Test Management Tools: What Makes Them So Essential For a Business?

Test management is a process that consists of creating and updating test plans, executing tests and documenting results. For products and software applications designing test cases to verify all requirements and edge cases is the first step of test management. Then, tests are executed, results are analyzed and documented for stakeholders to inspect. The process is iterative by nature. As issues are fixed and new features are added, test plans must be updated, and test execution must be repeated to verify all new and existing features work correctly. Due to its iterative nature and depending on the complexity of application, test management can be extremely time consuming and expensive. Test management tools are software applications that aim to solve this problem by helping organize test plans, execute tests and track results.

Why Do You Need a Test Management Tool?

A test management tool, such as TestForma, can help projects save significant amounts of time and money by streamlining the testing process. Using an efficient software tool can boost your test coverage and enable you to produce results quickly. As a result, your product quality, stability and reliability will increase and your business will be set up for success.

However, there are a variety of options in the market and it is important to choose the right tool for the job. For that purpose, you should correctly identify your business needs, avoid or mitigate risks as you compare different test management solutions. We discuss some important factors to consider when selecting a test management tool below.

Factors To Consider While Selecting A Test Management Tool

What kind of testing do you need for your application?

The two kinds of testing to consider are manual and automated testing. In manual testing one or more human associates actively participate in test execution. On the other hand, in automated testing some or all of the test cases are executed automatically with the help of an external (usually) third party software application. Both manual and automated testing have their advantages and drawbacks. You should consider them carefully. If you need a test management solution for manual testing, then TestForma is a great option.

Who will use the software tool?

Usability is a significant factor and it is overlooked way too often. Some tools are usable only by the tech savvy. The learning curve for such tools is often steep, requiring a significant training investment to become productive with the tool. Even after the learning curve is overcome, navigating through complex user interfaces and workflows during test plan design and execution can cause inefficiencies, errors and frustration. If you need a user-friendly test management tool, you should definitely consider TestForma.

Where will you execute your test?

If you are testing a web app, you are most likely in an office setting. You probably have  ample desk space, an ergonomic chair, a wide screen monitor maybe two. You are connected to a stable wireless network and have access to high-speed internet. However, if you are testing an industrial robot, a wind turbine or a high speed train you might have to conduct your tests in a much different setting. You might need to stand up or sit inside a moving vehicle, holding a laptop or a 10-12 inch tablet, and operate with no internet connection at a remote location. 

If your setting resembles the second scenario, then a web-based test management solution may be a no-go for you. What you need in that case is a fast, responsive app that can work fully in offline mode with no concerns of losing data. You need a touch friendly GUI that adapts nicely to any screen size. And most importantly, you need your test management software to be intuitive and self-evident because humans are less successful in executing cognitively demanding tasks in uncomfortable settings. If this is what you need, you should try TestForma.

Do you have cybersecurity or data privacy concerns?

Web-based test management solutions require a database server. This server usually lives in a cloud and is accessible via the internet. But what if your data is sensitive and you need to take all possible measures against cybersecurity threats? Similarly, what if your data storage solution has to comply with privacy standards such as HIPAA? In those cases you will likely need to host your database server in house, which means additional costs of hardware and continuous IT support. If your budget does not allow such costs, then you should consider a test management software solution, such as TestForma, that does not necessarily need a database server to be fully functional.

Do you need test reports? And do you need a custom document format?

Some test management solutions can generate PDF, Word or Excel reports for test results. This can be a useful feature, making it possible to store and share test results as a standard document type. However, test management tools that can generate documents usually offer no capabilities to customize document formatting. If your company has a standard document template or formatting guidelines you will need to modify the generated document manually. 

However, modifying an existing document to match a different formatting is usually very annoying and disproportionately time consuming. Thus, people usually either live with the odd document formatting, or write test reports from scratch in the desired format. The one exception is TestForma, which offers many customization features for document formatting and can even generate documents based on completely custom document templates. So if you need a test management solution that can auto-generate documents with customizable formatting, you should check out TestForma.

What is your budget? How many licenses do you need?

We have discussed usability aspects and features of test management tools extensively. Let’s think about the cost for a bit. Some test management tools are very expensive on the order of hundreds of dollars monthly for a single user. If you need a number of licenses, the recurring license costs can be significant. On the other hand, there are cost-efficient test management tools like TestForma that provide all necessary features for an efficient test management software application.  

TestForma is a leading test case management tool and is ideal for establishing requirements and risks, designing test cases, arranging test runs, analyzing test findings, and managing associated issues. To make your job simpler and more reusable, the entire process is managed by a test case management tool. You can start your free trial online or simply schedule your free demo with us.