Why you should Invest in Test Case Management

Software companies with multiple testers and developers usually need a test case management system to measure their testing efforts. Management teams need information to keep track and report on projects.

For some companies, investing in test case management might mean switching from Excel or Word to an enterprise level tool (Testrail, HP Quality center etc).  For others, it is a matter of taking advantage of advanced features such as, reporting and coverage tools, and learning to better and lighter documentation.

Let’s take a look at a ways to invest in test case management:

Move on From Excel

Testers and their management often turn to products they already have access to, such as Excel. Using spreadsheets to store test ideas can be a good place to start.  There are no barriers to entry since most business computers already have the product installed, and testers can start using the tool quickly without training.

However, problems arise when more than one person uses a spreadsheet for test case management. The result is many people working in different files, each with their own format. Knowing whether or not a test is up to date, and the ability to easily find a needed file becomes a nightmare

Test case management systems like qTest , Testrail, Ghost inspector alleviate this source of frustration by creating a central repository for test ideas. Testers can log into the TCM, select the project they are working on, and easily access test ideas documented by other people or create new tests.

Take Advantage of Reporting Features

Teams that don’t have a test case management product have to write custom programs to create reports. These programs look at fields in each file to produce reports on how many total tests are available, how many tests have passed or failed, and how many bugs are associated with a particular test.

When you change the order of data in the Excel file it breaks the reporting program, more nightmare scenes. Investing in a proper test case management system does away with all these problems. You get real time reporting and can drill down to see where exactly your project is at.

Move beyond Test Steps

Testers who spend time documenting test ideas can get the impression that there is nothing more to a test than telling the tester what steps to perform and what result to expect. Testers may habitually continue with this style even after they get a more powerful tool.

There are a few drawbacks of documenting steps:

  • Steps restrict how a person might perform a test
  • Every time the software changes the test steps must be updated to match the new software
  • Tests with detailed steps require a significant amount of time to create

Moving beyond highly detailed documentation helps testers take advantage of better tools. Instead of steps, a tester might write a brief paragraph about the feature they are testing, describing why a user would want it, what other parts of the software it is related to, and some information about data used to test it.

Documenting test ideas without prescribing steps can result in more useful and efficient documentation and better testing with less effort.