5 Reasons Why Unstructured Software Testing Is Hurting Your Productivity

by René Ceelen, on August 25, 2020

The best laid plans of software testers often derail—not because they lack team dedication, but because they lack structure.

Unstructured software testing is like unstructured blueprints for a new home. The results are similar: lack of a coherent game plan, poor project communication, haphazard design, and subpar material/content.

There are many reasons why quality managers and software testing professionals should steer clear of unstructured testing. They can be distilled into five problem areas.

1. Fragmented Information

It’s sad but true: Many software testers still use Excel or Word to manage software testing projects. That’s like trying to change a lightbulb with a hammer! That’s why testing with Excel is history. Off-the-shelf spreadsheet usage embodies the worst aspects of unstructured testing.

Fragmented data/information is a natural result of spreadsheet deployment. As the old saying goes, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. This leads to chaos for your entire team. Various versions of the main software testing documents scatter based on how often testers make edits. Tracking changes becomes nearly impossible, and information gets fragmented.

Structured solutions, such as TestMonitor, simplify every step, making change-tracking and archiving a snap. Your QA system maintains control, monitoring every step toward a successful software testing finish-line. 

2. Fickle Feedback

Structured software testing validates end-to-end business flow. Testers execute testing with the most relevant data, creating a real-world scenario. That kind of environment promotes actionable feedback.

Unstructured testing lacks focused definition and often does a poor job of involving end users. Without involvement, feedback breaks down, and your team loses focus of the project objectives and quality of the finished product. Structured testing vastly increases the odds that your product will meet or exceed organizational standards and will function correctly.

3. Poor Test Design

Continuing the new-house metaphor, a poorly structured software testing “house” ignores the overall architecture of the entire project, missing key elements of proper design.

Unstructured testing doesn’t encompass diverse viewpoints and relationships. 
Missing such important pieces causes confusion across your team—no one understands how tests must conform to the overarching architecture of the software. This opens the door to sub-standard integrations down the road.

The structured approach recognizes the importance of an architecture perspective, providing a high-altitude view while never forgetting the ground level. Such a framework constantly keeps the “Big Picture” firmly on your team’s radar.

4. Lack of Control

If unstructured software testing were a super-villain, it’s name would be Captain Chaos. The chaotic nature of unstructured testing leaves managers with little to no control over budgets and objectives.

Of course, structured software testing is Superman and Spiderman rolled into a superhero of software control! Structured software testing empowers your team to create and manage quality, next-elevation testing by optimizing your users' strengths.

TestMonitor lives this principle, providing the top “superhero” tools for defining, designing, creating test plans, and running tests, as well as tracking test results, resolving issues, reporting, and quality assurance.

5. Time Wasted

Like a nasty parasite, unstructured software testing sucks away your team’s time. Multiple testers result in more time consumed when it comes to planning your test runs.

With a structured model, time spent in software testing yields considerable improvements in quality and will save you twice that time in the execution phase. That translates to end-user happiness.

For reasons noted above, unstructured software testing’s inefficiency and poor design will inevitably obscure the team’s ability to discover if the end-product software even works. Mediocre software testing leads to lackluster results, and having to fix all the problems later once again sucks away your team’s valuable time.

Structured testing will clearly demonstrate how required business functions are working in real-world circumstances and usage. Because such testing involves verified and tested people, time is saved—and those very team members are going to be working with the software on a daily basis.

TestMonitor’s solutions save time by deploying a full history trail, enhanced attachment handling, commenting, and a rock-star time management system.

Make the Structured Move

Although these five problems crop up frequently in unstructured software testing, they each require a closer look to fully understand the damage they do.

That’s why TestMonitor is pleased to offer a free webinar by founder René Ceelen. In our second seminar in the webinar series Next-Level Testing, the presentation offers actionable best practices and tips to jump-start your journey into quality, structured software testing. Also, be sure to check out the supplementary material, “12 Tips on Designing Test Cases.”

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