Software test tools selection

software testing tool selection

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A Test Manager knows that it is not sufficient to adapt a tool to improve the software testing process and optimize testing for a product or project. There are key principles for software testing tools selection that any Test Manager has to be familiar with in order to adapt the required tools for the project or organization. These principles apply regardless of performance testing tools, test management tools, security testing tools, manual testing tools, etc.

When selecting a testing tool for your organization you should:

  • Assess the maturity of the organization, its strengths and weaknesses
  • identify opportunities for an improved test process supported by tools
  • Evaluate the tool versus clear requirements and objective criteria
  • Consider whether or not the tool is available for a free trial period
  • Evaluate the vendor (training, support, commercial aspects) or evaluate the support if open source
  • Identify internal requirements for coaching and mentoring in the use of the tool
  • Evaluate training needs by considering testing (and test automation) skills of those who will be working directly with the tool(s)
  • Balance the pros and cons of various licensing models
  • Estimate a cost-benefit ratio based on a concrete business case
  • Execute a proof of concept evaluation
    • Establish if the tool performs effectively with the software under test and within the current infrastructure
  • Identify changes needed to that infrastructure to use the tool effectively

Principles for Test tool selection

After completing the testing tool selection and a successful proof-of-concept, introducing the selected tool into an organization generally starts with a pilot project with the objective to:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge about the tool, understanding both its strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluate how the tool fits with existing processes and practices, and determine the required change
  • Decide on standard ways of using, managing, storing, and maintaining the tool and the test assets
  • Assess the benefits (can be achieved at a reasonable cost?)
  • Understand the metrics that you wish the tool to collect and report, and configuring the tool to ensure their capture and reporting

A Test Manager role is to:

  • purchasing the tool from a vendor
  • using an open source or custom tool

and must:

  • investigate the total cost of ownership through the expected lifecycle of the tool
  • perform the cost-benefit analysis

If you liked this article and want to learn more about software test management, then I would recommend that you check out our eBookA Test Manager’s Guide.

Principles for Test tool selection2

This article is based on the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus version 2012 and it also references the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus version 2018. It uses terminology definitions from the ISTQB Glossary version 3.2.

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