How to choose test management software

How to choose test management software

Imagine you are buying a brand-new laptop.

You wander over to the nearest computer shop…

Take a look at what’s on display…

And choose the cheapest one.

That would be a crazy way of picking such an important item, wouldn’t it?

You would never just pick a computer that “is the cheapest”. Surely, you would put some thought into what you want to get out of your next computer and find one that fits those needs…

…Or you might end up with the wrong machine.

Some computers come bundled with goodies that will save you time and money - others, not so much.

To make sure your money is well-spent, a little research is in order.

Most companies buying test management tools don’t ask enough questions 

How does this compare to picking test management tools?

This is a serious purchase with potentially enormous business implications.

And it’s important to go through a well-thought-out buying process.

As a seller of these tools, I am often shocked at just how few questions companies ask about what options might best suit their needs, and what they get for their money.

You need a broad view of your own requirements – How this tool will be used, what it needs to achieve, who is going to use it.

And you must be aware that there are tools out there you have never heard of, which might offer you further benefits or features that make your life easier.

However, I am more shocked by those that focus on “price before productivity”. 

“When picking test management tools, the key questions are not “How much does it cost?” or “Is such-and-such a tool still around?”.

Start by asking: “Which tool will help me accomplish our organisation’s goals?”

Quality tools should deliver a great improvement in productivity, often as much as 25%. Even a 5% time saving will most likely deliver enough ROI to justify the cost. That should be your prime concern.

This can cost more than the “saving” they made. 

There are also lots of options that you mistakenly think you can’t afford, and so never investigate.

The result?

Much like the consumers coming home with the wrong computer, too many companies end up with the wrong test management tools – despite the best of intentions.

The key question to ask

So how do you pick the right tool?

The key is this.

Instead of asking, “How much does it cost?” or “Is such-and-such a tool still around”, focus instead on “What do I need – what is essential and what is desirable?”

In other words, don’t even start the buying process until you have a very clear idea of your requirements.

Then talk to the providers to find the right tools for the job. Very often, they will know of options which you simply could not know about, even investigating online. And it is their duty to help you find the right tool – not just sell you any old thing!

When picking testing tools you should be taken through an extensive discovery process, so that all your requirements are completely clear from the start. That way, you always end up with the right tool for the job.

If this is something you'd like help with, please get in touch.

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a Micro Focus (formerly HPE Software) 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

1st October 2018

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