When it comes to gathering test data, most testers generally use one type of tool to put down the results and do their testing: spreadsheets. Almost every computer out there has Microsoft Excel, so using it seems like the more sensible solution.
However, there are other ways to manage this data, a very efficient one being test case management. In this article, we will learn more about this management option and how it compares to spreadsheets when used for testing.
When you’re using spreadsheets, you can most likely only input the test reports. For instance, Excel itself doesn’t do much in terms of testing unless you export the data from third-party tools.
However, test management solutions are created with automation in mind. Some tools have their own testing features, whereas others provide integration to a third party. This way, you won’t have to piece the reports together each time you do a manual test.
Excel can indeed help you save a lot of time and effort while being very easy to use. However, you can’t split the tabs and change or reuse the document. Very often, trying to reuse the same spreadsheet or data can lead to extra headaches you do not want to handle.
That being said, if you use test cases in favor of spreadsheets for testing, you gain another advantage: reusability. The majority of tools allow you to group different tests into scenarios, all of which may be executed at once. This will allow you to see whether a specific build or code gets past an essential check or not.
When using spreadsheets, collaboration means sending several documents a couple of times a day. During this time, you’ll be praying to the gods that you did not work on an old file by accident. This can significantly slow down collaboration, especially if you have bugs to solve.
On the other hand, test case management offers real-time access to anyone who needs it. Stakeholders can access the same document when it’s their turn, which they are often notified of through comments or ticket tags.
Version History Tracking
When working in a collaborative testing environment, many of the team members can simultaneously change the test cases. If the changes are made in programs such as Excel, you can likely kiss the old versions “goodbye” if you didn’t back them up on the cloud.
However, with test case management, you can keep a clear history of each change that was made, including who modified it. This makes it easier for you to revert if necessary. It also lets you know precisely when a modification was made so that you don’t accidentally botch things.
The Bottom Line
Spreadsheets have long since been a reliable tool to gather data reports. However, if multiple team members use them, the spreadsheets can end up causing even more confusion. On the other hand, test case management can keep things in order and offer you the right information exactly when you need it. This can easily help streamline the workload.