Measurement and Metrics for Test Management

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Lord Kelvin said “To measure is to know”. Measuring something is a very critical activity because “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”. So very apt for test measurement and metrics!

Metric, in common parlance, refers to “a system or standard of measurement.” For example, the mileage a car actually gives per litre of fuel compared to the mileage claimed by the manufacturer.

In terms of software, testing metrics (also known as test measurement) is the “quantitative measure of the extent, capacity, dimension, amount or size of some attribute of a system, system component, or process.”

Simply put, metrics is the quantitative measure using which we can estimate and verify the progress, quality, and health of a software testing effort. For example, the total number of defects present in an application.

Software testing metrics are used to analyse a software testing process in terms of performance, functionality, etc., and then using the data to improve its the quality and efficiency.

The Need for Measuring Test Metrics

Measuring Test Metrics is a highly business-critical activity that helps us:

  • Understand the specific type and amount of improvement required
  • Make correct and proper decisions related to technology or process change
  • Take well-informed decisions for the corrective actions to be taken
  • Gather fool-proof evidence of the claims made

Things to Consider While Identifying the Metrics

While collection and measurement of metrics is important, it is even more important to understand and define the correct testing metrics. If not done properly and with due diligence, collection of wrong data will have a double negative impact – not only would you have collected data that is of no use, you would also have wasted a lot of time and efforts on the same.

Here’s a list of a few things that must be taken into consideration while specifying test metrics:

  • Identify the target audience that needs the specific data – who are you collecting the data for?
  • Define a well-established goal and purpose for the metric being collected – and share it with the entire team
  • Explain all relevant and related metrics that are required for the project in question
  • Spend time to understand the cost impact or benefits of spending efforts on the collection of each identified metric, and allocate the phase that will benefit the most

Types of Metrics

Metrics are usually of the following three types:

  • Product related metrics: These metrics relate to the quality of software products and identifying them and taking corrective actions helps improve the quality of the product.
  • Process related metrics: These metrics, if identified and analyzed properly, help improve the efficiency of a process, for example, SDLC.
  • Project related metrics: These metrics are used to measure the efficiency with which a project is being run, and the tools being used in the project.

Different Stages of the Testing Metrics Life cycle

The Testing Metrics Life cycle usually consists of 4 phases: Analysis, Communication, Evaluation, and Report generation. Following are the brief details of the specific activities that need to be performed in each phase:

  • Analysis
    • Identify the specific metric that is to be measured. For example, the process related to project tracker.
    • Keeping in mind the identified metric as the base, define clearly the metrics as required. For example, the number of test scripts to be executed per day.
  • Communication
    • Explain the need for metric to stakeholder and testing team: This will help the teams understand the importance of collecting details for the specific metric.
    • Educate the testing team about the data points need to be captured for processing the metric: Identify and explain to the team the specific details that need to be tracked, determine the tracking frequency, and allocate the responsible resource. For example, at the end of each working day, the Manager of the Testing Team will generate a collated report of the 200 test scripts that are executed daily.
  • Report generation
    • Develop the report with effective conclusion: Identify the improvement areas based on the interpretation and analyses of the defined metrics. For example, if the number of test cases executed are less than the goal of 200, you need to conduct a proper investigation to understand the causes, and then take the corrective actions – whether to reduce the number of tests to be executed, or rectify what was causing the fall in numbers.
    • Distribute report to the stakeholder and take feedback.

At Gallop, we cover all the bases and ensure that correct metrics are collected for executing the right set of tests. We ensure the best quality for your product and that your customers are happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

9 Best Practices for Test Management


9 Best Practices for Test Management

As discussed in ‘Test Management – Managing Large Scale Projects’, even though there are many challenges that an organization may face while implementing and managing the computer software testing process – STLC – most of these challenges may be overcome using the best practices available.

A properly followed test management life cycle helps consistently meet and exceed the customer demands in terms of product quality. The race among organizations to reduce the time to market with the best quality products is laying an even greater stress today on such a framework than ever before. Being the center of attention, if followed properly, the process will lead to better products, and thereby more satisfied customers.

In this article I will try to explain 9 best practices that will lead to an effective test management environment.

Test Management Recommendations

Best practices for Test Management include keeping the test effort organized with well-defined processes and systems in place. Since different projects may have different specific testing requirements, an effective test management process can deliver a predictable and repeatable process. Processes that are predictable and repeatable are usually easier to estimate and plan which help the overall management and control of a project.

