February 2014

(Less) time for test case management

In an implementation project, all eyes are focused on the test phase, after the design and build phase have been completed. The scheduled time for testing is limited, so a lot of the testing’s success depends on proper preparation. Unfortunately, during the preparation, too much time is lost in test case management; managing the large amount of test cases and test scenarios.

A typical example of test case management with Excel versus using a professional test management tool.

Example 1 – the freedom of Excel

At an early stage the project manager has stated that quality is very important to the project and therefore an external test manager has been appointed. There is no test tool available, so the test manager is creates a template test script in Excel. Two weeks later, the template is finished, including a fancy frontpage, several tabs with different columns, drop down menus and auto-blurring colors on the cover that shows the status inside the tabs. The Excel template is distributed among the key users (the testers), who are responsible to specify the test cases.

The SAP software solution under test is divided into six process areas, each with a number of sub-areas. For his convenience, the test manager creates a tree structure of folders on the shared network drive in which the test cases can be stored.

In order to maintain the overview, the test manager creates a separate overview in Excel so that he can track how many test cases  are available for each SAP component and what the status is of the test cases (under development, ready for review or ready for testing). Every day he saves a copy of his Excel overview so that he can report on progress and keep track of historical data.

test case management

A progress meeting without proper test case management

The testers (business users) have a variety of experience with testing, some of which have modified the Excel template to their own insight. The test manager requests a daily progress update from the testers and updates his Excel overview. It’s a tough job to get more than 200 Excel files in the right folders on the network drive. The weekly project meeting in which the test manager reports on the progress is a big challenge, let alone the version management.

And we have not even started with the testing phase yet…

Example 2 – ‘in control’ met test case management

At an early stage the project manager has stated that quality is very important to the project and therefore an external test manager has been appointed. Testersuite has been selected as a test tool, enabling the test manager to get get started after a short instruction. He creates a tree structure in Testersuite with 6 main areas and several sub-areas.

The key users (testers) receive a short instruction and their login credentials for Testersuite, allowing them to get started immediately to specify test cases and link them directly to the particular process area. The test manager gets real-time insight into the progress of the test design. Reporting on progress, even per tester or process area, will be displayed on the projector during the weekly project meeting.

We are ready for the testing phase!

Time for test case management

It is obvious that in the second example the test manager is able to organize a testing phase that supports the project goals and will ensure a smoother Go Live than the first example. However, the benefits of test tools are not limited to time saving and version management in the project. Good test case management allows the build up of a reusable test set for future releases or changes. Finding executed (tested) test cases is also important from compliancy point of view.

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