Traq Software Stresses 7 Important Principals for Test Management

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Yet again, 2011 saw major software failures from major companies. Traq Software see failures in process contributing significantly to failures like these. Most forget these seven key test management concepts which help ensure high quality software releases.

Yet again in 2011 we saw a number of high profile software failures....

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Yet again, 2011 saw a number of high profile software failures which can largely be put down to poor software testing and poor test management. Financial services giants fined for hiding software issues that cost investors millions. Nationwide ATM systems down in a major Asian economy. And a smart phone provider that suffered an international blackout. These are just some of the high profile failures we heard about in 2011.

Many companies still fail to grasp some of the basic test management principals. As a result, pressure to release products before they are ready seems to take priority. Unfortunately this priority takes precedence over product quality. Yet the damage done by a poor software release can not be understated. Poor software products damage customer confidence, sap workers moral and can even wreck a companies bottom line.

The biggest part of ensuring that a company delivers good software products is based around the fundamentals of good test management. Below are 7 tips based on getting the test management part of your work flow right.

1. Make sure you have a repeatable process. A good process helps you see where you are and where you are going. It's like a map that guides you to deliver a good product. Without it you're trusting your arrival at your destination to luck.

2. Don't cut corners prior to a release. When the delivery date is getting closer there is, naturally, a tendency to want to skip some low priority test management tasks. In doing so you hope to get the product out on time. Resist this temptation and listen to your testers (see point 6 below).

3. Know the metrics. Defect find rates, cases executed and lines of code changed. All these metrics help you argue the case for why the product may, or may not, be ready for release. Without these facts at your finger tips it's pure folly guessing if the product is ready to release.

4. Listen to the testers. Software testers are your projects headlights. They light the road at night and help you read the map. They are trying to help you get to your destination in the shortest amount of time. Ignore their advice and you can be sure you'll end up taking the longest route to your destination.

5. Employ a good QA manager. The QA manager is like the pilot of the plane guiding the product to touch down. Would you trust your product release to a pilot who's only landed a plane once before? A good QA manager has an eye for balancing the demands of time, quality and features. He or she is worth listening too carefully.

6. Get the customer involved. The sooner your customer starts giving you feedback the sooner you can correct issues. It sounds counter intuitive to show the customer the product well before it's finished. Customer feedback can be one of the most useful inputs to help you improve though.

7. Ensure quality is every ones concern. Quality and test case management isn't just about a list of checks before you ship the product. Quality is created on day one by everyone on the project. It starts before you even start on the development. It's a mind set and something the whole team should be committed too.

Many companies have grasped the fact that a good product release results in higher levels of customer satisfaction and a better company bottom line. Making the commitment to product quality is not an easy path to take though. It's always tempting to take the shortcut. Companies learning the hard way have to accept the negative headlines and loss of business confidence. Those that have already learnt these lessons understand that test management is key and that good process leads to happy customers.

Media contact -
William Echlin
T: 0208 144 4211

About Traq Software Ltd
Traq Software implement test management tools and processes for companies looking to improve the quality of their software releases. Traq have clients all over the globe (including the US, Europe, Canada and Australia) who are delivering high quality software products.

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William Echlin
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