Even the most diligent developers ship code with errors. That’s why great development teams have rigorous test defect management systems in place.
Test defect management systems help identify and fix bugs early in the development process, saving time and resources and ensuring only high-quality software gets shipped.
In this article, we look at:
- Why test defect management is vital in software development.
- What good test defect management systems look like.
- How we assess those systems as part of our application lifecycle management assessment.
The Different Types of Software Tests
Software testing comes in many different forms, writes Sten Pittet, cofounder and CEO of Tability. Tests generally fall into two brackets:
- Automated, in which a machine performs tests.
- Manual tests, which are done in person.
The lowest level of a test is a unit test, explains Pittet. “They consist in testing individual methods and functions of the classes, components, or modules used by your software.”
Then follow a variety of tests, which include:
- Integration tests. These verify that different modules work together.
- Functional tests. These ensure the application meets business requirements.
- End-to-end tests. These replicate user behavior.
There are several other types of tests, which Pittet covers in his guide. For now, it’s simply important to know that test defect management is a rigorous and manifold process.
4 Ways We Assess Test Defect Management
Every good software team needs a system for identifying, managing and rectifying defects. To assess this, we analyze the processes, people and tools development teams used in the following ways.
Test Case Management
Before your team can begin testing, they need a way to track and manage any defects found. Enter test case management. This is the process of planning, executing, monitoring and reporting tests. A solid test case management process provides software teams with a clear testing roadmap, helps them keep track of tests and improves collaboration between teams.
Once a clear test case management process has been established, software tests should be executed as systematically as possible.
Tests should be automated whenever possible, too. "Today, automated testing can provide speed and efficiency and test a variety of scenarios quickly,” says Leo Laskin, senior sales engineer at Applitools. “The ease of automated testing also means that beginner developers can learn to execute and master tests without expert knowledge."
Teams will need a process for logging and monitoring all of the defects they identify. The bigger and more complicated an update or application, the more defects they will find. In some cases, teams will need a way to track and prioritize thousands of defects.
Luckily, development teams have access to a huge array of tools to help with defect management, writes Yvette Francino, an Agile consultant. “You can find tools to track non-technical issues, customer-facing tools for production-related defects, and internal tools the development team can use to track defects,” Francino writes.
“In fact, even if you're just using sticky notes, email, spreadsheets, or a log on a wiki to track customer issues, you'll need defect tracking of some sort. It's just a matter of figuring out the right tools and processes for the team.”
These tools don’t just help development teams get their ducks in order, she adds. They also provide metrics that help developers identify defect trends.
Test and Defect Reporting
Every test should culminate in a defect report, a document that details the defects identified, how those defects showed up, and the steps taken to rectify the defects. This process will usually be handled by the quality assurance team, but you can also have customers create defect reports during beta testing.
Test Defect Management With Kingsmen Software
Without a strong test defect management process, you risk shipping applications that fail to meet business requirements and require significant additional investments to correct.
That’s why test defect management forms a core part of our application lifecycle assessment. We score software teams in each of the four areas above and color code our assessments on a heatmap so you can see how your potential investment stacks up.
Images by: charlesdeluvio