Metrics-that-Matter

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1 Apr, 2020


Quality is the driving force behind the success of a software product, which has created a need for taking effective measures for quality assurance. Thus, software testing companies are using different ways to measure quality by using software testing metrics that serve as key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics play an important role in helping QA teams to measure their efficiency, quality, and progress of the software testing process. They also utilize test case management tools to achieve quality. Without measuring these metrics, a project cannot be completed successfully. 

So what exactly is a test metric? 

Test metrics are essential for testers, agile teams, and QA managers and help them in improving their testing efforts. So they select a test metric, draw a baseline and track their progress over time. But the question is, which metrics should testers choose? Well, this is a tricky question because there are hundreds of metrics available. Let’s have a look at them.

Types Of Test Metrics

Test Coverage – Test coverage highlights the areas of an application that are to be tested. This metric uncovers parts of software that have a known and unknown level of defects. This metric includes requirement coverage, test cases by requirement category, unit test coverage, manual or exploratory coverage, etc. 

Test Effort – It lists down the common facts about test efforts that help in setting baselines for future test planning. It includes the number of tests run, defects per test, etc. 

Test Tracking and Efficiency – This depicts how useful tests are in identifying relevant defects and include the percent of passed/failed test cases, percent of defects accepted/rejected, etc. 

Defect Distribution – It helps QA teams to understand which area of their software is vulnerable and therefore where to focus testing efforts. It includes a number of defects distributed by categories such as severity, priority, platform, test type, etc. 

Test Execution – It records the total number of tests performed and how many passed, failed, incomplete or unexecuted. Test execution status, test run results and rest results by day are included in test execution. 

MTTD and MTTR – MTTD stands for Mean Time to Detect that measures the time professionals take to measure a problem. MTTR, on the other hand, Mean Time to Repair highlights the time testers need to effectively address the problem. QA managers leverage mean time to detect and repair metrics to get a better view of how QA teams are dealing with defects. They will be able to conclude the effectiveness of their team members by using these metrics. 

Defect Removal Efficiency – It is the rate at which QA teams have been able to identify and address the defects in a program. These metrics can be used to identify and resolve defects efficiently and effectively. 

Defects Severity Index – It allows managers to measure defects causing disruption across multiple projects. The major defects will be highlighted and by looking at the severity of these issues, the development efforts can be improved. These defect reports in different projects can help managers analyze how much time was required to resolve them and to what extent the functionality of the software app was affected. 

Regression – New defects can be identified with changes in software or when new features are added. Regression helps understand how effective the change was in addressing concerns, without changing the existing user experience. It includes defect injection rate, defects per build, etc. 

Test Team Metrics – This metric helps in measuring testing work allocation and test outputs, for QA teams. Test team metrics are used to track progress within units and include distribution of defects discovered, defects returned per team member, etc. 

Test Economics Metrics – they are used to plan budgets for testing activities and evaluation of the ROI of testing. These metrics highlight the testing outputs per staff, tools, and infrastructure utilized in testing. They include total cost of testing, cost per bug, etc. 

Choosing the Right Testing Metric 

As discussed above, there are several test metrics and choosing the right metrics is crucial to achieving successful software testing. Today’s QA teams need test metrics that measure both, test quality and software quality. Thus, instead of using isolated metrics, teams should gather data from all testing metric systems including results from test case management to show test coverage and software quality. It helps QA teams in current risk assessment of their software projects and find ways to decrease the highlighted risks.

About the author

Victor is a software tester with a decade of experience behind him. Love to find and exterminate bugs. A technology geek and a Adventure Freak. Loves to Travel, Read & Write about different technology startups and innovations.

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