we solve

We can help your business

Request a Free Demo / trial


Insights | Insights Featured | Test Management Tools
16 April, 2024

From Chaos to Clarity: How to Simplify Testing with Test Management Tools

Chaos To Clarity

Over the last few weeks, I’ve extolled the virtues of test management tools, and why not? They’re the most important tool in a tester’s arsenal, simplifying testing, driving consistency, and turning the creation of complex reports into a trivial task.

In my recent articles, I’ve talked about their history, highlighted their potential for a return on investment, and compared tools you’re likely to encounter in the business world.

If you are not using a professional test management tool yet or are using one you need to replace, then this series of articles is your roadmap to success and the foundation of your business case.

Why Test Management Tools Are Awesome

Throughout these insights, I’ve discussed how test management tools are more than just a repository for test cases and defects:

  • On one level, test management tools are pivotal to effective testing. They’re a central hub that drives an efficient test team by connecting your requirements, testers, tests, and defects.
  • But test management tools can be even more than that—they can be your eyes and ears into the nitty gritty of a project, giving instant access to unique and powerful insights.

They’re Not Just for Testers

These tools don’t just help testers; they’re a goldmine for the entire team with features like defect workflows, progress updates, and live dashboards.

By integrating testing features with comprehensive project visibility, these tools not only cut down on costs and timelines but also drastically reduce live issues. Transforming your whole project.

In this edition of Testing Times, I round out the series by explaining how you can implement the key features of test management tools. These simple techniques will transform your testing processes and move you from chaos to clarity, all while saving time and money.

  • I’ll take you through the following steps:
  • Step 1. Centralise Your Assets to Set Up Success
  • Step 2. Access Real-Time Reporting with a Single Click
  • Step 3. Simply Everyone’s Life with Standardisation
  • Step 4. Customise Your Workflows to Fit Your Processes
  • Step 5. Cover Yourself with Auditable Test Runs

So, without further ado, let’s start moving from chaos to clarity…

Step 1. Centralise Your Assets to Set Up Success

Without a central hub, things will quickly get messy—lost results, duplicated effort, disappearing test cases, and more business risk. Oh, and real-time reporting is impossible.

With everything in one place, your team can find what they need when needed. Everyone can instantly retrieve test results, scripts, data, and other assets, streamlining the testing process.

Centralisation also underpins your whole reporting mechanism, allowing teams to instantly generate real-time insights. I’ll cover this in more detail later, but aggregating data in one place provides a rich, cohesive view of testing. Trends can be spotted, performance measured, and quality assessed at a glance.

How to Implement Centralisation

This one is simple: Just create, store, and execute all your tests, and raise your defects within the test management tool. Here’s a helpful tutorial to get started in ALM QC.

It’s worth mentioning here that I’ve seen instances where teams have executed scripts using Excel and then marked the results in the test management tool—this misses the whole point of centralisation and must be avoided at all costs!

Step 2. Access Real-Time Reporting with a Single Click

Modern test tools give you access to incredible dashboards and reports with just the click of a button.

Gone are the days of waiting around for the latest test results. Real-time reporting gives you a live feed of what’s happening as it happens.

Visual dashboards turn swathes of test data into understandable visuals and actionable project metrics. They allow you to track progress, find bottlenecks, and get a clear picture of your testing landscape.

How To Implement Reports and Dashboards.

Once you have everything standardised, as per the previous step, you don’t really need to do much more. You really just click a button. It is that simple.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can customise reports and dashboards for any audience—developers, project managers, stakeholders, etc. These don’t take long to set up, and once they’re built, they’ll always be up to date. Here’s some information on setting up dashboards in ValueEdge Quality (formerly ALM Octane).

Step 3. Simply Everyone’s Life with Standardisation

Standardisation removes unnecessary ambiguity and needless additional brain power. Your testers are there to test, not to wrack their brains thinking about how to build test cases, populate results, or raise defects.

You should strive to standardise your assets as much as possible. Make sure they share a common format, define any necessary prerequisites in the same way, create user fields for mandatory information and have test steps broken down to the same level of granularity.

Standardised tests are crucial for several reasons:

  1. They allow easy and rapid onboarding of new test team members. After all, test teams are more flexible than most, with business users often being pulled in to help during busy times.
  2. They provide consistent information, such as where a test failed or the estimated test duration; this is important when trying to pinpoint a defect, calculate test effort, or assess candidacy for automation. You need to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples.
  3. They enhance collaboration and communication within the team and across departments. When everyone uses a standardised approach, misunderstandings are minimised, which keeps projects on track and stakeholders aligned.

How to Implement Standardisation

Using a test management tool ensures that your format is standardised, as opposed to writing tests in Excel or Google Docs.

Also, most test management tools will allow you to create templates. These can help you define any mandatory information. Check out this page for more information on defining standard fields in OpenText ALM.

Step 4. Customise Your Workflows to Fit Your Processes

Tailoring your tools to fit your team’s workflow will streamline your processes. Plus, it’s nice when everything feels just right. Everyone works a bit better when things follow an easy process.

Moreover, test management tools can trigger email notifications so that nobody misses a beat.

These Instant alerts inform the team of changes, enabling prompt action and decision-making. This responsiveness is invaluable, especially when working with tight deadlines.

How to Implement Workflows

Test management tools allow you to easily create bespoke workflows, such as test build sign-off or defect lifecycles. It’s an absolute doddle, especially in tools like QC ALM and ValueEdge Quality (Formerly ALM Octane).

