How testers can win back six working days a year

Jeff Downs, director of pre-sales Americas at Tasktop, explains a way in which software testers can save time and money

Testers are in a unique position to assess the health of a software project: are requirements fulfilled? Implementation defect-free? Defects tolerable once in production? Yet for many, their job is being compromised and getting tougher by the day thanks to handoff hell.

Guardians of the brand, testers ensure that only quality software leaves the door to meet the discerning needs of their customers. Yet a major technical oversight at organisations worldwide – a fragmented software value stream – is undermining their ability to their job properly.

You only have to look at a testing team’s extensive list of responsibilities to understand the kind of pressure they are already under:

  • Keeping abreast of the latest changes in technology and testing methods
  • Establishing standardised process and reporting methods
  • Covering all testing disciplines
  • Adapting to increasingly shorter turnaround times being accelerated by Agile and DevOps

Now a disjointed toolchain of best-of-breed tools is forcing them to spend valuable time in administriv, chasing colleagues for the vital cross-lifecycle data to establish ‘one source of truth’ for analysis. For this, they need end-to-end visibility and traceability between all key players in the software deliver process – especially with business analysts and developers.

Right thing, right time?

Otherwise how do they know they are testing the right thing at the right time? Or that developers are fixing the right defect on schedule? Requirements can change in an instant and if damaged software goes into production for a customer, testers are often the first in line to try and explain why.

Back in the day, the hope was that a test management tool could collate all this project-critical information. That dream is dead in the water for enterprises.

With all practitioners working in their own purpose-built tool – that is, developers in a developing tool, business analysts in a business analysis tool – obtaining a single accurate view of a project is near impossible because these tools do not naturally integrate with each other.

Meaning collaborative data becomes siloed. Testers (and all other practitioners) are forced into an exhaustive scavenger hunt to find the latest data, using manual means of knowledge-sharing such as logging into colleagues’ tools (after waiting for access from IT), email, status meetings, batch data transfer into spreadsheets.

All non-value-added activities that steal precious time away from testing (and other critical software development and delivery functions) that create value.

The focus, then, should be on connecting all systems so that practitioners have round-the-clock access to the right lifecycle information from within their own tool at the right time.

One click

This can only be properly accomplished with Tasktop’s Integration Hub, the only turnkey integration platform that connects your end-to-end software value stream, from idea to business result.

With a click a button, you can synchronise your test management system with hundreds of tools, and thousands of users and projects.

And all without the need for lengthy email trails, tedious meetings, mind-numbing spreadsheets, or erroneous/out of date information, because defects and other artifacts are automatically flowing across the value stream.

Even better, by cutting the average 20 minutes per practitioner a day (six working days a year!) spent on these manual chores, organisations (with average development and delivery team size of 1500 people) can save up to US$10million a year in productivity savings.

With software value stream integration, your test management system finally has the “single source of the truth” to provide test managers and other key executives with the project-wide insight that allows closer control and better decision-making.\

Not to mention keeping talented testers empowered and focused on what they do best – ensuring projects are continuously delivering high quality software for customers.