Software developers pride themselves on their craft and attention to detail, which is why it is extremely embarrassing when one of their products is found to have a critical flaw lingering in the code. If a program contains a defect upon release, the fallout can be devastating. With that in mind, it’s absolutely imperative that organizations do everything in their power to enhance the testing process and eliminate software defects.
One example of such a case occurred in 2014 when Nest Labs, a manufacturer of advanced environmental sensor technology, announced that a critical flaw was present in one of its latest products. According to NBC affiliate KXAN, the bug could have resulted in users accidentally shutting down their smoke detectors without realizing it. Although Nest Labs released a software patch to address the problem, the company recalled nearly half a million smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in May of last year. CEO Tony Fadell stated that he didn’t want customers buying a faulty product that would require a software update before it could be safely used.
To that end, test management software is a major resource for any organization that wants to improve its quality assurance processes as well as the overall quality of its software. As central platforms for software testing and other related tasks, these resources can help team leaders address many common QA challenges.
QA is a critical aspect of software development, but it can often eat up a company’s available budget. According to one study, QA may account for as much as 90 percent of the total cost of software development. Until QA costs go down, developers will never be able to maximize the return on investment for their software projects.
By eliminating inefficiencies and improving testing processes, organizations can drive down their need to invest in QA resources and give themselves more bang for their buck. Real-time test management software enables teams to track QA processes on a granular level, allowing them to identify inefficiencies on project, department and company scales and address them accordingly.
Automation is a major boon for QA teams, allowing them to execute test runs quickly and efficiently. A well-made automated test script can often identify software defects faster than a manual operator ever could.
However, many organizations are unable to get the most of out of their test automation resources due to mismanagement. Writing effective test scripts can be a time-consuming and costly process, yet some teams use the final products in a very siloed fashion, failing to share them with fellow testers or reuse them on future projects.
To maximize the ROI of testing automation, QA teams need to embrace a better way of managing these assets. Test management software solutions offer a single, comprehensive platform with which automated test scripts can be stored, shared and saved for later use. QA members can use test management solutions to maintain an updated repository of highly effective automation tools, making production easier both in the short term as well as further down the road. By doing so, more testers will have access to the team’s best-automated scripts. Furthermore, QA members won’t waste time and man-hours writing redundant scripts on future development projects.
In today’s agile-focused development environment, user feedback is critical. At the end of the day, a piece of software will be judged by its ability to engage its intended audience and provide a satisfying experience. Programmers and testers alike are expected to be capable of incorporating user feedback within ongoing projects. It’s important that nothing slips through the cracks in this regard, and that QA members have all the information they need to help produce a polished product.
Test management software provides QA teams with a comprehensive platform to track changes and updates throughout the development lifecycle. Because every stakeholder has direct access to this information, nothing gets overlooked and every piece of feedback is considered.
Testing metrics and user demands are constantly changing, forcing QA teams to adapt along with them. Organizations that refuse to change course on a development project to better meet user expectations will often produce software that misses the mark. Test management solutions allow team members to not only view updates like test run results and user stories as soon as they are completed, but also share them with coworkers at a moment’s notice. This way, QA operations can quickly change to reflect shifts in requirements and statuses.
Test management solutions allow QA teams to address some of their most pressing concerns by providing unparalleled oversight and visibility across the testing landscape. Furthermore, the collaborative elements of this software ensure that every stakeholder remains on task and working toward the shared goal of developing better applications.
Find more information about test management software and other software development tools by visiting the Application Development Research Center at Business-Software.com.
[Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ivan Dervisevic.]