What is test Management?
Test management is the process of managing testing activities. We can comprehend the meaning from the term itself. Test management thus is a complete series of planning, execution, monitoring and control activities.
Test management of course caters to both manual and automation testing. It also comprises of managing the entire testing team working on the project, monitoring their activities, pay close attention to various details involved in the process of the entire SDLC. The aim of test management activities are to prioritize tasks that are imperative, analysing who is best suited for which task, allocating resources accordingly, forecasting risks involved in the testing. An adept tester is expected to apply his ingenuity and try applying the most suitable resource required at the right place.
Assigning Roles and Responsibilities :
- Test management team assigns roles to be carried out by the testers. Each tester is responsible for carrying out the responsibilities assigned, adhering to the prescribed specifications.
- Test management is also responsible for maintaining and developing product metrics during the entire course of development.
- Test management is held responsible for ensuring that the developers commit least mistakes during the coding or design phase of the software project.
Areas into which test Management can be broken down into are :
- Strategic Management -Strategies form an integral part of test management or any business process. Strategising missions or policies towards attainment of the ultimate objective. The subtasks within this process includes – evaluate the extent of effectiveness of the mission, managing the various aspects associated with the process of software development, managing relationships with the external sources well, defining the metrics to be used to measuring the performance levels, merge the test strategies with the client's needs, managing various life cycle models etc.
- Operational Test Management -This process deals with project management, managing external relationships like determining types of external relationships, addressing contractual issues, defining communication strategies, project management aspects like estimation of time and effort, performing risk assessment, test project and evaluation include tracking information, internal and external reporting , and finally evaluating the effectiveness of all the previous steps.
- Managing the Test Team -This involves two things – managing the test team and managing across the organisation. The former one consists of activities like building, developing and leading the test team. The latter one includes monitoring the test team, placing the test team in the organisation and handle the ethical issues.
Collaborating all the ideas mentioned till now, a test manager/expert is thus able to accomplish the following tasks:
- Lead the test team to manage and guide them towards the attainment of the committed objectives, at the senior level.
- Deciding on test management strategy and develop Key Performance Indicators to implement commitment of objectives.
- Constant assessment of the present status of test management, propose improvements at each level and present the idea as to how each task is linked to another for achieving the test objective in the context of business objectives.
- Proper alignment of business goals with the project goals by creating a master plan by mapping the requirements with the activities.
- Empathize with the team members to sort out issues, is they are facing any and make necessary amendments from time to time.
Any activity within an organisation has to be planned. Only an efficient planning can lead to a smooth flow of a project. Management forms the core of any activity within an organisation as it takes into account all the aspects like time, manpower, budget etc.
Therefore test management in the context of software testing is essential towards an effective and timely project delivery.