Testing teams commonly find that Excel as a test case management tool starts out powerful and effective, grows in usage throughout a group, then, just after it becomes essential, it slowly begins to choke productivity, leading to diminishing returns.
But Excel as a test case management tool seems like such a good idea at first. You want to understand what is happening in testing — to get your arms around it. So you create a spreadsheet. New features bring new spreadsheets. Each new release involves copying all the spreadsheets, putting them in a folder to mark the current release, then going into each spreadsheet and checking them off. Tracking who is doing what, of course, takes another spreadsheet, plus possibly something to track bugs.
Soon you are drowning in spreadsheets.
The very thing that was supposed to create order has created the haystack syndrome, where everything you need to know is in a spreadsheet … if you can only find it. Before you know it, you are in Excel Hell, the intersection of testing documentation burden, and time pressure.
But how do teams get here? Check out the infographic below to learn more, but if your testers are spending more time working around and updating the documents than testing software, it’s time to get out of Excel Hell and see what ‘Heaven’ looks like.