The world seems to accelerate daily. Consequently, companies are consistently challenged to improve and maintain the efficiency and quality of software products for the retention of consumer interest. Consistent reliability of software releases revolves around the nucleus of automated test management.
At times, projects conduct testing that is insufficient to meet time constraints, thus limiting software quality with subsequent adverse effects on customer satisfaction and ultimately increasing expense with possible recalls and the retooling of releases. Added costs, customer displeasure, and time-consuming modifications can be avoided with:
- Exacted testing strategies.
- Advanced testing procedures.
- Accurate assessment of testing requirements.
- Subsequent test monitoring and maintenance.
The solution to insufficient testing is effective and efficient automated test management, which:
- Significantly reduces subsequent software maintenance.
- Supports and promotes robust software development.
- Speeds up the testing process.
- Smoothly integrates with incremental development.
- Ensures cost-effective, straightforward testing procedures.
- Best ensures consistent deployment of reliable and quality software products.
Automated test management serves to strengthen software functionality. In an Agile environment, automated testing quickly responds to fluctuating software needs and requirements with newly generated test cases and modulated metrics.
Source: LinkedIn, Bharathi Krishnamurthi
To meet testing requirements, a testing strategy that is led by automated test management standardizes both software testing and development. In addition, sustained manual testing is evaluated by automated metrics as to its efficiency in assuring software reliability. For ensured accuracy and to avert errors, the best sequence for developing automated test modules is to:
- Initially, develop modules for high-value tests.
- Regression testing for changes to software coding and design.
- Test past errors and newly discovered deficiencies.
- Test highly redundant tasks and scenarios.
- Test cases which are frequently used.
- Test cases having low impact on user experience and software functionalities.
Automated testing accelerates the speed and efficiency of the testing process, best ensuring the timely release of software products. Reuse of well-designed test modules allows automated tests to continuously and rapidly re-execute testing processes. Automated regression tests are essential to stabilizing system functionality, significantly shortening deployment cycles, and assuring delivery of better quality software.
Use of test automation allows QA departments to more efficiently orchestrate quality assurance tasks. Testing strategies are facilitated through automation, enabling concurrent QA analysis and test innovation. With reliable production and quickened time-to-market, automated testing better assures increased ROI.
What Is Automated Test Management?
Automated test management uses testing software to execute tests on user software development. Automated test modules compare actual functional outcomes with predicted functionality. Formalized and formulated process repetitively perform necessary and required testing procedures which would be difficult to perform manually without the accuracy of automated results. Thus, automated test management is critical to continuous software delivery.
Test management tools plan testing processes, store information on testing procedures, and report the state of quality assurance. Test modules employ different paths toward testing outcomes determined by the different features within software components. Automated test management tools run automated tests and retrieve data from test results, manage multi-faceted test environments, and display information on defects and deficiencies.
Testing consolidated through automated test management facilitates quick data analysis, fully communicates the state of software functionality, tracks defects, enables collaboration across project teams, and often integrates management requirements into the testing process.
Automated Advances Over Manual Testing
Manual testing routines can be monotonous, causing inconsistent attention to detail. Consequently, errors tend to prevail in manual testing as opposed to the accuracy of automated testing. Test automation continuously and repeatedly executes precision in the analysis of software functionality. Test automation smoothly occurs without a laborious, time-consuming exercise in manual undertakings. Automated test management can relieve QA testers of otherwise time devouring efforts in test monitoring and development with such advances as:
- Regression tests which best ensure software and system stability.
- Testing the hierarchical platforms of client/server systems.
- Testing that is data-driven, testing different input methods and their outcomes.
- A test environment and database that is restorable to a constant for repeated execution of test modules.
- Allowing for the building of test suites which cover multiple application features.
- Specific focus on each individual functionality.
- Independent testing environments which can either run independently or in an independently designed testing suite.
Automated test management smoothly executes different types of testing, and diverse reasons for testing, with assured efficiency and accuracy. Test automation highly advances:
- Functional testing to ensure stable operations.
- Regression testing to ensure that new software components have not changed system behavior.
- Exception testing, which forces error conditions into the system to analyze system response.
- Stress tests that determine the capacities of applications, interfaces, and system infrastructures.
- Performance tests for assurance that systems adequately execute online procedures to fulfill business forecasts and requirements.