To overcome the challenges that hinder the implementation of a successful test management environment, organizations may try to use the following well-known practices to implement a successful test management system:

  1. Begin the testing activities early on in the SDLC:
    Even though this is an unsaid rule of sorts, not many organizations follow it. This leads to bugs being identified at a later stage – which adds on to the costs. The test process, therefore, must begin as soon as
    a few test cases have been written or if they can be extracted from the initial software requirements.
  2. Perform iterative tests:
    Software testing must be performed iteratively. This risk-based approach helps generate important testing assets and also helps reduce problems going ahead by garnering focus on bugs or any unwelcome delays early on in the cycle.
  3. Reuse test assets and improve time spent every time:
    Recycling and reuse of test procedures, test automation objects etc.– even though have become overused terms – always help enhance the quality and efficiency of a product, and of teams too that can save a lot of time and effort by this simple strategy.
    However, it requires test management skills to be able to foresee if a certain asset can be reused in future.
  4. Utilize testing and testing strategies based on requirements:
    Different strokes fell different oaks, they say. Similarly, to perform different types of test, such as agile, security, mobile, big data and analytics, etc., you need to follow different testing approaches that suit the specific kind of test management framework. In other words, try to follow a requirements-based testing approach that not only helps in system/application validation, but also helps in calculating the testing efforts needed.
  5. Ensure proper coordination between co-located testing resources:
    Utilizing the skills and an effective coordination of co-located resources is the need of the hour as it helps overcome resource issues, maximize productivity, and improve timelines – thereby improving ROI. To overcome the inherent technical challenges involved, proper tools and channels such as utilizing Web clients or automatically replicated data must be used.
  6. Define & enforce flexible testing processes:
    Because different projects have different testing needs and require different testing effort, we need customizable test management processes for creating an automated workflow. This process should be repeatable, and also allow for further optimization and modifications as per requirement. For a successful test management implementation, it is extremely important to clearly define the process along with the workflow – and then enforce the same strongly to be followed by the team. This is especially true if your organization adheres to strict regulations such as CMMI-SVC v1.3, Maturity Level 5, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2013, or HIPPA. These standards need to be audited and thus have strict compliance needs for validation.
  7. Coordinate & integrate with the Development teams – use DevOps shift-left practice:
    To achieve maximum communication and seamless integration of a product testing environment, testing and development teams need to work in complete tandem with each other. This improves quality, reduces any communication issues, and brings to the fore any missed details.
  8. Communicate the correct status at the right time:
    The thing with proper communication is that if not made at the right moment, it might also cost an opportunity. Proper test management involves complete sharing of all relevant data such as goals, status, etc. in the right format, at the right time, to the right stakeholders, for a project to be successful.
  9. As someone said – “To save time, automate, automate, automate!”:
    Performing the many tasks involved in test management involves a lot of time and effort. Utilize Specific Test Management Tools – commercial or open source – to reduce the time spent. While most of these test management tools need to be installed in-house, there are others that can be accessed as Software as a Service (SaaS). For example, HP ALM/Quality center, QAComplete, Silk Central, Zephyr, JIRA, and IBM Rational Quality Manager.


In short, it is recommended to use newer approaches for implementing a successful test management scenario. Following the best practices suggested herein will help overcome almost all sorts of obstacles.

Gallop Solutions is an organization specializing in the area of Test Management that has a team of highly skilled, co-located software testing professionals who ensure delivery of quality products that help quicker go-to-market and also control efforts and expenses.

Contact us today!


The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Test Management – Managing Large Scale Projects

Test Management – Managing Large Scale Projects

The need for continuous improvement and sustenance of quality in a software development is one that cannot be ignored. Apps, products, tools et al – all use software that is always at the risk of having one or the other bug or issue. The availability of a plethora of configurations, mobiles, browsers, etc. further adds on to the complexity of the situation.

Therefore, it is but obvious how critical is the need and importance of an end-to-end process of software validation and testing to be able to attain the desired quality. This, in turn, necessitates the understanding of what Test Management is all about.

This article briefly covers what Test Management entails, some of the challenges faced during implementation of the framework, and some best practices that might be followed to overcome the obstacles and emerge as a market leader.

What is Test Management and what does it entail?

