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Plutora Blog - Test Case Management

Test Smarter with a Test Case Management Tool

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With software releases happening every week, your teams need a more dynamic and intelligent test case management tool. You can’t afford to run every single test case every time a developer changes a line of code. It introduces delay, and it’s not an intelligent use of resources.

The industry is full of stories of developers making simple changes only to have to wait several hours for test cases to run. With automated build pipelines and integration tests, this problem has grown more acute over time. A feature that might take a developer two minutes to implement and commit then spawns a 4-hour integration testing process. Most software projects now automatically run all the test cases for every change. This doesn’t scale.

There is a disconnect in test case management: software projects have accelerated, but our approach to test case management continues to be all-or-nothing. This process doesn’t scale, and it calls for newer, more intelligent test case management tools.

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Test Case Management Tools Provide Focus

These days your tests need to be focused on specific use cases, components, and defects. In a rapidly evolving software delivery pipeline, you need a test case management tool to support intelligent decisions that focus resources on the right tests. Don’t run all the test, run the right tests at the right time.

With software being delivered faster and more frequently your test case management tool needs to be able to match test cases with specific defects and features in a way that is dynamic and intelligent. If a developer changes a line of code you should know which test cases are required, and if a defect is detected in production your test case management tool should be able to quickly identify gaps in your test cases.

Upgrading your approach to testing case management to a “just-in-time” approach reduces turn-around time for testing. With the right test case management tool, your testing function will be able to keep up with the rest of your software delivery pipeline.

Without a Test Case Management Tool: “Waiting for the Tests”

Without a test case management tool, it’s impossible to understand what is being tested and who is responsible for testing. Your testing process is an all-or-nothing approach. A complex system has either been tested or it has not been tested, and simple changes still require multiple hours of testing.

Without the proper test case management tool, your quality engineers and developers write integration tests without any concept of assigning scope to a particular test. These tests are written to ensure the overall quality of a system and it is difficult to untangle which tests are essential and which tests are unproductive. You end up writing tests to increase test coverage or to make your reports look more impressive instead of focusing your testing efforts on the test cases that can make a real difference to quality.

The Right Tests at the Right Time

Using the right test case management tool gives you the ability to focus your testing effort on the tests that need to be executed for a given change. If a feature is going to affect the front-end of your application, you should be able to identify the focused set of test cases that relate to these changes.

Test case management is affected by both new development and defects that are identified either during the test process in production. When a new bug is discovered or a new use case identified, a test manager should be able to use the test case management tool to associate a test case with a specific component in a larger system.

Putting your test cases into a test case management tool that gives you insight into past performance and upcoming releases takes the mystery out of testing. Instead of using a “black box” or an all-or-nothing approach to testing you can give your release managers, engineering managers, and project managers direct insight into the specific test cases that make the difference for a particular release.

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dalibor siroky
Dalibor Siroky

Dalibor is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Plutora. He has 15 years of leadership, consulting, enterprise product, and operations experience across Australia, Asia and Europe. He has proven ability to build high performance teams, turn around situations, develop innovative products, and create lasting value. Prior to Plutora, Dalibor was founder and managing director of Finotaur, a leading provider of independent management consulting services. Before that he served as CIO of financial advisory software at Macquarie Bank, head of solution architecture at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dalibor got his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Follow him on Twitter @DaliborSiroky.