A word of caution, though, don’t necessarily over-engineer your process. It can be really tempting to go full belts and braces, but this can quickly get complicated.

Step 5. Cover Yourself with Auditable Test Runs

Keeping detailed records isn’t just about compliance—it’s about clearly showing what was tested and what wasn’t. This can protect and support your team when it counts.

Auditable test results are often stipulated by internal compliance or external regulations. But they can be just as important for other projects, giving concrete evidence and assurances.

These records are indispensable for retrospectives, audits, and any situation where you must prove due diligence.

For example, if there’s a live incident, test coverage and results will often be queried. Auditable test results allow the test team to show exactly what was and wasn’t covered. This can help defend the test team, and/or steer future test coverage.

How to Implement Auditable Test Runs

Test management tools make the auditing of test results easy. Users can attach screenshots, detailed notes, and execution logs within your test management tool to provide a clear narrative of the testing journey.

Here’s how to capture application screenshots in ALM.


So, there you have it! Test management tools will boost your testing game.

Implementing the steps above will take you from chaos to crystal clarity. As a reminder, they are:

  • Step 1. Centralise Your Assets to Set Up Success
  • Step 2. Access Real-Time Reporting with a Single Click
  • Step 3. Simply Everyone’s Life with Standardisation
  • Step 4. Customise Your Workflows to Fit Your Processes
  • Step 5. Cover Yourself with Auditable Test Runs

Also, I really want to stress how important it is to invest in the right tools to unlock these benefits.

I know it is tempting to use cheap or free tools or even Excel, but it’s a false economy, as I discussed in Risk v Reward: Are Test Management Tools Worth It? They are cheap for a reason and don’t add the value and time savings that professional tools offer.

Professional test management tools will save you time, cut costs, and make everyone’s job easier. Boom!

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

Stephen Davis LinkedIn profile

16th April 2024
the next generation of test tools

The Evolution of Test Tools: Passing the Baton

Test tools have long been essential to software quality and testing efficiency, but over the years, they have transformed significantly, becoming more powerful, cost-effective, and reliable than ever before. One test tool suite has been at the forefront of this evolution, tracing its lineage back to the 1990s.

Service Virtualization

Seriously, Why Aren’t You Using Service Virtualization?

Service Virtualization (SV) remains one of the most criminally underused tools in software testing. It’s astonishing to me just how many organisations still ignore its benefits – test earlier and save money. If you’re not using SV, you are missing out—plain and simple.

UFT Digital Lab

UFT Digital Lab 24.2: What’s New?

If you need to test multiple devices, OS versions, or browser types, you need UFT Digital Lab from OpenText (previously known as Mobile Center and UFT Mobile). It has a comprehensive suite of features specifically designed for mobile, tablet and web testing across myriad platforms.

TruClient performance testing

TruClient: Quick, Easy & Powerful Performance Testing

TruClient significantly speeds up the script creation process and allows you to capture true end-to-end application performance, including protocol level and front-end performance, e.g. how long screens or pages load.

ALM QC 241

What’s New in ALM/QC 24.1: Release Highlights

If you’re involved with waterfall projects, you may well be familiar with the test management tool ALM/Quality Center (ALM/QC), but you might be surprised at its capabilities. The latest release, Version 24.1, is a modern test management powerhouse.

VSM Building Blocks

VSM is Easy with ValueEdge from OpenText

Value Stream Management (VSM) can revolutionise your business, driving customer value and removing unnecessary costs and investments. However, it does require a rethink of internal processes and culture, which can be a daunting prospect. Fortunately, ValueEdge from OpenText is an end-to-end suite of powerful, user-friendly, intuitive tools that make VSM easy!

Unlock Value with Software Testing

Unlock Value with VSM: The Crucial Role of Software Testing

Delivering high-quality solutions is an essential part of Value Stream Management (VSM). After all, substandard solutions don’t deliver value to customers or shareholders. That’s why software testing is a central component in VSM, and it’s now easier than ever with the powerful and user-friendly OpenText ValueEdge testing tools.

How to implement VSM

How to Implement Agile & Test Management Within VSM

ValueEdge Agile and ValueEdge Quality work together to enable smooth software development within VSM landscapes. By integrating the two tools, you increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Agile and DevOps testing processes, driving quality and value.


VSM: Reduce Project Costs The Right Way

It’s hard for businesses to understand where their investments are going and whether they will translate to business and customer value, especially when it comes to software development…. This is where VSM comes in.

AI the unseen software development partner

AI: The Unseen Partner in Modern Software Engineering

Within software projects, AI (and ML) is increasingly used in areas including code generation, test automation, and project management, although many of these uses are often not in an officially sanctioned capacity. Where ChatGPT is a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, enterprise AI solutions are far more targeted, and far more robust.



Related Articles

To get other software testing insights, like this, direct to you inbox join the Calleo mailing list.

You can, of course, unsubscribe 

at any time!

By signing up you consent to receiving regular emails from Calleo with updates, tips and ideas on software testing along with the occasional promotion for software testing products. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time. Click here for the privacy policy.

Sign up to receive the latest, Software Testing Insights, news and to join the Calleo mailing list.

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time!

By signing up you consent to receiving regular emails from Calleo with updates, tips and ideas on software testing along with the occasional promotion for software testing products. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time. Click here for the privacy policy.