5.4. Extracting Metrics from the Test Tracking Spreadsheet

Like bug reports, test cases are important details for test managers to stay on top of. However, the test case summary worksheet is probably not something you'll want to present to managers—there's just too much data there. Unless you're fortunate enough to work for a former test manager, the odds are that your manager will find the detail either confusing, or, in some cases, an irresistible temptation to micromanage your work.

Figure 5.14. A test suite summary for a product that will ship soon.

Therefore, as with bug reports, extracting a set of metrics is a good idea. The test suite summary is one possible way to present this data. It is clearly management oriented, summarizing the key details of test execution.

The problem with the test suite summary is that it's just a snapshot; it doesn't tell us much about how things have gone and where the trends are headed. (The earned value does, to some extent, capture trend information, but not every manager I've worked with has been able to interpret that easily.) Therefore, I generally don't include the test suite summary as part of my testing dashboard. Instead, I graph three sets of data that are easy to extract daily using the test management tools we've already developed.

5.4.1. Can We Get Any Work Done? Charting Test Progress

The first of these charts is the test progress ...

Get Managing the Testing Process: Practical Tools and Techniques for Managing Hardware and Software Testing now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.