Jira – Great For Developers, Not Ideal For Testers

Jira is Not Ideal For Testers

Just because you can use Jira for test management, it doesn't mean you should. Jira is not a test management tool. 

It will end up causing you more problems. 

If you're running Agile projects, you need to take testing seriously. You need a genuine test tool.

Jira is a Great Agile Management Tool

I am not anti-Jira. Far from it. Jira is a great agile management tool. It lets teams collaborate, allocate work, and monitor progress. 

Jira also offers reasonable bug tracking capabilities - It was a defect management tool first after all.

It's important that your test tool should integrate with Jira 

If I had to choose an Agile project management tool,  Jira is absolutely the tool I would pick. It's lean and focused. That's probably why it's so successful. 

But a test tool must do much more than Jira can offer.

  • Centralizing your view of testing
  • Scheduling manual and automated runs
  • Capturing exploratory data

These are just a small sample of tasks your test management tool needs to perform.

If you're running Agile projects, you already know how crucial testing is. You need a test tool that accelerates and improves quality, not one that does the job badly.

It's Important to Use the Right Tool For the Job

I get the appeal. Jira is already embedded in your teams; everyone knows how to use it. Why not use it for test management? Well, Jira lacks essential test management capability. 

Sure, Jira can cover some elements of test management, at a very basic level. But it will end up wasting your time and effort and using Jira will impact product quality badly.

Here's a crude example to illustrate the point...

Let's say you wanted to water a football pitch. You could, in theory, use measuring jugs, but you wouldn't. It would take a lot of time, and a lot of people. Even with a hundred people though, it wouldn't get the job done as quickly as a sprinkler system. 

You wouldn't get complete even coverage. You'd get variations in pouring technique. There'd be wastage, slopping around after filling up. All in all, it’s a bad solution

It's the same with Jira. No matter how much effort you put into it, you wouldn't get a perfect solution. It is not an appropriate tool for the job. 

You Should Demand More From A Test Management Tool

A test tool is not just a passive repository for tests and defects. Your test tool should actively help drive software quality.

There are many areas where a test tool can help you, your test team, and your project. I've focussed on just a couple of these below:

Test Management Tools Must Give An Overall View of Quality

One of the main things you need from a test management tool is a centralised view of quality.

The ability to not only assess progress but crucially, identify areas of concern. With a genuine test tool like ALM Octane, you can view quality across all your projects in one central dashboard.

From that one central location, you can then drill down into specific projects and further into specific functional areas.  You can drill down into tests that are failing, and the defects that are causing the fails. You can understand which requirements are linked to the failed defects. 

This is all from a single view, without any need for complicated data extraction and compilation. Then you can run a report and distribute to the whole team.

Jira does not give you this capability

Test Management Tools Must Provide Risk-Based Quality Management

Testing is all about risk management. 'Risk-based testing' has become a ubiquitous term in software development, but it's quite misleading. All testing is risk-based. The whole point of testing is to remove the risk of failure. 

When people talk about 'Risk-based testing', what they're really talking about is prioritised risk testing. With a proper test tool, you can quickly and easily create, and execute risk-based test packs. Jira doesn't let you do this.

Micro Focus Octane Provides A Comprehensive Test Management Solution

As I've already covered, Jira is not a test management tool. If you want a true Agile test tool, you need Micro Focus ALM Octane.

Not only does Octane integrate seamlessly with Jira, but it also provides a wealth of test management functionality:

  • Requirement Management
  • Release Management
  • Custom Workflows
  • Custom and User Defined Fields
  • Support for Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
  • IDE integration with IntelliJ, Eclipse and Visual Studio
  • CI/CD Pipeline topology visualisation
  • Build and Test Failure Analysis
  • Agile SCM linked to your backlogs
  • Pipeline Code Coverage Tracking
  • Advanced Reporting and Analytics
  • OData Support - Advanced Reporting
  • Audit Trails

Octane is a Cost-Effective Test Management Solution

ALM Octane licensing can be tailored to suit your needs - and your price point.

There is a range of different options to choose from, including:

  • Concurrent or Seat licenses
  • On-premises or SaaS 
  • Enterprise or Pro versions 

Jira is Not A Test Management Tool

I know Jira can be tempting, but it is not the right tool for the job. If you're running Agile projects, Micro Focus ALM Octane is the only test management tool 

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

28th September 2021

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