It is the view of far too many organizations that mind-numbing and monotonous manual documentation responsibilities are inexorably linked to the overarching processes guiding the practice of software testing.
Although it is certainly necessary to engage in documentation practices designed to create a detailed history of the software tests and results performed during the testing process, these practices do not have to be so costly in terms of the time and resources testers are often required to devote to the manual documentation process.
Through substantial reductions in the documentation process, anyone engaged in the practice of software testing can experience a multitude of benefits without sacrificing the overall quality or introducing any additional risk to the software development process.
In fact, many of the documentation tools for test management from QASymphony, for example, are capable of mitigating and even eliminating many of the most common risks introduced through more traditional — and frequently manual — documentation practices.
Efficient Testing Processes = Faster Project Completion
Faster project completion is the principal benefit of introducing enhanced efficiency to all aspects of the software testing process. It is therefore the case that creating a process designed to allow testers to sharpen their focus on the actual testing processes that represent their principal objective is the best method for enhancing the overall efficiency of any project.
Automated documentation systems effectively streamline the responsibilities of the tester by eliminating the need for manual documentation, as a record of each test cycle is generated, archived, and organized automatically.
Improved Best Practices and Post-Test Analyses
It is critical to reiterate the fundamental necessity of documentation as a part of a comprehensive software testing process, and it is clear that there are countless benefits associated with thorough, step-by-step software testing documentation.
The ability to conduct accurate and detailed post-test analyses is chief among these benefits, and any organization should leap at the opportunity to review its testing best practices through a post-test analysis of the different stages representing the progress made in the software development process.
Given the clear value associated with opportunities to address test process inefficiencies, it is simply impossible to ignore any responsibilities associated with software testing documentation. Since manual documentation processes are inherently inefficient and time-consuming, it is therefore quite clear that the most logical course of action involves the incorporation of automated documentation tools.
Does a Speedier Test Process Yield an Adverse Influence on Risk Management Issues?
It is entirely reasonable to ponder the possibility that such a sharp focus on speeding up the software testing process will lead to an increase in risk management issues. When one considers the wearying tedium associated with manual documentation responsibilities, however, it may not seem so counter intuitive to conclude that the overwhelming majority of manual documentation tasks actually invites more risk to the process as opposed to reducing risk.
Manual documentation is flawed for many reasons, including the surprising incidence of inaccurate information as well as the existence of substantial redundancies that further inhibit inefficiency.
Organizations favoring automated tools for software testing documentation are therefore able to complete the testing process with greater speed, efficiency, and accuracy. This inevitably leads to quicker project completion while simultaneously enhancing the overall quality of the software that is ultimately delivered.
The aforementioned benefits should underscore the fact that it is not enough to simply engage in thorough or highly detailed documentation practices.
Instead, it is necessary to create an efficient and effective testing process that incorporates automated documentation tools designed to yield valuable data for post-test analyses while allowing testers to focus solely on the most critical and immediately pressing software testing tasks.