Don’t underestimate test management — it’s an essential aspect of software development.