Agile is becoming the norm in the software development community and adoption rates have been increasing exponentially over the past decade. Recent surveys of development and IT professionals show that the majority of development teams now move from a waterfall approach to agile methodology. This transition has changed the way agile teams perform software testing. Instead of an end-of-cycle activity, they follow continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI) approaches. Since QA is at the forefront of software application projects, the need for more versatile test management tools is imperative for development teams.
Agile Test Management Tools – Important for Shift-Left Approach
Typically, testers would test the codes for errors and report back the findings to the developers. But with DevOps, testing has been spread across the entire software development life cycle (SDLC) and is not sidelined to a conventional software testing phase. While many argue that testers are no longer required due to the advent of test automation. It is just that testers have to be more adaptable and need tools that can help them become more agile.
As teams embrace agile testing methodologies, they require tools that support agility. With a proactive approach, it is crucial that the right tools are used to increase collaboration, efficiency, and agility. Effective QA and testing along with adequate tools prevent QA failures. Time saved is utilized in multiple test iterations coupled with a higher combination of test scenarios. Since agile development involves working with cross-functional teams, they require better communication and collaboration between QA teams and developers.
Testers use agile test management tools to be more productive and overcome problems associated with new technology platforms, devices, and integration with automation tools. For instance, JIRA is a popular agile test management tool designed for agile teams with a multitude of features, scrum boards, reporting and dashboards, dev tool integrations, etc. It allows testers to select a project type, leaving the decision at their choice whether they choose a waterfall approach or agile methodology. Here, testers get to decide how they design their tests – whether it will be completely agile or they will perform testing before rolling out software applications into production.
Similarly, there is a wide range of tools available with different features. But QA needs to make their choices more flexible. Since all tools provide flexibility. The underlying question is whether testers are flexible enough to use these tools to make a significant difference to the QA process in the coming years or not?
In the DevOps and agile ecosystem, testers follow continuous QA testing process. The right processed and tools help create the culture required to ensure business-oriented results. Above all, flexibility, scalability, integration are some important factors for successful test management. But this shift-left approach raises an important question, as to how flexible should a test management tool be? Should it support the waterfall approach, CI and CD approach, or support all of these? Or does it depend on the end-users (testers) how flexibly they utilize a test management tool to achieve quality assurance and speed?