In an agile environment, software teams no longer wait for the new functionalities to be ready for deployment at the end of the software development process. Instead, they keep pushing each functionality that is ready for production to the next development stage. This is how they aim to achieve faster and more frequent software rollout. However, it is the QA team that has the final say in gauging deployment readiness of new functionality. They rely on two major factors here:
- Test coverage: If the product has been tested thoroughly enough
- Unresolved bugs: All major bugs are resolved.
This is why project managers need a status update report from the QA manager/QA lead on a daily basis. A QA manager is responsible to prepare a QA status manually based on the requirement, daily or weekly (as required). Since the release cycles have shortened and are more frequent, it takes a lot of time for QA to prepare the accurate status report manually, they are in dire need of a solution that can make the process less time-consuming and less cumbersome.
Using a Test Management Tool to Link Requirements with Test Cases and Test Execution Results
A test management tool earns the spotlight as it has a lot to offer to the QA teams in this situation. It helps in linking the business requirements with the test cases and preparing test execution results. As a result, testers can track the test coverage based on requirements to ensure that each requirement is also tested thoroughly. A test management tool also helps in tracking and reporting test execution results with a detailed view of the ‘pass’ and ‘failed’ tests based on these requirements.
Test management tools support the planning and decision-making process of project managers based on which requirement should be pushed into production. For this purpose, they use the Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM).
What is a Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)?
In an RTM, testers set up a process of documenting the links between the user requirements proposed by the client to the application being built. It is a document used to map and trace user requirements with the test cases to ensure that an adequate level of testing is achieved for each and every requirement. The process of reviewing all the test cases that are defined against any requirement is called traceability. Traceability enables testers to determine which requirements had the most thorough testing and which had the most number of defects during the testing process.
The focus of any testing process should be optimum test coverage. Test coverage means that a tester needs to test everything there is to be tested and a testing project should aim at achieving 100% test coverage. Requirements Traceability Matrix provides a platform to ensure that each coverage is checked. It helps in creating a snapshot to identify coverage gaps. It provides metrics to determine the number of test cases run, passed, failed, or blocked for each requirement.
Why is Requirement Traceability Required?
Requirement Traceability is used to link the requirements, test cases, and defects accurately. The entire application is tested by requirement traceability to achieve end-to-end testing of the application. It ensures the quality of an app as all the features are tested thoroughly. Quality control can only be achieved as software gets tested for unforeseen scenarios with few defects and all the functional and non-functional requirements being met. RTM aids software testing in the speculated time, the scope of the project is well-determined and its implementation is achieved as per customer requirements while remaining within the budget. It also prevents defect leakages as the entire application is tested for its requirements.
It is not possible for QA leads and their respective teams to meet their release deadlines without using an appropriate test management tool. These tools have capabilities that help gauge the health of a new code based on requirements. A Requirement Traceability Matrix allows testers to map and trace all of the client’s requirements with the relevant test cases and identified defects. It is a document that serves the main purpose that no test cases are missed and so every functionality of the app is covered and tested thoroughly. The quality of an app is termed as good or satisfactory when the test coverage is maximum and all the major defects are resolved.