- Load testing to determine the expansion and capacity points at which systems can become degraded, assessing system strengths.
Using automated test management to lead and consolidate your testing regimen better assures more reliable and quality deployment.
Source: Beizer, B. Software System Testing and Quality Assurance, Van Nostrand, 1984
Structuring Your Automated Testing Process
Information overload when attempting a test technological functionalities is almost assuredly a recipe for testing failures. Automated test management prevents you from losing track of the testing process. Implementing the appropriate tools gets you the desired test results and restores your control over testing sequences.
Integrate test automation into the iterative increments of your agile processes, and couple automation with required manual tests for consolidated test sequences. Design your test modules and formulate metrics from a keen perspective of the comprehensive test environment. Knowing how each test suite or module logically and sequentially fits into the overall test management design develops an expansive view of software purpose and testing priorities.
Master and examine your automated test environments to merge different configurations, numerous user demands, and multiple processing environments into a consistently and logically designed testing operation. Applying the right automated testing tools to the right software components is the first step in setting up modules and metrics which assess the exact functionalities in the most efficiently aligned sequence.
Link defects to requirements to test the impact of each component deficiency. Regression testing highlights the impact of change. In addition, unit, functional, and exception testing designed to evaluate impact as well as function are invaluable in assuring the reliability of software products.
Define key software testing metrics. Which measures are crucial to operation? Which functionalities best engage customers? Selective concentration on key metrics enhances the efficiency and marketability of software releases.
Develop test modules in logical sets to ultimately ease test management. Reports and test results are much more easily filed and retrieved within logical sets of documented outcomes. Sets can also more fully associate historical and dashboard data for reference and replication. Depending on complexity, testing sets can enlarge into test suites for expansion and increased depth of verification and validation. Upfront planning and development will more quickly facilitate test processes over time.
Automated Test Management and the Enterprise
Enterprise test management examines both test efficiency and their effects on business solvency. Testing software releases previous to delivery is critical to enterprise ROI. Efficient enterprise test management best assures that releases are actually ready for delivery. Successful test management strategies require automated testing.
Enterprise priorities often require that automated test phases evaluate software in adherence to the projected stability and complexity of the product. Management in addition may demand that test cases and scenarios focus individually on each separate test phase. For less stable software components, stakeholders may require multiple testing of each phase. And to ensure software stability and adhere to budget restrictions, organizational imperatives may limit or forestall product design changes or additions late in the development cycle.
Automated testing contributes to enterprise success according to the extent of testing balance. Balanced testing metrics consolidate budget interests, test management strategy, validate the quality of assessment, and measure timeliness in achieving results. Businesses rely on specified, exacted, and accurately designed metrics in three areas of evaluation:
- Metrics to track real-time execution of software functionalities.
- Assessment of the test itself, comparing the test process to the test plan.
- Assessing testing contribution to business improvement over time, comparing resulting business performance to predefined benchmarks, best practices, or key performance indicators.
At times, when test project complexity overruns testing strategies, enterprise must step in to reformulate strategies per business initiatives, and thereby meet the requirements of organizational imperatives. However, it remains the responsibility of QA testing teams to keep projects on track with enterprise goals and requirements. Enterprise test management is the most efficient, error proof means with which to organize software evaluation projects. With the use of automated testing to balance metrics and analyze progress, quality enterprise test management can continuously sustain the successful deployment of reliable software applications that are lucrative products which secure business stability.
Test management helps businesses define software specifications and their impact on ROI. Cost-to-market, affected by time-to-market, along with business initiatives, are all enterprise revenue components placed in the hands of QA test teams. Automated testing must become integral to the entire software lifecycle.
Integrated test data management, extensive reporting, along with quality and process controls are essential to managing reliable, quality software releases. Software which is being re-released after coding and innovation updates especially requires the detailed historical and regression testing that ensures software performance. Execution of testing that accurately performs the in-depth analysis of product functionality is crucial to the rationale of enterprise existence.
Automated testing is customer driven. All test planning, design, considerations, and review are outfacing towards consumer preferences, engagement, and demands. Accelerated software design and developmental innovations, proactive decision making, and continuous consumer demand for additional software resources place businesses in a position which consistently requires dependence on reliable test automation. Enterprise test management helps managers, engineers, QA teams, and agile development teams design and employ automated test options that stimulate production throughout the entire enterprise.