“What gets measured, gets managed”
– Peter Drucker
As quoted by inventor of modern management, in order to successfully manage anything, it is important to measure it. When it comes to complex tech project executed by team of programmers, it is vital to have robust tracking system in place which can be accessed by team leads and important stakeholders at client side.
Though there are many project management platforms available in the market, they are only good for task management. For tracking day to day work and to represent it in easy to understand form, common monitoring dashboard is necessity. Such a tracking dashboard becomes an important tool when long time duration projects are in execution.
We at Ellicium provide Big Data solutions. I have worked on some Big Data projects. Based upon my experience, most of the Big Data projects are complex and lengthy. Rigorous tracking and analysis is prime requirement of any Big Data project. Hence there was a dire need to have one dashboard, which can give graphical representation of all testing related task status results. Emphasis was to have graphical form of representing these results, so it can be easily understood. So I created this ‘Testing Dashboard’ to track our internal project progress on testing front.
Why we wanted pictorial form of representation?
As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to understand! Pictorial representation helps a lot to do the comparative analysis of the work done. For team leads, it can be a good way to get overview of the project without spending too much time.
In an extension of using this tool for tracking, we wanted to do a predictive analysis e.g. number of days required to complete the testing and other important parameters. Also, it should also help in resource productivity tracking and to have timely solution in place in case of off schedule of the project.
So let’s see what is testing dashboard and how it works.
What is a Testing Dashboard?
Testing Dashboard is a pictorial representation of the progress of testing process which makes reporting fast.
Test dashboards help you monitor test activities, report on progress, find gaps in test coverage, and identify test areas that might require additional investigation.
How did it help in our project?
One of our recent projects involved presenting testing results to the executives of the client company on a daily basis. The efficiency of the project was measured on the effectiveness of the testing. This cycle was required to be continued for more than a month. The first question that came to my mind was – “How effectively can I present my test results to the higher management?”
During my research on the same, I came across various testing dashboards that many test managers had prepared during similar situations. Using their experiences and my expertise in this area, I prepared a simple dashboard that will help users to understand the key take-a ways from my daily test results.
Some of the aspects that I covered in this dashboard were:
1. Module wise defects: This pie chart is used to show the total no. of defects detected in each module. This chart can also be used as analysis of defect clustering (one of the testing principle which states that the defects are not uniformly distributed along the application). Defect clustering is based on Pareto principle, which is also known as 80-20% rule. This principle states that, 80% of the defects are found in 20% of the module.
2. Severity of test cases with respect to status: This chart shows the severity of each failed test case. By using this chart you can decide the priority of each failed test case.
3. # Test cases executed per day: This scattered chart is used to show the productivity (no. of test cases executed per day) of the testing process.
4.Test progress: The total number of test cases identified Vs Total test cases executed per day are presented in a bar chart. It also includes the total test cases planned yesterday against executed yesterday and total test cases planned today against total test cases executed today.
5. Test Status: This pie chart shows number of test cases completed, no. of test cases failed, no. of Blocked test cases, no. of test cases remaining to test and no. of test cases which are still in progress.
6. Test status / priority: This chart is used to show the prioritised test cases with respect to their status, whether it is passed, failed, blocked, in progress and test cases which are not executed till date.
Here are some insights into how to create this dashbaord.
How to populate data for creating this dashboard?
If you want to create a dashboard to show the # test cases executed per day, then you have to calculate no. of test cases executed each day of testing process. Data should be in following format:
How to create this dashboard?
Once you have the data in above format, you can easily create a scattered chart (Line chart) to show the # Test cases executed per day. Following are the steps for creating a dashboard:
● Select the data. Please refer the following screenshot:
● When you click on Insert -> Scatter -> Scatter with straight lines and Markers, the below chart gets created using the data created in Step-1. Please refer the following chart.
This entire test cycle helped me understand the importance of publishing testing dashboards. Following are some of the important take aways:
● Dashboards are very easy to read and easy to understand.
● Reporting becomes fast and easy
● By using the dashboards we can easily convey the progress of testing to the client or to the higher management. For example, if a client wants to know the critical bugs handled in a day or the total defects identified across a time period, it can be viewed easily with this dashboard.
Above all, such dashboard helps Test Manager to:
● Showcase a structured way of work & presentation.
● Effectively deliver output on time.
If you need this excel dashboard to showcase a structured way of your work, please drop a mail at email@example.com and I would love to share the Excel testing dashboard.
Let me know your thoughts or methods you apply, in the comment section.