Top 7 Features To Look For In A Good Test Management Tool

test management tool features

Test management is an important aspect of software testing. Tools for test management are used to organize testing activities, report the progress of QA activities and maintain information on how testing is done. Test management tools in software testing help teams create and manage their test cases by providing the right features and functionalities. 

There are both proprietary and open-source test management tools available. Each tool has its pros and cons. Nowadays, there are so many test management solutions available that it can be very challenging to investigate them all and determine what is ideal for your project.

We should select the best test management tool for us based on our projects’ requirements and processes. If we select the right tool for the project, the testing process will be more effective and easier to maintain in the future.

Each test management platform must provide testing teams with a few essential features.

In this article, I have listed 7 important features that we can consider when choosing the right tool:

1. Simplicity & Flexibility & Speed

Learning to use a software test management tool takes time, just like learning anything about any subject. Therefore a good test management tool should be easy to use. Everyone from junior to senior of the team regardless of titles should be able to navigate and use the tool easily.

Selected tools should help teams to manage STLC end to end. The tool should contribute to this cycle by being easy, hassle-free, and easy to learn.

Ideally, when a new tool is introduced to the team, it should not take more than a couple of days for your team to get used to that tool and start using it effectively.

At the same time, the speed and performance of the tool to be selected are also very important. The chosen test management tool should speed up the testing process and improve testing efficiency. At first, when working with the first sample data, many programs or plugins operate very quickly and consistently. The volume causes them to break and become extremely slow as the whole organization starts using them. As the number of test cases and users increases, speed problems may occur. 

2. Integration With Other Tools 

Nowadays, most teams use defect-tracking programs like Jira and CI tools like Jenkins. Make sure that the tools you have chosen integrate with these SDLC applications. For example, if you select a test management tool for Jira integration, with such integration, users can easily link defects to test case runs.

Also, the importance of test automation shouldn’t be skipped, it allows for continuous testing or testing throughout the entire CI/CD workflow. I think if the selected integrates with test automation tools like Selenium it would be a huge plus.

Furthermore, many test management tools also provide open APIs for integration and customization. Hereby test repository integration enables other tools which are already used by the team.

3. Reporting

Especially agile teams can take actionable information from test reports to understand better the status of their projects and the marketability of their products. 

These reports provide the current state of test progress as the testing proceeds. Create custom reports for checks, bugs, and execution. After that, export these in different formats.

Choose a top test management tool that provides simplistic reporting and doesn’t require much effort to generate it. If you spend too much time producing reports, it may be an indication that you should start looking for different solutions.

4. Onboarding, Support & Training

Let’s say you have chosen a new test management tool and you will start using this tool as a team. You need to spend some time determining whether the features are right for you and whether they are available or not.

While allocating this time, makes it easier for the tool chosen to be effortless to onboard and to have good documentation. 

Choose a tool that offers a smooth onboarding process and tutorials that help you comprehend the tool’s capabilities. It’s crucial to have good instructions, guides, examples with no ambiguity, and community help.

5. Import & Export Capabilities

If you are just getting started, the import function might not be at the top of your priority list. But, if you switch over from another test management tool or heck, even excel documents and whatnot, you are going to need this kind of solution in a test management tool. 

The same goes for export because you know… import/export goes hand in hand. You should be able to take an export from a test management tool unless you are ok if your test management swallows all your test cases and documents.

6. Maintenance

We need to maintain our test cases as requirements may change frequently due to the nature of agile software development. The maintenance you perform influences how much time and effort you will need to invest when a change occurs. 

The right test management tool for test cases should provide us with the ability to update them as smoothly as possible. 

7. Ability to Create Multiple Users, User Roles, and Projects

While I don’t think this feature is absolutely necessary, it is a nice to have feature, therefore I decided to mention this:

Teams consist of -obviously- multiple members with different roles such as developers, testers, product owner, product manager, project manager, etc… Not all of them need to access everything, for example. 

You could want developers to only be able to read test cases and not be able to edit them. To be able to do that the tool should have the ability to set permissions and user roles on per project basis.

Choosing The Right Management Tool For Testing:

A roadmap for choosing the right test management tool:

1Understand the project and needs
2Think about your budget
3Plan how long the onboarding time will take
4Identify the most necessary features
5Check to see if the tools you select are compatible with tools you now use

Some Popular Test Management Tools List

Here are a few examples of tools for test management that are in demand:

Summing Up

In conclusion, test management is crucial to every organization that wants to make software testing as systematic and as efficient as possible. We need to keep in mind that every organization, every project, and even every team’s requirements are different. 

The only common requirement is, every team shares a goal to use high-quality technologies that will make their testing efforts more productive.

With the right feature set, a test management tool makes teams focus more on what they do best. Specify your needs carefully, compare every option based on your needs, and pay attention to the requirements of every entity of the organization, project, and team.

Written by

Naz is a QA Engineer in a high-paced and quality obsessed environment. Passionate about new technologies and techniques in testing. Regularly attends test events and meetings. 
Currently working as a Software QA Engineer at Emakina.TR / EPAM Systems. LinkedIn: https://tr.linkedin.com/in/naztekinalp

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