As we start 2016, software testers the world over are taking the opportunity to plan for more productive and efficient operations in the testing environment. While development and testing teams may not initiate any revolutionary changes to their strategies, they do have a handful of trends to consider as they prepare for the forthcoming 12 months. Here are a few of the ways in which test management can be improved in 2016.
1. Agile testing takes over
Although most testing teams are well aware of the benefits that agile development brings to the table, not every organization has fully embraced this methodology. However, 2016 will likely be the year that the trend reaches complete saturation, as more managers recognize that this is the superior approach. In fact, according to an ISTQB report, 85 percent of respondents stated that they were interested in agile testing certification.
The popularity of agile testing methods is especially prevalent on the management side of things, where team leaders are responsible for orchestrating large projects across multiple teams. Agile testing allows these supervisors to maintain greater control over individual aspects of the project without sacrificing a top-down view of its progress. Regardless of industry and specialization, agile will be the go-to choice for testing management in 2016 and beyond.
“Perhaps the IT department works agile while the business side works in phases,” stated a blog post from ReQtest contributor Ulf Eriksson. “Maybe the supplier works agile and the customer works waterfall. This is not a sound working practice. You have to shift to agile approaches now.”
2. Exploratory solutions emerge
Some organizations have experimented with exploratory testing techniques, but they have still largely remained committed to the scripted methods that make up traditional test management. In 2016, according to Experimentus, this will likely change, as more testers try the exploratory approach and leverage technologies that make them more effective than ever before.
For example, many exploratory testing tools now come equipped with automation features that guide testers toward the next logical step in the process rather than forcing them to wander aimlessly. This is bridging the gap between scripted and exploratory methods, which Experimentus stated will likely be the next phase in the evolution of test management.
Ideally, a company will leverage a solution that eases testers into the world of exploratory testing without throwing them into completely unfamiliar territory. This will let the team get the hang of the technique without risking the quality of the code or causing any delays in the production cycle of the software. Eventually, testers should be comfortable with both techniques and be able to switch fluidly from one to the other as the situation demands.
“Let testers try new techniques and tools.”
3. Management policies grow
From the perspective of a test manager, keeping track of countless moving parts and policies can seem impossible, especially when deadlines are closing in on the team. That explains why 2016 will see major increases in the establishment of Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) programs, according to a blog article from Evoke Technologies. Soon enough, this support method will be universal.
It is a highly versatile model of support that controls both quality assurance and testing, as well as a number of other aspects of test execution. Operational TCOE models have grown more than 20 percent in the past three years, the source pointed out, proving that this is far from just a passing trend. Managers should act now to get these programs in place and overhaul their approach to testing.