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Understanding Test Case Management

We all know that testing is important for any product in any industry. But what exactly is test case management?

Is your mobile app testing as thorough as it needs to be?

Are your test cases effective?

If you answered no to either of the above, then you’re not delivering a quality app to users.

If you’re developing software, thorough testing is essential. Inferior or flawed apps won’t find success in an increasingly crowded and cut-throat market. In today’s mobile app environment, customers have no reason to endure apps that don’t live up to expectations. Competition is often simply too great for them to give you a second chance.

In the mobile app market, the phrase you only get one chance at a first impression has never been more true.

In order to be competitive and relevant, businesses must make sure apps are tested for every possible situation. This can become grueling, time-consuming, tedious, and particularly prone to human error.

And the bigger and more complex the software, the greater the chance of something being missed.

To be perfectly clear, this is a game of roulette that you don’t want to play. 

Testing must be done right, with the right tools and processes, shifting left as early as possible. Good test case management is indispensable when it comes to getting quality products to market quickly and efficiently.

This article will discuss what test case management is, types of tests, effective case management, tools, automation, best practices and obstacles.

What is test case management?

Software development and testing go hand in hand, and with today’s need for rapid deployments, testing for many, if not most businesses, is continuous. Good test case management is necessary to ship quality products to market as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

It must be noted that the complexity and difficulty of testing is directly tied to the functionality of the application. Test cases can be quite complex and time-consuming, and it’s critical that test cases are developed to test completely, correctly, and efficiently.

Management of test cases is a process of test case planning, execution, monitoring, and reporting to ensure quality through efficient testing.

Effective case management

A good test case management process will help deliver a quality product faster because:

  • Test teams have a clear understanding of what to execute through well-defined inputs and expected outputs with completion of the test. Quality tests will enable the team to test more cases in a shorter amount of time.
  • In very large businesses, keeping tests in a central repository will allow various teams assigned to the same project to avoid compiling similar tests. Using one test case will save time and boost productivity.
  • A similar situation involves the same error being raised by more than one team on the same project causing duplicate test case creation.
  • Another consideration in efficiency of test case management is using prioritization of test cases. When applications are complex, it becomes necessary to select the right cases to test. 

Types of test cases

Test cases must cover the events and tasks of the application to ensure it functions correctly and meets user requirements.

Types of test cases can include:

  • Functionality tests that make sure an app works as expected.
  • UI tests user experience.
  • Interface tests ensure the app appears as planned.
  • Usability tests ensure the user’s experience is as expected.
  • Data tests ensure proper collection, processing, and storage of data.
  • Integration tests ensure interfaces between modules work correctly.
  • Performance/load tests check response time under a load.
  • Security tests ensure the app’s data and hardware are secure.

This is not an exhaustive list of testing, there are many more tests that must be run.

Test logging should be recorded for (at the very least):

  • Planned tests
  • Executed tests
  • Results (passed or failed)
  • Bugs and impact of flaw
  • Unexpected behaviors
  • Fixes
A variety of icons representing quality assurance testing.
Image: Sofy x Jane Kelly, Shutterstock

Case management tools

If you aren’t familiar with case management tools, they’re software which are used in managing tests. Those tests can be manual or automated and they have already been clearly identified by a test procedure. Additionally, these tools and automation are often associated with one another.

Keeping track of manual testing for large projects can become difficult. Case management tools can greatly enhance the process by:

  • Increasing productivity 
  • Capturing information
  • Consistency 
  • Reliability 
  • Security 
  • Flagging duplicates 
  • Helping build and track cases 
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities
  • Integration with automated scripting
  • Saving time and effort

In large businesses, tools are indispensable. It’s no longer feasible to use spreadsheets or tools that aren’t intended or designed for QA testing (such as Microsoft’s SharePoint).

Automation in test management

Using automation to test (ideally on real devices) allows testers to replicate user interactions, producing better results and accuracy. Using automated tests in combination with automated results tracking frees up testing staff to perform other work.

Best practices for test management

Putting best practices into your testing life cycle will help meet, if not exceed, the demands for product quality. 

  • Create a central repository for test cases.
  • Ensure instructions are descriptive and easily understood.
  • Have a test strategy. 
  • Use filtering based on appropriate criteria.
  • Have effective collaboration between teams.
  • Maintain a detailed logging system of test activities.
  • Have an effective requirements management process.
  • Begin testing earlier in the development life cycle.
  • Test software iteratively.
  • Reuse test assets when possible.

Test case management obstacles

As with most things, there can also be drawbacks associated with test case management.

A few obstacles to be aware of are:

  • Tools can only go so far. Contrary to what some people believe, a tool won’t do all of the work, and erroneously believing that tracking results or data isn’t necessary could result in an irrelevant or failed outcome.
  • If test case management isn’t used effectively, it can delay software development. 
  • Some test case scenarios traceability can impact decision making which causes test case evaluation to be more difficult.
  • The development team’s performance can be impacted by manual test case management tools.

Go forth and test with confidence!

Simply defined, test case management consists of planning, test execution, test monitoring, and reporting. Case management tools make this process easier and more efficient.

Testing will always be part of developing apps, good test case management enables getting quality products to market faster and more efficiently. And for good reason: All products must be tested, no matter the industry.

Effectively managed testing ensures apps function correctly and meet user requirements.

While it’s impossible to say there aren’t some limitations or obstacles with testing management, for very large businesses, test case management is imperative for good outcomes in a timely manner. Attempting to manage cases with tools that weren’t designed for the job is no longer an option for an adequate job. 

Following best practices make testing easier, faster, and better. When it comes to mobile apps, there’s no easier way to do this than with a high-quality, no-code platform that allows you to test on real devices from anywhere like Sofy.

Are you positioned to get the most from test case management?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official beliefs or positions of Sofy.