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Saturday, July 7, 2012

What are tools and techniques to monitor test progress?

Why do we need to monitor the test progress? What is the purpose of monitoring the tests we are performing? 
- The monitoring of the test progress is aimed at giving feed back and visibility regarding the test activities. 
- The information which has to be put under monitoring is collected either automatically or manually and this information might be used for making the measurements of the exit criteria like coverage criteria etc. 
- In some cases, metrics are also used to make an assessment of the progress being made by the tests against a very well planned project budget and development schedule. 

Tools and Techniques to Monitor Test Progress

Test metrics: These include the following:
-  Percentage of work done during preparation of the test.
-  Percentage of work done during the preparation of the test environment.
- Number of test cases run and not run.
-  Number of test cases passed and failed.
 Details of the defects.
-  Test coverage of code, risk and requirements etc.
-  A subjective measure of the confidence of the testers in the software product.
-  Dates of the testing phase milestones and deadline.
- Testing costs

1. Soon after you have drawn out your test plan, you need to constantly monitor the test progress along with the activities and time progress. 
2. Monitoring the time scales and the test activities together is termed as test monitoring. 
3. The purpose of test monitoring is to obtain a constant feed back.
4. The test monitoring makes all the test activities visible to the developers and testers.
5. The data that has to be monitored apart form being tested by counting the test cases can also be obtained using the sophisticated test management tools. 
6. With such sophisticated tools, it has also become possible to collect the data like an automatic output from another tool and that has already been formatted in to form of reports or data files. 
7. These data files as well as reports can be manipulated to present a flow of the test progress. 8. The above mentioned test metrics are usually used for tracking the progress of the tests towards the end of the testing phase which is marked by the validation of the test criteria.
9. Nowadays, test dashboards are in use because of their easy to use and understand interface which represents all of the relevant test metrics on single screen page and thus providing the maximum impact. 
10. This gained too much popularity in a short span of time since it saved a lot of time of the users who do not want to go through the large piles of data searching for just one key information they want. 
11. These test metrics are often presented in a graphical form.
12. While monitoring a testing process you need to look at the test progress through both a micro as well as macro perspective. 
13. The macro perspective involves determining whether or not the individual devices and servers are running smoothly as expected.
14. On the other hand, the micro perspective involves making sure that the customers experience pleasure while accessing and using your software system or product. 
15. These two types of perspectives can also be termed as the “engineering monitoring” and “business monitoring” respectively. 
16. Both these kinds of monitoring are equally important. 
17. Good testers always make it a point to monitor the progress of the tests they have put in to play on the software product. 
18. They do not consider their software system or application to be complete until and unless they have ran their software product through a couple of monitoring checks. 

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