Do you feel like you are always reacting to fire drills? Do you know how your teams are progressing, how they should be progressing, or why there is a deviation?
It is difficult to resolve impediments and risks if you don’t have insight into your teams’ progress. Here are six measures of enterprise software testing progress and why you should use them.
Measuring software progress empowers you to stop being reactive and instead be proactive. This allows you to:
Proactive management empowers you to spend less time dealing with fire drills. A cornerstone of an efficient and effective testing department is proactive management.
Fire drills create a lot of headaches and anxiety. Even if you feel like you can handle the pressure, many of your team members can’t. A happier and healthier team is a more productive team.
More proactive management leads to more efficient testing. Fire drills take more time to resolve and teams can do more when they get the right support at the right time.
Measuring progress alerts you to possible bottlenecks, impediments, and issues. You can’t hope to reduce risk if you have no insight into what risks your team faces.
More proactive management leads to more effective testing resulting in higher-quality code. People cut corners when they are under pressure to react to an issue.
These six measures will provide insight into how your department is progressing.
Understand how your teams are progressing by tracking the number of test cases run versus planned. This provides insight into whether your teams are keeping up or falling behind. A line chart is the easiest way to visualize the number of tests planned and run.
It is difficult to gain insight across many teams when you’re looking at individual team charts. It is critical to view the progress of all your teams in total. You should roll up team progress across projects, releases, features, or portfolios.
It is also critical that you can drill down. You will want to see how progress is being made across individual teams if you see that you ran fewer tests than planned for a release. Now you can resolve issues before they turn into problems.
This type of reporting may be difficult if you are using spreadsheets for reporting. A good software management tool with modern reporting will provide this chart.
Gain insight into how well your teams are executing by looking at the number of defects reported versus accepted. If teams are reporting a lot of defects that aren’t valid, then it is a good sign they need some help. A simple line chart is effective for visualizing this measure. Again, it is important to be able to roll up and drill down into this information for large enterprise teams.
It is important to track the number of test cases created versus the number of requirements created. This will highlight if your teams are not able to keep up with the demand of the requirements.
Ensure the total number of defects decreases as the project progresses. This shows you that the product quality is improving as the project goes on. There may be quality issues if you see the opposite occur.
Defect distribution by status and phase highlights which areas of the product are having trouble. This enables you to resolve the issues before they become more problematic.
Measuring the number of defects reported versus the number fixed provides insight into how well you are managing defects. These two numbers should move at the same rate. There is something wrong if there is a significant number of unfixed defects.
It is always important to identify whether you are going over budget. If the number is negative, you are doing well; if the number is too positive, you might be in trouble.
I hope this article has inspired you to take a closer look at how you measure your teams’ progress. Measuring progress is paramount, but it is only one component of measuring your enterprise software testing performance. Check out this webinar to learn how to improve software testing.
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