What is test management?

Test management is the practice of managing all aspects of the testing lifecycle, including test case authoring, test suite organization and change management, and test execution, to verify product functionality, safety, performance, security, and availability. Test management can be applied to products, software, systems, and more.

Why is test management important?

Test management helps ensure that products, software, and systems meet agreed-upon requirements. It empowers teams to bring quality products to market faster at a lower cost. Mature test management practices help teams and organizations build a culture of quality, a foundational principle of successful products and companies. 

The benefits of software test management and quality assurance
What is the test management process? While the test management process varies, most include the following:
Define individual and team roles and responsibilities. Create a dashboard that helps manage quality at the team, product, program, and portfolio level.
Execute test runs and record results for further analysis. Make testing a shared responsibility integrated with other lifecycle activities.
Create test cases and test scripts that describe how a test will be conducted and define success criteria. Test cases define manual tests, while test scripts specify automated tests. Both should link to originating requirements.
Organize test cases and test scripts into test suites that exercise related sets of functionalities. Test assets can be parameterized, branched, and merged to accelerate test preparation and respond to changing requirements.
Analyze test results, quality trends, team velocity, and test coverage. Conduct root cause analyses and experiment with new ideas to continuously improve quality.
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Frequently asked questions

What are common testing categories?

While not a complete list, common test categories include:

  • Unit testing – Testing isolated to a specific method or component
  • System testing – Testing that exercises an entire system
  • Security testing – Testing focused on the authorization, sign-on, threat mitigation, and security of a product or system
  • Usability testing – Testing focused on understanding and improving the user experience
  • Regression testing – Testing that focuses on ensuring changes didn’t inadvertently introduce defects
  • Integration testing – Testing designed to exercise the connections between components
  • Automated testing – Testing performed by computer systems trained to exercise products and systems, record results, and send error notifications
  • Manual testing – Testing performed by people who manually interact with products and systems, and record results
  • Acceptance testing – Testing focused on verifying quality assurance from an end user’s perspective, typically performed prior to release