screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-52-21-pm-150x150This is a guest post by Sanjay Zalavadia, VP of Client Services at Zephyr, a leading provider of on-demand, real-time enterprise test management solutions and maker of 7 add-ons in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Does this sound familiar? You and your team start a complex new software development project. The initial storyboard is complete. You’ve set up your backlog in JIRA Software, and initial comparative timeline estimates, time sequences, and times to task completion are all set. Your tasks are rolling out to development. Now comes the moment to test towards an initial shipment.

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You’ve collaborated with QA to use a powerful automated testing tool that best ensures the alignment of task development with actual development outcomes. (A quality automated testing tool accurately compares the program intent with actual program performance to validate the integrity of software development.) Initial automated testing reliably indicates a high probability of bug-free delivery.

The testing challenge

Now comes the challenging part: You must monitor the QA testing process and hope that the findings show your development team’s initial tasks to be whole and sound releases. QA assures that software development meets consumer requirements, and even goes further towards providing complete customer satisfaction. Using a gradation of validating tests, QA continuously analyzes the ‘workability’ of software products to best assure that software applications will meet customer requirements and expectations.

QA will test and assess the software your project team has developed according to enterprise requirements, accuracy of execution, feasibility of development, and client expectations. As well, defect analysis conducted by QA will identify common defect trends and their origins, and will alert the development team of defects to prevent duplications of deficiencies in future tasks. QA tracking, testing, and analysis will be integrated into each iteration of the agile process. From the design phase through release and maintenance, QA assessment and analysis is essential to agile development.

From design through release and maintenance, QA assessment and analysis is essential to agile development.

QA testers and analysts use FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) to determine possible design, manufacturing, or assembly failures. In addition QA conducts:

  • Functional tests – To ensure that software performance meets customer and enterprise requirements
  • Usability tests – To ensure a user-friendly interface
  • Regression tests – To ensure that changes, fixes, additions, or patches to software applications have not obstructed existing software functions
  • Defect analysis – To track and analyze existing and projected defects throughout phases of software development and even after release
  • Performance tests – To ensure that application/system interactions provide a stable user interface. Performance tests evaluate multiple components to assess the stability of a user environment

The benefits of automated testing

Like anything done by hand, manual testing can be vulnerable to oversights and mistakes. The monotony of running repetitive manual tests tends to prevent consistent engagement in the testing process. Automated testing relieves testers of tedious repetition and ensures continuous tool engagement in testing cycles. Automated testing also alleviates inaccuracies and missing results, especially within the difficult process of regression testing. In addition, automated tests can be re-used to provide regression tests and other types of testing with references to past performance. Previous tests are instantly accessible to re-run whenever the need arises.

With automated testing, cumbersome paperwork is history, as is the need to re-run current tests. Testing becomes more cost-efficient in that automated tools produce quicker test and defect detection results. Automation also shares QA testing and results with the entire team, allowing team members to see the actual workings of the code they’ve developed. Thus, developers can technically interact with code in dynamic action, as development and testing become one integrated process, rather than two separate functions.

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Testing integration with JIRA

As a JIRA user, you can use an automated solution that smoothly integrates with JIRA. With an integrated tool, you can merge powerful components with JIRA’s dynamic communication in order to execute detailed testing, test multiple product lines, facilitate release schedules, ensure requirements-test case traceability, cite and manage regressions, and track incremental results.

By actually reaching into JIRA dynamics, an automated testing tool unites enterprise testing, metrics and analyses with the JIRA software tracking platform to:

  • Define test issues
  • Retrieve JIRA test requirements
  • Report and manage defects
  • Link test cases to JIRA issues
  • Test JIRA reports
  • Create, manage, run test cycles and sets
  • Establish and execute traceability
  • Utilize test metrics to analyze results

With these and additional testing attributes, test automation provides a comprehensive integration of test functions that can analyze and assess any software project tracked on the JIRA platform.

Software Testing Metrics

Pressure to quickly deliver software products can cause mistakes and oversights that defy QA standards. High accountability and management of development and testing processes are essential for quality product releases and a subsequent positive enterprise standing. To expedite QA processing and ensure quality within the QA workflow, the automated testing tool provides effective metrics with insight into the proficiency of products in development, as well as analysis of testing the efficiency.

Businesses and customers continue to raise development and testing expectations while the testing process continues to endure cutbacks in financial resources.  To produce more with less, QA testing increasingly employs automated software testing metrics that detect defects, as well as assess software stability. With the use of testing metrics QA analysts can also track the quality of software development overtime for more accurate projections into upcoming schedules and quality software deliveries.

Comprehensive test integration

Automated testing uses powerfully-applied validation solutions that actively drill into complex software environments to execute detailed testing by iterations. Automated testing creates, modifies, and details tests, builds test plans and execution cycles, and executes a powerfully comprehensive set of test functions applied to any JIRA-supported project.

Automation allows the testing process to support QA testers in managing automated project design, planning, development, monitoring, and revision testing on the original JIRA project tracking platform. Testers and analysts can create, schedule and execute tests directly inside a JIRA project. With detailed testing by iterations, the testing tool matches each testing module to each task module for incremental assessment of task development and shipment readiness. Scaled to project size, automated testing can deeply integrate with developer tools while it also expands testing capacity to meet project extent and complexity.

An agile testing framework

To reduce timeline and quality risks, increase product value, and better manage development costs, agile iterations deliver production in small pieces, with each piece ready to ship. Iterations analyze, develop, and test one task at a time to produce incremental releases. As your guide in analysis and development, JIRA facilitates manipulation of the backlog, tasks, and timelines, tracks and categorizes issues, summarizes project results, and identifies issues. Automated testing couples with JIRA attributes to assess software execution and implement metrics that assist with project analysis and development, as well as verification. In this manner, automated testing and JIRA partner up in producing quality software.

Learn more about how JIRA helps organizations automate testing processes by attending the upcoming session at Atlassian Summit 2016 – Automate Your Business with Atlassian.

See all Summit sessions

Fresh ideas, announcements, and inspiration for your team, delivered weekly.

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