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Jira test case management

Jira is the #1 tool used by development teams for tracking issues and projects in Agile development. Jira enables teams to easily plan, track, release, and report on software using out-of-the-box or customized workflows. Jira provides a single view for all user stories, produces reports for sprints, and monitors workloads and tasks assigned to various teams. It’s highly customizable and can be easily integrated with third-party applications, making it usable by a wide variety of roles including developers, engineers, managers, and non-technical business professionals.

Jira’s flexibility has prompted some organizations to attempt to use it for test case management, uniting issue tracking and software testing tools on a single platform. But there are significant challenges to overcome with Jira test case management functionality, and its limitations have led many teams to seek alternatives that can be easily integrated with Jira software.

Requirements of test case management tools

When considering whether to use Jira for test case management, it’s helpful to review the requirements of tools that are typically used for Agile and DevOps testing.

A test management tool must help development teams:

  • Standardize the use of software testing tools for managing testing, including solutions for documenting requirements, tracking bugs, and reporting results
  • Promote reusability of tests across projects and durations
  • Enable visibility of test cases, requirements, and defects for all stakeholders
  • Track progress and measure productivity of testing processes
  • Share information with all stakeholders across the project
  • Provide real-time metrics about quality of the software being tested
  • Serve as a central library of test assets and test results from all manual and automated sources
  • Combine management of automated and manual tests
challenges jira testing

The challenges of Jira test case management

As a test case management tool, Jira has several critical limitations that can create significant challenges for development and testing teams.

  • No native testing functionality. It’s possible to customize Jira to handle certain test management functions, but Jira has no built-in capabilities that help to simplify test case management.
  • More clicks. Entering test cases and results in Jira requires clicking through more screens than in a standard test management tool. Jira test case management workflow involves more steps than a typical test management tool, resulting in greater time and effort spent to document test cases.
  • Scalability issues. Jira test case management functionality will not likely scale to cover thousands or tens of thousands of test cases.
  • Lack of automated execution. Developers and testers using Jira test management aren’t able to initiate and automated tests from within the platform.
  • Limited workflow flexibility. In software testing, completed tests are never truly done – they may be repeated or repurposed for other code. But when managing testing with Jira, because every workflow in Jira has an endpoint of “Done,” there is limited flexibility for reusing the workflow for testing.

Pros and cons of Jira test case management

Many teams use Jira for test case management by customizing the platform to add a “test case” issue type or by tweaking the “user story.”

The benefits of this approach include the ability to:

  • Consolidate workflows for developers, quality assurance (QA) teams, and testers on a single platform
  • Use Jira’s excellent reporting abilities
  • Rely on a tool that is familiar to team members and that is already part of the technology stack

The disadvantages of Jira test case management include:

  • Lack of specific testing functionality
  • Integration with testing frameworks through the CI server only
  • Lack of tools for creating test case coverage reports that combine manual, automated, and session-based execution
  • No traceability reporting between issues and test case coverage
  • Inability to run executions more than once, resulting in significant duplication of efforts
  • Limited management of test cycle and suite execution, test step execution status, version control, and environment configuration

Using Jira with a dedicated test management tool

For teams seeking an alternative to Jira test case management, integrating a dedicated test management solution with Jira can deliver more testing-specific functionality, while still enabling development teams to enjoy the many benefits of using Jira for tracking issues and projects. Dedicated tools make up for Jira’s limitations, allowing access to enterprise test features like configuration managers, CI integrations, and automated testing support. Testing teams can use test case repositories that are customized based on templates, and test cases can be reused and shared across different projects.

Dedicated test case management tools offered several drawbacks, however.

  • Constantly synchronizing databases between Jira and the testing tool can be a headache
  • Managing permissions for artifact mapping can be complex
  • Browser restrictions create unhelpful limitations
  • Certain tools are less friendly to integration with open-source solutions like Jira
jira test case

Tricentis qTest: an alternative to Jira test case management

Tricentis is the industry’s #1 Continuous Testing platform, providing Agile test management and advanced test automation that’s optimized to support 160+ technologies. Part of a suite of solutions on the Tricentis platform, qTest Manager provides teams with a robust and easy-to-use test management solution that integrates with Jira in real time.

qTest enables development and testing teams to seamlessly integrate Jira issues and testing coverage. With qTest Manager, you can:

  • Quickly import Jira requirement tickets into qTest using Jira issue filters
  • Issue real-time updates to qTest when Jira requirements are created or modified
  • View real-time changes to bug status against test run executions
  • Produce test coverage reports for Jira issues
  • View a traceability matrix report of requirements and test case associations
  • View reusable test cases that are tied to Jira issues
  • View test run history status on Jira issues
  • Connect test activities with Jira projects
  • Report on what test cases are satisfying Jira issues
  • Understand when tests block Jira issues from moving to “Done” status
  • Autofill test run results into Jira issues with no syncing required
  • Instantly report test run results into Jira as Bug Issue Types for developers

FAQs

What is Jira?

Jira is one of the most popular tools used by Agile software development teams to track issues and projects. Jira can be used by every member of the team, from developers and testers, to managers and business analysts. Jira simplifies the tasks of planning, tracking, releasing, and reporting on software using out-of-the-box or customized workflows.

What is a test case management tool?

Test case management tools help development organizations to more efficiently manage all aspects of software testing. Test management tools assist in planning and designing test strategies, capturing requirements, executing tests, and analyzing results.

Does Jira work for test case management?

Jira has limited test case management abilities. While some teams prefer using Jira because it unites development, QA, and testing on a single platform, Jira is not designed for testing, and lacks specific functionality required for test case management. Specifically, a Jira testing tool has limited ability to create optimal workflows for testing and provides no support for automated execution. Jira performance will suffer when scaling to handle tens or hundreds of thousands of test cases.

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