This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity and brevity.
Emma: I’m with one of our very own at Tricentis, and that is Harit Patel, Principal Product Manager.
Harit, you’ve been in the software space for well over a decade, and that’s doing product and account management at notable companies, such as VMware and BetterCloud. Here at Tricentis, you’ve spent the last few months managing the development and launch of a brand-new product that we can now finally unveil; Tricentis Test Management for Jira, providing scalable end-to-end quality and test management within Jira Atlassian. And at the last count, Jira is used by over 200,000 customers globally, so the potential reach for this new product is pretty big. So, let’s set the scene where test management is concerned.
What challenges are organizations facing today in terms of test management?
Harit: I feel a lot of organizations are aware of the DevOps movement and are working towards refining their processes and organizing the test cases and potentially shifting left.
When it comes to test management, it continues to be a pivotal need to organize and orchestrate testing in a central location to making sure that you have proper coverage—all the tests, all the requirements, proper documentation, assignments.
“If testing applies to different applications, we’re seeing that for smaller organizations, that continues to be a struggle. So, I feel that is where the market needed something that was going to allow us to deliver a product that gives and brings Dev and QA together to collaborate more effectively.”
Emma: Yes, exactly. As you say, in this DevOps world that we’re in today, providing that visibility and scalability, whatever stage you are in your maturity; that’s great.
Zooming into Jira, what special use cases are there with this software that needed addressing?
Harit Patel: When you think about Jira, Jira is one of the most used tools—as you mentioned, 200,000+ customers are using it to document, plan, develop, manage, and do everything for the development of products.
When it comes to having the testing teams available in Jira as well, they rely on these Jira plugins, or they rely on external software, like one of our own, Tricentis qTest, where they’re able to do some of the management aspects of it. What we see is the Jira integrations and the plugins are becoming super critical, and bringing those things into Jira with a plugin was required.
There are a lot of players that do some of this today, but they sort of struggle bringing in and balancing performance and usability.
“It feels like to me that a lot of products that testing teams and organizations are testing are way more advanced from a usability standpoint, compared to the testing products that they use. So, that was one of the key initiators to seeing what we can do to help in that space.”
Emma: Brilliant that we’re advancing on where there are many integrations for testing, getting that better overall vision on all those apps, for better usability, and ultimately better collaboration between those teams if everything is integrated. If it’s Jira specifically, then I guess you’ve worked with like the UI as well in getting everything in line there. In terms of DevOps, in all of the software that we deliver today, quality is such a big priority and it’s always being pushed further and further up in discussions as to how to gain quality.
How does Test Management for Jira enable users to deliver on quality software at speed?
Harit: Because at Tricentis we have a holistic perspective across all forms of testing—be it performance testing, automation testing, test management—it’s primarily due to our large portfolio of products. What we are looking to do is leverage what’s available in the best breed, build what’s not available, and then invent what’s not created.
“With Test Management for Jira, what we wanted to do with that approach in mind is to take a detailed look at the problems faced in the Jira plugin market. Some of the things that we realized was performance at scale. Other things we realized was user interface and usability. Are we using and providing our testing teams with the same modern UI field that they’re using for their respective products?”
Be it banking, or somewhere like Uber services, you wanted to bring that rich UI, making sure that testing teams are able to deliver and work more collaboratively with the developers who are developing the same products or similar products.
So, bridging the gap between Dev and QA within the Jira space, bringing more collaboration is what is going to help us deliver a quality software at speed.
Emma: Perfect. Some other capabilities that I see with Test Management for Jira is that really solid built-in reporting to report on the quality of the software before it goes into production. And, you can really customize the product your own way. All these different areas which are going to feed into that ultimate goal, which is to achieve quality.
Now, I’m pretty interested because with like every new product, it goes through a beta stage.
You’ve already received a decent amount of feedback from customers with that first version of the product, what kind of feedback are you getting? What are people excited about Tricentis Test Management for Jira?
Harit: As a Product Manager, it is super critical for me to hear early feedback before we launch a product. So, along the way, we have evolved our beta program for Tricentis.
“Some of the feedback that we received during our beta program is that our customers were able to seamlessly get the application configured. They expressed that the User Interface was very intuitive. They saw some of the pieces that we’re trying to build in the next couple of quarters, and they got super excited about trying to implement and even having their teams start using the products.”
When it comes to test management, a lot of the organizations out there that have Jira plugins talk about, “Oh, we have 30 reports. Oh, we have 40 reports.” So what we did based feedback we received was to have less reports, but we provide tons of different filters and capabilities for categorization, which overly expands the number of reports available.
Test Management for Jira has rich and out-of-the-box reporting that can be customized with filters. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I would ask our listeners to give it a try. It’s free, and it’s available for free for 10 users, so you can definitely give it a spin.
Emma: That’s great. That rich deep reporting is something which I’m sure our listeners and customers are going to really utilize.
I’ve heard that the flexibility of creating objects inside of Jira has been remarked as great by users; that you can tactfully both create objects inside and outside. Is that right?
“We tactically chose which objects stay inside of Jira and which store outside in our data services, helping with the performance element that we talked about earlier. And some of the feedback we received was, “Oh, that’s fabulous because these things, we don’t need to have JQL capabilities and other things we do, which is the Jira Query Language.” So, that was pretty good feedback.”
Emma: Brilliant. Now, let’s flip the script a little bit and zoom back out.
In 10 words or less, Harit, what is your golden advice for anyone responsible for test management?
Harit: Collaborate earlier with development and create test cases. I really want testers to get with their development teams and be able to define test cases beforehand instead of doing it as an afterthought.
Emma: Brilliant. Define test cases from the off-go, at requirement stage, and work together.
If you could change one thing about the way testing is governed as a whole, what might that be?
Harit Patel: I can’t speak to ‘governed’, but I wanted to talk about how testing could be changed a little bit and how we talk about it.
“I feel when we talk about testing, we always talk about pass or fail. Are we saying it’s a green or a red? Why is there no yellow or orange in between? We should change our talk track of talking about confidence levels. It’s not opaque or transparent, it’s more translucent. Are we more confident in the testing that we have done? So, it’s a discussion that we need to have as testers and QA managers with our executives to talk about that persona change.”
Emma: Excellent. Like traffic light testing, bringing in the middle ground.
Be sure to find out more about Test Management for Jira at our webinar on Nov. 9, or head over to the Atlassian marketplace to check it out.
Test Management for Jira is free for up to 10 users, with a 30-day free trial. For larger teams, pricing starts at $1.38 per user per month and goes down from there.
Check out the latest podcast episodes for more insights from thought leaders like Harit.