Per Wiki, “Test management most commonly refers to the activity of managing the computer software testing process.”

In more generalized terms, test management is the name given to the process used to successfully drive and control an organizations testing activities.

The basic underlying process of a test management framework requires a testing team to plan, develop, execute, and assess all test assets, artifacts, and activities that fall within the purview of Software Testing Lifecycle (STLC). The success of this flow depends on how well the efforts for all the activities were coordinated – even if the teams are collocated.

Different Phases of STLC

The different phases of the STLC are described briefly below:

  1. Managing Test assets/artifacts: This refers to the proper maintenance of items to be tested, along with the tools required for performing the actual tests. Test assets may be in the form of software, scripts, data, or hardware.
  2. Planning addresses the following questions: what test cases to test, where to manage the documentation related to the tests, and when to perform the test iterations.
  3. Development/Authoring refers to capturing the specific requirements for successfully completing the given tests.
  4. Execution covers the process of sequentially running the assembled scripts for generating the desired result.
  5. Assessing/Reporting entails the process of analyzing the test results and then sharing the reports. These reports form the basis of determining the current status of the tests conducted along with the overall quality of the product being tested.

The overall effort generates a huge amount of data based on which metrics are collected that help measure and track the quality goals of the project.

Test Management Challenges & Issues

There are many challenges that an organization faces while implementing and following STLC. A few of these challenges are mentioned below in brief.

  • Not enough/insufficient time to test products due to tight deadlines
  • Not enough/lack of resources with better opportunities cropping up everywhere
  • Co-located/distributed testing teams
  • Frequent changes made in requirements
  • Development teams do not update changes on time, or provide the right information

Best Practices to Overcome the Challenges

To increase ROI, organizations need to upgrade their software testing skills and come out of the older document-based methods. To overcome the challenges such as those mentioned above, organizations may try to use the following well-known practices to implement a successful test management system:

  • Begin the testing activities early on in the cycle
  • Perform iterative tests
  • Reuse test assets and improve time spent every time
  • Utilize testing based on requirements
  • Ensure proper and effective coordination between co-located testing resources to leverage the best use of skills
  • Define & enforce flexible testing processes
  • Coordinate & integrate with the Development teams – use shift-left practices of DevOps
  • Communicate the correct status at the right time
  • Focus on goals and results
  • As someone said – “To save time, automate, automate, automate!”
  • Effectively track and redress defects (commonly known as bugs) as they can break a product
  • Manage the testing team carefully and tactfully. This plays a very crucial role in the success of an organizations growth.
  • Follow different testing strategies for different types of tests to be conducted – say security, performance, agile, etc. In essence, the testing strategy must be devised so as to best fit the test management framework.
  • Utilize specific Test Management Tools. There are several commercial and open source test management tools available in the market today. While most of these test management tools need to be installed in-house, there are others that can be accessed as Software as a Service (SaaS). For example, HP ALM/Quality center, QAComplete, Silk Central, Zephyr, JIRA, and IBM Rational Quality Manager.


In essence, to overcome the challenges of implementing a successful Test Management framework and to reap the great benefits of the same, try to follow the best practices suggested herein. Doing so will definitely improve product quality.

Gallop Solutions is an organization specializing in the area of Test Management that has a team of highly skilled, co-located software testing professionals who ensure delivery of quality products that help quicker go-to-market and also control efforts and expenses.

Contact us today!

PS: Watch this space next week for further details on the challenges to be overcome and best practices for setting up a successful test management framework.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Evaluating Test Management Tools – Top 8 Parameters to Consider

Test Management encompasses anything and everything that we do as testers. Our day-to-day activities include:

  • Creating and maintaining release/project cycle/component information
  • Creating and maintaining the test artifacts (requirements, test cases, etc) specific to each release/cycle.
  • Establishing traceability and coverage between the test assets
  • Test execution support – Test suite creation, test execution status capture, etc.
  • Metric collection/Report-graph generation for analysis
  • Bug tracking/defect management
What are the primary factors while choosing test management tools?

Based on our experience on multiple tools, we have identified a few prominent test management tools which provide rich features and ensure substantial cost benefit.


With the presence of open source tools, the space of test management tool has become very dynamic & flexible in terms of customization based on the project requirements. Instead of opting for proprietary tools, we can use much better, flexible & inexpensive options available in the form of open source tools based on individual project requirements.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.