Best Practices

The No. 4 Most Important Key to Delivering High-Value Products

Today’s post is the fourth of five key points to consider when designing and building complex products such as embedded systems, integrated systems and connected devices. If you or your team are researching modern product development and management tools and services, our weekly Five Keys blog series outlines how Jama’s products and services can help you put best practices in place. Want a recap of the series so far? Check out previous post numbers three, two and one.

Key #4: Connect quality to product requirements throughout the entire product delivery cycle.

When does your quality assurance team get pulled into requirements reviews? At what stages are tests and acceptance criteria defined and documented? How does your QA team stay connected to the product requirements, and when change occurs, how and when is QA informed? Can you ensure that QA doesn’t end up testing against an outdated spec?

Jama helps you loop quality assurance teams into the product delivery process early, and keep them connected throughout the design and development process. Jama drives higher overall quality by ensuring complete test coverage against the most updated version of software, system, and component specifications.

How does this work in Jama?

  • Using Review Center, you allow QA to participate in requirements reviews.
  • Also in Review Center, QA collaborates on test plan development.
  • Changes to requirements place the test case in suspect status.
  • You can visually confirm that every requirement has been tested.

Nothing improves product development QA more than peer review and feedback. Many of our customers use Review Center to organize not only requirements, but also the associated test plans. Teams collaborate on their creation, and collect and share test cases and test steps for group input and approval. Within Jama, test cases are created, maintained and related directly alongside requirements. During development and test, QA team members have access to all requirements, as well as related conversations and business context that informs each requirement.

Test management is only efficient, instructive and productive when testers (be they test engineers, developers, end users, etc.) all understand three essential things:

  • What they are testing
  • Why they are testing it
  • What the expected outcomes are

Understanding a test’s relationship to the requirements, use cases, compliance guidelines and other upstream items enables test teams to provide significantly better feedback to product development teams. Successful product delivery teams bring QA into the process at the earliest possible moment during requirements definition and review. As requirements are created in Jama, the QA team contributes perspective and confirms that they can develop effective test plans to accurately test all requirements before signing off on delivery.

Jama’s Coverage Explorer highlights gaps in test coverage and suspect links flag potentially impacted test cases based on upstream changes. Having included the QA team in early requirements definition means that test planners can adapt quickly to changes in scope and scenarios that need to be tested. Every test case has a comment and activity stream accessible by all users. This allows testers and contributors to capture decisions, answer questions and resolve issues transparently and responsively.

Key #4 in a nutshell: Jama makes it easy to see if test cases are present and approved, and to find the pass, fail, and schedule status of each individual test. Real-time progress visibility improves the speed and accuracy of decisions, informs contributors and stakeholders, and provides users with exactly what they need to keep making progressive improvements that result in high-quality, profitable products.

Come back next Thursday for Key #5, the last in this series, to see more examples of how Jama’s product development and management tools and services can help you meet your team’s goals.