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I'm tester of a small product development company under going mergers and expansion (probably another 2/3 dev teams will be merged). We use manual as well as automated (currently only regression) testing. This is a period of transformation from waterfall to agile and DevOps. There is no test strategy or planning just add-hoc testing and me and product manager would give Go/No-Go decision based on our experience.

For a long time, I've been advocating a proper test management tool but it was postponed or ignored, mainly due to cost. Main argument was why test management tool as we already use JIRA and recently started using Confluence. As a tester, I like to have ability to drive automation from a test case. My view is JIRA and Confluence are not designed for testers.

My question to you experts in testing is: Test management tool is necessity or luxury? What are pros and cons having the test management tool? What logical arguments towards having TM tool? If getting TM tool what should I look for (other than cost)? I would like to see unit/integration/regression/manual test scenarios in one place and be able to say: "OK, 75% of high and medium risk tests are done"

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    Could you mention the advantages that you feel to have a test management tool other than jira ? Why jira is not a tool for testers ? – PDHide Mar 10 at 5:33
  • is there any specific tool that you could mention which you are interested in and what feature makes you choose it/ – PDHide Mar 10 at 8:14
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    Please edit your post to add some information on how you would use a test management tool. Are you looking for a repository of common tests that can be pulled into a test suite at need? A way to manage who tests which use case? Having automation drive from a test case is one thing - do you want/need your automation to update test cases on completion? What level of reporting are you looking for? Your answers to these questions and explanations of how Jira/Confluence fail to provide for your needs will help us answer your question – Kate Paulk Mar 10 at 11:38
  • @PDHide if jira is for testers, why are there atlassian add-ons like X-ray, zephyr ect..? – 1234 Mar 11 at 19:50
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    It depends is really the answer. I would work mainly on "As a tester, I like to have ability to drive automation from a test case." ands explain the benefits (including cost) to the organization. As is, they probably don't appreciate the benefits it will bring. As always an quick experiment or spike may be helpful to demo the concept in action. – Michael Durrant Mar 12 at 12:05
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First of all, while I support using a Test Case Management tool (even if it's something as basic as a spreadsheet) it's important to recognize that it's a tool that requires both initial investment and maintenance to be useful. You're creating a body of knowledge that must be adjusted or corrected as the application it describes changes. It's a useful tool but you don't get it for free (or often even for cheap).

So what do I normally get in return for this investment?

  • I can set up test execution plans for general use or specific adhoc plans for certain functional areas.
  • I can trace test case outcomes to specific features or acceptance criteria and ensure important parts of the app work as expected and defects are addressed in a timely manner.
  • When we miss something during testing I have greater insight into if a test case needs a rework or if we've failed to document the part of the app where the defect was discovered.
  • I can show other stakeholders results for individual executions or for a history of executions. This allows me to advise them where we should be cautious, what parts of the app are problematic release after release, where it might be good to pay down tech debt, etc.

If the effort to create and maintain the knowledge base is worth getting results like those then I'd absolutely suggest looking into TCM tools. This will depend on your individual situation.

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    This felt more like an aside than part of my answer but I just wanted to say that distilling current-actual app behavior from a ticketing system like Jira is usually a lot of work. Ticketing systems do a very poor job of describing an application overall as product teams use them (almost as a rule) to describe changes. A well maintained TCM (or body of test cases) on the other hand describes current-actual behavior. These two sources of information often overlap somewhat but are not used to describe the same thing. – Cherree Mar 12 at 14:19
  • "Ticketing systems do a very poor job of describing an application overall as product" totally agree – 1234 Mar 13 at 21:52
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Our company always used a test management tool. We work Agile, and without a test management tool we’d get completely lost in finding which cycle the bug belongs to. Now we use Practitest because we could build an organize library of all our test cases and structure them with the smart filters which separate tests per versions, cycles etc. Recently we have also managed to cut some costs by reducing developers users to a cheaper license :D

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