I was talking sometime ago about testing tools and amongst them Mercury Test Director, called now HP Quality Center. One of the things I’ve said is that a test tool will not magically make your problems dissappear.
Aside of that, it’s good to use a tool designed for testing purposes, as opposed to using just an Excel spreadsheet.
What are some of the uses of Mercury/HP Quality Center?
1. Write test cases – everybody writes test cases in the same location, you can see everybody’s updates right away. People can look at other test cases, let the author know about corrections/updates/mistakes.
2. Execute test cases from a central location – all test cases can be found in the Test Lab and testers see details of the execution (time of execution, duration, status of the execution). One additional advantage is that if execution was started but not finished you can see it right away – these test cases will show up as Not completed.
3. Log defects – users can log defects from within a test execution or separately. You can link your failed test case to one or more defects, which comes in pretty handy. Defects are transparent to all the users and the tool keeps a history of the changes – for example, if you changed the severity from 1 to severity 2, it will show the user who did the change and what the change was.
4. Reporting – you can generate all kinds of standard and customized reports for your own use and for the Management. A few examples of reports that you could run are: number of total test cases planned vs number of total test cases executed at one point in time, total number of defects logged broken down by severity, author, or any other custom field.